Golden Corral was founded in 1973 by James Maynard and Bill Carl after they failed multiple times to purchase franchises of other restaurants. The first Golden Corral restaurant was located in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
By 1979, there were over 100 restaurants in the chain.
In 1991, the company launches 7 Metro Market concept restaurants. These markets were double the size of a traditional Golden Corral.
In 1992, the company begins to franchise.
In 1997, the company signs a large franchise agreement with Frisch’s.
In 2012, a Wyoming Golden Corral had an outbreak of the norovirus. More than 344 people were sick, with 282 of these being primary cases. The virus got its push from 31 employees who were sick with the virus who worked despite knowing they were sick.
Today, there are nearly 500 Golden Corral restaurants in 41 US states and annual sales estimated to be $1.53 billion.