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Is Golden Corral Closing in 2024? Are they Shutting Down?

This question has been on the minds of many people recently. If you’re one of those people, you’ve come to the right place. But, are these rumors and speculations fact or fiction? Is Golden Corral really planning to hang up its apron and close its doors for good in 2024? 

This post will delve into the details to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the situation. 

What is Golden Corral? History

Golden Corral is a popular American restaurant chain. It was founded in 1973 by James Maynard and William F. Carl. Known for its buffet-style dining, Golden Corral has been a go-to spot for families seeking a wide variety of food options.  Golden Corral first started in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 

The concept was a simple one “to offer guests real, wholesome foods in a family-friendly atmosphere and at a great value”. Initially, the restaurant operated as a “steakhouse that could accommodate families,” offering a limited menu for customers to order from. However, by the 1980s, the restaurant had expanded its offerings and started to transition into the buffet-style model that it is known for today.

Golden Corral allows you to “help yourself to happiness” with its buffet setting, the establishment claims to serve up fresh, wholesome foods that are cooked right in front of you. Today, it offers a wide variety of different food options, including an extensive salad bar, made-from-scratch yeast rolls, and fried chicken.

The chain has more than 400 locations spread across 41 states, continuing to expand and providing a comfortable, appetizing, and affordable dining experience for families across the United States. 

Assessing the Rumors: Is Golden Corral Closing? 

There have been rumors and speculations about Golden Corral closing soon. However, as of now, no official statement has been made about Golden Corral closing in 2024. It’s important to rely on verified sources for such information. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many businesses, including restaurants like Golden Corral. Some locations have closed temporarily or permanently due to the pandemic, but not all Golden Corral locations are closing.  Golden Corral went through remodeling and restructuring in some locations, introducing a new fast-casual service model. The rumors about the brand’s closure might have stemmed from these changes.

As for a company-wide closure, the management has not announced any such plans. The company is also known to be exploring various new business models to adapt to the post-pandemic landscape, and it remains committed to serving its customers.

Golden Corral 2020 Bankruptcy 

Is Golden Corral Closing
Is Golden Corral Closing

The year 2020 was indeed a tough one for Golden Corral. Faced with the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company filed for bankruptcy. Many of its restaurants had to shut down, sparking concerns about the future of the chain.  During 2020, at least 35 franchises owned by 1069 Restaurant Group, one of Golden Corral’s largest franchisees, declared bankruptcy, citing lost sales due to the pandemic. The group owned around 33 Golden Corral locations across Florida and Georgia.

Around the same time, many other Golden Corral locations nationwide temporarily shut their doors due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. This forced the buffet-style restaurant chain to pivot to new service models, including takeout, delivery, and even cafeteria-style service.

Golden Corral Corporation, the chain’s parent company, didn’t go bankrupt and is currently still in operation, but the bankruptcy of several franchisees and widespread location closures painted a bleak picture of the pandemic’s impact on the buffet restaurant industry.

Is Golden Corral Still Facing Financial Troubles?

Yes, Golden Corral is still facing financial issues. The aftermath of the 2020 bankruptcy is still evident. The company is working through its financial difficulties, hoping for a more stable future. Sorry for the confusion. 

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Golden Corral Have Closed More than Half outlets from 2020 

Since the 2020 bankruptcy, Golden Corral has closed more than half of its outlets. This move was essential for the company to cut losses and start recovering from the financial blow. However, it has also led to increased speculations about the future of Golden Corral.  Like many businesses in the restaurant industry, Golden Corral has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As lockdowns were put in place and dining out became a public health risk, outlets had to shut down temporarily, leading to reduced sales. Some restaurants had to close permanently due to financial strain.
In the first quarter of 2020, Golden Corral operated about 500 establishments around the United States. However, over the course of the year, the company had to shut down a significant number of them permanently. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2020.

The drastic reduction in the number of Golden Corral outlets has led to questions about the future of the beloved buffet chain. These closures represent a significant blow to the company’s operations, and recovery is expected to be a slow and challenging process. Still, the company insists that they are not going down without a fight.

Are Other Restaurant Companies Affected by COVID?

This question has been on the minds of many. The unfortunate reality is that COVID-19 has severely impacted the restaurant industry. With lockdowns and limitations on dining capacity, many companies have struggled to keep their doors open. 

Several popular chains have filed for bankruptcy, and others have had to permanently close some of their locations. However, many have managed to adapt by enhancing their takeout and delivery services, and by implementing stringent health and safety measures.

Is Golden Corral Going Out of Business?

So, is Golden Corral closing in 2024? The simple answer is no.  Golden Corral, like many other restaurants, has faced significant challenges due to the pandemic. Some of its branches have indeed closed. However, the company has also shown resilience. 

They have adapted their business model, introducing new safety measures and even launching the “No Touch All You Can Eat Buffet”. These changes show that despite the challenges, Golden Corral is working hard to stay in business.

Who Owns Golden Corral?

Golden Corral was founded by James Maynard and William F. Carl in 1973. Today, it is a franchise system, which means that many of its locations are independently owned and operated. 

The parent company, Golden Corral Corporation, provides support and guidelines to these franchises. This system has allowed Golden Corral to spread its reach across the United States, with one even opened in Canada.

Does Golden Corral Take Apple Pay?

With the rise of digital wallets, many customers wonder whether Golden Corral accepts Apple Pay. The answer is yes. In line with their efforts to modernize and adapt to changing customer preferences, Golden Corral does accept Apple Pay in its restaurants. This provides a contactless, quick, and efficient payment option for patrons.


In conclusion, while it’s true that Golden Corral has faced significant financial challenges, there’s no official word on whether “Golden Corral is closing in 2024”. The company is making efforts to overcome its financial difficulties. So, let’s hope for the best and support our favorite buffet-style restaurant as it navigates these challenging times.

Richard Ambrosino
Richard Ambrosinohttps://businessshortfall.com
I'm Richard Ambrosino, and I earned my Master's in Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2001. With over a decade of hands-on experience in various aspects of business, I'm here to share my insights. From strategy development to financial management and leadership, I've been there and learned valuable lessons. At BusinessShortfall.com, I'm dedicated to providing you with the latest updates and practical advice to help you succeed in the world of business. Thank you for choosing us as your trusted resource, and I look forward to being part of your journey to success.

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