RALEIGH N.C. Golden Corral said Wednesday it is testing a larger prototype featuring more display cooking areas, a doughnut shop and a carving/grill station.
The 14,000-square-foot, 500-seat prototype has been in test at three locations for three years, and a fourth redesigned unit debuted in San Antonio in February. Company officials said a fifth store would open in late July or early August in Sacramento, Calif. They added that a date for a systemwide rollout has not yet been set.
Larry Tate, senior vice president of franchise sales for the 485-unit buffet-grill chain, said the prototype will be used as a "design innovation for both new stores and is already being incorporated into the remodeling of existing units."
He added that the company is "still evaluating operations, control and performance issues" before rolling the prototype out to franchisees. However, he noted that Golden Corral is "very pleased with the results to date and will make it available when all the issues associated with it have been resolved."
In an attempt to add to its food offerings, Golden Corral said the new restaurant design also would feature Asian and Mexican hot-food stations, a pizza stand and an ice-cream shop featuring hand-dipped frozen treats.
Tate said the average unit sales volume at the redesigned locations has increased between 25 percent and 40 percent. He added that the chain undergoes a remodeling about every seven years.
Bob McDevitt, Golden Corral’s senior vice president of franchising said, “The new look does not fundamentally change the concept, it simply adds more of what buffet diners are looking for.”
Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected] .