Financing

How Golden Corral survived the pandemic

CEO Lance Trenary joins the RB podcast “A Deeper Dive” this week to discuss the chain’s numerous responses to the pandemic, including alcohol and drive-thrus.

How did Golden Corral, the country’s biggest buffet chain, survive a pandemic in which it couldn’t operate much if not all of its buffets?

Lance Trenary, the chain’s CEO, answers that question on this week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast “A Deeper Dive.”

Golden Corral, which is based in Raleigh, N.C., had been doing fairly well before the pandemic, especially considering how much its primary competitors have struggled—in 2019 the typical buffet chain’s sales declined 9%, according to Technomic.

The pandemic threatened the chain’s very survival, leading to shutdowns or restrictions on buffet service that were so severe one competitor, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, opted to liquidate rather than try to adjust to the change.

Trenary in this week’s episode describes everything Golden Corral did to keep the brand going, including shifts in operators, a focus on more entrees, and experiments such as alcohol and even drive-thru service.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on Spotify.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

How Popeyes changed the chicken business

How did a once-struggling, regional bone-in chicken chain overtake KFC, the formerly dominant player in the U.S. market? With a fixation on sandwiches and many more new restaurants.

Financing

Get ready for a summertime value war

The Bottom Line: With more customers opting to eat at home, rather than at restaurants, more fast-food chains will start pushing value this summer.

Food

Inside Chili's quest to craft a value-priced burger that could take on McDonald's

Behind the Menu: How the casual-dining chain smashes expectations with a winning combination of familiarity and price with its new Big Smasher burger.

Trending

More from our partners