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Our History

Our History

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Golden Corral is a family restaurant chain specializing in a buffet dining experience with nearly 500 company-operated and franchise restaurants located in 42 states serving approximately three million guests each week.

In 1971, James H. Maynard and William F. Carl conceived the idea that became Golden Corral. From the time the decision was made to enter the family steakhouse business, the groundwork began to improve family dining in America. The concept was simple: “Making Pleasurable Dining Affordable.” The first Golden Corral restaurant opened on January 3, 1973, in Fayetteville, NC. Within three months, the company was opening a second location in Raleigh, NC, and a third was built a short time later in Fayetteville, NC, becoming the second location within this city.

Golden Corral initially offered a menu consisting of steak and entrees, baked potato, and side salad. After enjoying a successful first decade, Golden Corral reinvented itself from a budget steakhouse concept to a full buffet. This offers guests a wider variety of healthy, tasty menu options. Golden Corral successfully implemented this change while still providing guests with a real, honest value in dining.

Golden Corral’s offering today is comprised of approximately 300 buffet items including meat cut in-house and grilled to order; a variety of hot vegetables and casseroles; an expansive salad bar and fresh fruit assortment; diverse ethnic food stations; and a decadent bakery and dessert café with several “no sugar added” options. Most food is prepared from scratch with on-site bakers, butchers, prep and cooks who prepare food in an open atmosphere in front of their guests. In concert with our “making pleasurable dining affordable” mission, maintaining affordable pricing for our guests is paramount.

From the beginning, growth has been a constant for Golden Corral. Our restaurants do not look the same as they did in 1973 and our menu has expanded, but we continue to offer our guests tasty food at a great value served by friendly Co-workers. Job opportunities are provided to approximately 35,000 individuals system-wide.