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Franchise 500 2023
2024 Franchise 500 Rank
#346 Ranked #411 last year
See the Full List
Initial investment
$3.5M - $9.2M
Units as of 2023
362 Decrease 13% over 3 years

Golden Corral, founded in 1973, is an American restaurant chain that offers an all-you-can-eat buffet and grill. With more than 150 food options, they strive to offer something for everyone. For dinners, they offer a fresh salad bar, hot meals, and delicious desserts. Golden Corral is known for its buffet-style food and great ambiance. They have more than 360 locations and enjoy providing quality food in hefty portions.

As you run your franchise, you might provide quality meals to hundreds of people through your open restaurant. It also offers curbside to go for those in a rush. The perfect candidate for a Golden Corral franchisee is passionate about great food, bringing people together, and has some restaurant experience.

Why You May Want to Start a Golden Corral Franchise

If you love the idea of offering quality and delicious food to people, then a Golden Corral Franchise might be for you. They provide a variety of food and dessert options that cater to people of all ages. They also offer a restaurant online menu, which may allow customers to be drawn to the sights of the delicious foods.

Using their classic and proprietary recipes, you may prepare some amazing dishes and serve them to loyal customers. The locations of the Golden Corral are all throughout the United States. The name brand itself is known by many Americans.

As a Golden Corral franchisee, you might join a vast network of fast-food restaurants committed to providing quality, affordable, and delicious food. You will strive to provide a place for people and families to come together and enjoy a great meal in a fun and casual environment.

What Might Make a Golden Corral Franchise a Good Choice?

When seeking to open a Golden Corral franchise, be prepared to make an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. You’ll want to make sure you have enough capital available to cover potential fees, as well. These fees will include royalty fees, advertising fees, and renewal fees.

Golden Corral has been ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 many times in the past several decades. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. 

Golden Corral has carved a niche for itself in the market. They also strive to offer a great work culture, fantastic community, and home-style favorite foods.

How Do You Open a Golden Corral Franchise?

As you decide if opening a Golden Corral franchise is the right decision for you, make sure you take time to explore the opportunity in your community. You’ll then apply with a franchise request form. A franchise sales representative may reach out to you with more information if they see you as a good fit for the brand. This information consists of their brand, vision, and any details regarding starting up your franchise. They might also help you look into possible franchise locations.

Once you’ve signed on board, Golden Corral will typically take you through their franchise process. This includes site construction and management training. You will also receive unit opening support, as well as ongoing operations and marketing support. Golden Corral is ready to support you every step of the way.

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Company Overview

About Golden Corral

Industry Food
Related Categories Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants, Steakhouses
Founded 1973
Parent Company Golden Corral Corp.
Leadership Lance Trenary, CEO
Corporate Address P.O. Box 29502
Raleigh, NC 27612
Social Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1987 (37 years)
# of employees at HQ 87
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchises in the following international regions: Canada, Mexico

# of Units 362 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Golden Corral franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
$50,000
Initial Investment Information Circle
$3,534,450 - $9,213,230
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
$2,500,000
Cash Requirement Information Circle
$500,000
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
50% off franchise fee
Royalty Fee Information Circle
4%
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
2.4%
Term of Agreement Information Circle
15 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing Golden Corral has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 722 hours
Classroom Training 41.5 hours
Ongoing Support
Newsletter
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App

Operations

Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
No
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
No
# of employees required to run 100
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
Yes
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Golden Corral landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

Curious to know where Golden Corral ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.

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Disclaimer
The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022