- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#411 Not ranked last year
- Initial investment
$2.7M - $7.8M
- Units as of 2022
368 25% 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 450 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.
About Golden Corral
- Related Categories
- Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants, Steakhouses
- Parent Company
- Golden Corral Corp.
- Lance Trenary, CEO
- Corporate Address
P.O. Box 29502
Raleigh, NC 27612
- Franchising Since
- 1987 (2023-1987 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Canada, Mexico
- # of Units
- 368 (as of 2022)
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
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $2,701,410 - $7,774,230
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- 50% off franchise fee
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 15 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
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
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary Software
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- # of employees required to run
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Golden Corral? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Golden Corral landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Golden Corral ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #411 in 2023
Entrepreneur’s 44th annual Franchise 500® ranking shines a light on the unique challenges and changes that have shaped the franchise industry over the last year—and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them.
Ranked #5 in Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants in 2022
Our annual list of the top restaurant and other food franchises, divided up by category, is the perfect place to start if you’re craving a food-based business opportunity.
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