Watch This Before You Ever Eat At Golden Corral Again
Golden Corral is the very definition of a
guilty pleasure, and sometimes, you just need
all the comfort food you can eat.
Whether you see it as a challenge or as something
to never mention again once you walk out the
door, here’s what you should know.
Even if you steer clear of Golden Corral’s
cheap starches and questionable pizza and
head straight for the meat, you’re still probably
not going to get any real high-quality stuff.
Okay, so it’s a budget buffet, and we’re not
really expecting Wagyu beef here, but you
still might be surprised to find their proteins
are often served up with a heaping helping
In 2015, intrepid nutritionist Heather Blanchette,
RD, LD ventured into Golden Corral’s nutritional
data, and while the chain didn’t provide calories
from fat in their information, she still found
some things that were pretty icky.
For example, her analysis found a single slice
of Golden Corral’s popular meatloaf is around
45 percent fat.
The beef brisket was even worse, coming in
at 63 percent fat.
Not surprisingly, you should probably also
skip their prime rib if it’s low-fat meat
you’re looking for.
Just because you’re heading out to Golden
Corral doesn’t mean you have to opt for foods
that are the complete opposite of healthy.
Ever thought that owning your own Golden Corral
— and the chocolate fountain that comes
with it — might be kind of cool?
If you want to open a Golden Corral franchise,
it’ll cost you some serious bucks.
Golden Corral estimates the cost to be between
about $2.3 and $6.7 million, and you need
a net worth of $2.5 million in order to even
open negotiations, with $500,000 of that in
While they throw out a number that includes
average annual sales of $5.3 million, they
also add that only applies to the top 20 percent
earners, and, as a footnote, they emphasize
in all caps,
“THERE IS NO ASSURANCE YOU’LL DO AS WELL.
IF YOU RELY UPON OUR FIGURES, YOU MUST ACCEPT
THE RISK OF NOT DOING AS WELL.”
Well, that’s one way to get your message across.
Golden Corral’s commercials tend to focus
on their big ticket items, showing customers
getting some amazing deals on lobster and
digging in to all-you-can eat ribs, sirloin,
and smoked brisket.
How can they possibly make any money if they
are really encouraging you to fill your face
with meat, meat, and more meat?
If they were charging $50 a person, then sure,
they wouldn’t go broke, but at $12 a head,
how do they do it?
“I’ll have some of the yellow.
And don’t get cheap on me!
Trickery, that’s how, and it’s not just Golden
Corral that does this.
Most all-you-can-eat buffets use some sleight-of-hand
and creative layouts to encourage customers
to take a lot of the cheap stuff and just
a little of the expensive stuff.
The high-end items often tend to be served
in smaller portions, and you may have to wait
in line a while for cooked-to-order menu items
Another trick buffets use is to position heaping
platters of cheap, starchy items such as rice,
potatoes, and pasta toward the beginning of
the buffet line, with smaller platters of
the pricier specialties being less accessible.
They may also play on the mindset that nobody
wants to take the last piece on the plate.
Think about it, how many times have you gone
through the buffet line only to find there’s
just one piece of fried chicken left on that
Bad luck, coincidence, or a deliberate strategy
where they just don’t refill the dish?
Also, take a look at the utensils.
Chances are, the scoop for the mashed potatoes
might resemble a small backhoe, while serving
tongs for the pork chops may possibly pass
The more you know!
Golden Corral has had a certain amount of
legal trouble with the federal government
and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
First, an explanation: the ADA is meant to
protect employees from discrimination based
on their disabilities, and it even requires
employers to provide any reasonable accommodations
necessary to allow those disabled employees
to perform their jobs.
But nowhere does the ADA say that employers
or managers are permitted to harass and shame
employees for their disabilities, or to fire
them for the same.
Yet disabled Golden Corral employees have
claimed to have experienced both of these
One Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
lawsuit against Golden Corral alleged that
a dishwasher with high-functioning autism
was repeatedly verbally abused and subjected
to unwanted propositions and contact, while
another EEOC lawsuit was filed on behalf of
a Golden Corral employee who lost her job
after she was accused of, quote, “being unwilling
or unable to control her epilepsy.”
In the former instance, Golden Corral was
fined $85,000, while in the second case the
payout was $31,000.
A restaurant might seem like the last place
someone would be subject to fat shaming, but
according to Sueretta Emke, that’s exactly
what happened to her in a Golden Corral in
In 2019, Emke was kicked out of her local
Golden Corral due to either violating a non-existent
dress code, or, as she suspects, daring to
dress sexy while overweight.
She was wearing a crop top and shorts, but
had seen people in the same Golden Corral
wearing skimpier clothing, so was shocked
when a manager told her she was dressed, quote,
“too provocatively” and would have to leave.
As she later posted on Facebook, she felt
she’d been called out, quote, “because I’m
not thin so it’s not considered sexy.”
Golden Corral issued explanations and apologies
and compensated the woman with some gift cards,
but she still says she never wants to wear
that crop top again.
And no one should ever finish a night out
with that kind of regret.
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