Golden Corral serves up an all you can eat reputation disaster

Golden Corral serves up an all you can eat reputation disaster

Earlier this week, a video hit the front page of Reddit that showed a not-so-savory side of a Golden Corral restaurant kitchen.  I’m sure no one expects a whole lot from the kitchen of a discount buffet chain, but the series of images and YouTube videos that an employee shared show what I’m guessing are more than a few health code violations.goldencorral

Titled “Just an average day for a Golden Corral waitress,” the images show a filthy dish-washing area overflowing with trash and dirty dishes.  If the pictures aren’t enough to make you question whether dining at this establishment is a good idea or not, the videos that surfaced shortly after showing food being stored in the dumpster enclosures will likely have you reconsidering saddling up to the Corral for some chow.

Both current and former employees of the buffet chain are commenting on the posts and videos in droves, many in varying forms of agreement with the accuracy of the claims about state of the restaurants made in the videos.  The employee that created the videos claims that he contacted the local health department in addition to the corporate office of the restaurant chain, with little to no assistance or response from either office.

After waiting a few days to respond, Golden Corral decided to take to social media.  Can you guess what they said?

I’ll give you a minute.  I bet you can write the responses for them.

If you said “this food was not served to customers, it was properly disposed of immediately” or “the manager involved in the improper storage of food was terminated for failing to follow approved food handling procedures,” you are correct!  Comments just like these were posted both on the YouTube videos and on the corporate Twitter feed.

Golden Corral Tweet

So, let me get this straight.  They did nothing wrong, the kid was scamming them for money, they did nothing wrong, and yet they fired a manager?  Did they mention that they did nothing wrong?  But they threw the food away?

I’m guessing that the people that dare to ride on over to the Corral for some grub aren’t expecting gleaming kitchens and premium beef, but this exposé certainly isn’t going to do their reputation any favors.  The confusing statements being made by the company on social media are also not helping them out at all.  Haven’t they learned from those who have been skewered on social media before them?  Golden Corral people, if you’re reading this, here’s some free advice:  Own your mistake, apologize, tell people how you’ll make it right.  Stop with the blaming and excuses.  No one cares.  They want to know how you’re going to fix the problem moving forward.

So, what’s for lunch today?

5 Comments for “Golden Corral serves up an all you can eat reputation disaster”
  1. Honestly I always feel bad for franchised companies when stuff like this happens. Think about it this way, Golden Corral has locations all across the country. Corporate can’t monitor them all constantly, and if they did it would just mean more over sight, (who watches the watchmen?) So whats left is one franchise royally screwing up and leaving the entire brand in shambles. I think franchised Brands should be judged more by their leadership, not the actions of their individual franchise locations.

    1. Joe, I completely agree. I think this would have been better received if corporate had shown more leadership in stepping in and addressing this issue. Time and time again, large brands ignore problems until they pop up in the media, and then they issue generic statements and make knee-jerk reactions to try to silence the problem. When will they learn that this only adds fuel to the flame?

    2. I am in two minds on this Joe. On one hand, I agree with what you are saying. That said, Golden Corral is still responsible for the vetting and training of its franchises. Really, a franchised location is not that much different from a brand owned location.

      Like Erin said, everyone screws-up, but it’s how you handle it that matters (internally and publicly).

  2. Even with the tools, knowledge and know-how available today – it seems the status quo is to bury your head in the sand until something frightful happens, then scramble to clean it up, inevitably making major mis-steps in the process.

    I’m a firm believer in having a crisis handling plan IN PLACE before you need it. You hope you never do, but with these big brands, it’s nearly inevitable!

    Hopefully Golden Corral learned from this a bit and will do a better job next time!

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