9 Things You Need to Know About Golden Corral

Ever wonder why Golden Corral is "America's #1 buffet"? It starts with the golden rolls, obviously—but here's the whole story!

For many people, Golden Corral’s legendary buffet is the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. (We love breakfasts that feed a crowd!) The family-friendly chain has all the American essentials on its menu, and everything is all-you-can-eat. Golden Corral has spent the last 45 years perfecting its restaurants—here’s a look at the secrets to their success.

1. They love kids.

Monday through Thursday nights, kids eat for cheap. Plus, with all the options, you’re sure to find something for even your pickiest eater. Have a child under 3? They eat for free!

(Speaking of picky eaters, here are 15 secret weapons for parents of particular kids.)

2. They love veterans, too.

Golden Corral has given more than 5.1 million free meals to active duty military and veterans, and has donated $12.9 million to Disabled American Veterans. They also host a camp called Camp Corral for children of injured, ill and fallen military members. Over the past 6 years, Golden Corral restaurants have raised over $9 million and sent nearly 18,000 military children to Camp Corral.

3. Golden Corral started small.

The first Golden Corral was a 175-seat steakhouse in Fayetteville, North Carolina, back in 1973. From these humble beginnings, they’ve grown to roughly 500 locations around the U.S. (Here’s another famous chain with a surprising start.)

4. There’s a breakfast buffet.

On weekends, you definitely need to get to Golden Corral for their breakfast spread, with omelets and cooked-to-order eggs, pancakes and waffles, sausage and bacon, cinnamon rolls and fruit…we could go on, but let’s just say it’s really good. The price is right, too—less than $9.

5. The salad bar is out-of-this-world.

Diners swear by Golden Corral’s signature salad bar. With tons of different options to create the salad of your dreams, this GC staple alone is worth the trip. Bring on the bacon bits!

(Need to add more greens to your meals at home? These 35 salad ideas are way more exciting than another Caesar salad for lunch.)

6. Two words: chocolate fountain.

Golden Corral doesn’t just stop at classic treats. Their dessert buffet features freshly spun cotton candy, and they also have their Famous Chocolate Fountain—with plenty of treats for dunking. Some locations even have the triple fountain, with chocolate, white chocolate and caramel, so you can really Willy Wonka out.

Fondue? More like fun-due! Bring the chocolate fountain to your kitchen with this easy fondue recipe.

7. Golden Corral has a smoked menu.

In 2017, Golden Corral added its new Smokehouse menu, which includes brisket, baby back ribs, turkey and chicken smoked with hickory wood. All meat is smoked and cooked on-site, and you can douse your feast with a variety of different barbecue sauces. Yum!

Here’s how to turn your own grill into a smoker.

8. You can get Golden Corral to go.

Craving GC but really want to relax at home, too? Get the buffet to go! While they only offer delivery through GrubHub at the Winston-Salem location for now, you can always go into the restaurant and fill up to-go boxes with your favorites. Price is determined by weight when you check out.

9. Golden Corral has swag.

Are you a ride-or-die Golden Corral fan? Check out these T-shirts on Amazon, and wear your heart on your sleeve. After all, if you’re the Queen of the Golden Corral, people need to know!

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Maggie Ward
Maggie’s background in the arts gave her a penchant for collaborative communication and the pursuit of conveying ideas in a clear, striking way. Outside of writing for Taste of Home, Maggie loves playing the piano and writing music, as well as performing with various bands and theatre productions around the city of Chicago.