The buffet brand reallocates square footage and adds warmer design touches for a more comfortable customer experience.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Golden Corral president and CEO, Lance Trenary,of the Greensboro, North Carolina, location featuring the restaurant’s new design. “We are very happy to see the excitement that the new restaurant has created for our guests and our coworkers.”

The 45-year-old grill-buffet chain unveiled its contemporary look in December, which includes stone exterior features, wood-toned interior ceilings, a double-sided fireplace, and, most notably, 1,000 extra square feet in the dining space that, in previous designs, was reserved for the kitchen. “The new restaurant layout features more separation between the buffet area and guest seating, creating a more relaxing dining room,” Trenarysays. “With more than 1,000 square feet of additional dining space there is more room between tables, resulting in a more open atmosphere.” Additionally, larger windows bring natural light into the dining area, while the fireplace adds a warmer, more homelike feel, Trenary says.

The loss of about 900 square feet of kitchen space doesn’t seem to be holding the chain back, however. In fact, it might have been overdue. “We worked with Florida-based kitchen design firm Profitality to create a more efficient operating platform based on time-motion studies and increased employee efficiency,” Trenary says.

A news release sent out in December about the new design mentioned that it came“at a time in which the company’s labor costs were increasing as a result of the current building design. [The company] also recognized many of their competitors were raising the bar on their facilities, and Golden Corral wanted to enhance the overall dining experience for their guests.”

Adding A Sense Of Warmth To The New, Larger Dining Room, Golden Corral Now Features A Two Sided, Stone Fireplace, Accented By A Wood Toned Ceiling

Adding a sense of warmth to the new, larger dining room, Golden Corral now features a two-sided, stone fireplace, accented by a wood-toned ceiling.

The Stone Is Carried Through The Exterior, Design As Well At Golden Corral

The stone is carried through the exterior, design as well.

Since its opening in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1973, Golden Corral has been tweaking its restaurant design, but the one that debuted in Greensboro last month is the brand’s most comprehensive redesign in the company’s history. It has been developed into an exterior and interior reimagine package for the brand, which will help bring the new look and feel to Golden Corral’s existing 491 locations. “We will roll out the new design elements as restaurants become due in our normal reimage cycle, but, as a result of the dramatic improvements [from the design], many franchisees are already asking to reimage their restaurants ahead of schedule,” Trenary says.

On top of the look of the restaurant, Golden Corral has also been shaking up the buffet. “We are constantly adding new items to our buffet, while always offering our classic guests favorites,” Trenary says. “The new bars highlight our fresh salad options, our Grill House featuring sirloin steaks every night at dinner, an enhanced carving station, and the new Smokehouse line of smoked ribs, chicken, brisket, and turkey cooked on site with real hickory wood right in the kitchen.” The latter of the new stations, is actually Trenary’s favorite. “We have over 20 new smoked products that we are testing and rolling out,” he says. “I’m very excited about the amount of food innovation that we will bring to our guests across America this year as we expand our Smokehouse lineup of products, as well as introduce new items that are on trend and a great fit for our dining experience.”

And in 2018, Golden Corral is looking to expand. “Plans are in place to grow our unit count again in 2018,” Trenary says.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Feature, Restaurant Design, Golden Corral