Golden Corral plans to open locations in Visalia, Fresno as part of Calif. expansion

The Sun-Gazette


VISALIA – One of the most popular buffet style franchises is eyeing Visalia.

Golden Corral, which features pot roast, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, will be opening in Visalia sometime in the next year or so. The Fresno Bee and Business Journal both reported that Fresno will have a location in the next 12-15 months and that franchise development rights have been sold for Visalia. Van Ingram, vice president of franchise development, said franchises are looking for restaurant spaces of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet to host up to 400 people at a time.

The North Carolina-based chain has seen a lot of success opening in California since 2012. That was the year the franchise opened a location in City of Industry, Calif. According to Golden Corral, the store posted solid profits and investors and restaurant operators became interested. Since then, Golden Corral has opened 14 locations in California with current franchise owners making commitments to open 13 more locations. Nationally, Golden Corral ranked 108 on’s fastest growing franchises.

Rey Vasquez, a Multi-Unit Golden Corral Franchisee, said the brand’s popularity, success, and expansion are converging in California.

“We are committed to building more stores in California. I already have 2 open and my third California store will open soon,” said Vasquez. “I am also working with the real estate team to find another location in California. They have been a great resource. A lot of brands have been scared to come into California, but not Golden Corral.”

While Golden Corral closed in Hanford a few years ago and HomeTown Buffet in Clovis closed two years ago, Visalia has maintained a strong demand for buffet restaurants. HomeTown Buffet and Sizzler, both on Mooney Boulevard, continue to buck the trends of buffet closings nationwide. There is no word on where Golden Corral in Visalia may locate but hungry patrons can expect 160 items on their buffet, including proteins, baked goods, vegetables, soups, and salads. The nearest Golden Corral is in Bakersfield.

As of 2017, the most current numbers available, Golden Corral had 489 locations in 41 states including Alaska. Entrepreneur magazine named Golden Corral the #1 franchisor in the U.S. among family steakhouses in 2017 for the 21st year.

Golden Corral was founded as a 175-seat, 4,800-square-foot family steakhouse in Fayetteville, NC, in 1973. The chain grew steadily during the next decade, principally in small cities from Virginia to Texas. In the mid-1980s, requests for additional entrees and an expanded salad bar prompted Golden Corral to “reinvent” itself by introducing  a 400-seat, 11,000-square-foot  “Buffet & Grill” design, with food preparation performed in full view of the dining area to emphasize product freshness and quality.

Along with home-style buffet favorites such as pot roast, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables, today’s endless Golden Corral buffet experience offers guests a wide variety of tastes and flavors.  Fresh—never frozen—USDA Sirloin steak maintains top billing as Golden Corral’s signature dinner product.  To capitalize on the increased popularity of smoked meats and bold flavors, we now offer smoked pork barbeque, chicken, baby back ribs, brisket and turkey.  As a complement to its heritage hot buffet food products, each Golden Corral features a market-fresh salad bar where guests may build their own salads from dozens of ingredients.  And… dessert innovations are headlined by freshly-spun cotton candy, decadent desserts, as well as our famous Chocolate Wonderfall featuring a non-stop stream of chocolate, with a variety of fresh fruits and sweet tooth favorites that are available for dipping and dunking.

Golden Corral serves an ultimate brunch daily from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. that offer guests their choice of breakfast and/or lunch favorites.  Plus, on Fridays and weekend mornings, guests are invited to rise and shine for our legendary endless breakfast buffet, featuring cooked-to-order eggs and omelets, bacon, sausage, pancakes, crispy waffles, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls, fresh-cut fruit, and a variety of juices. For more information, visit

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