Alton, IL

Multiple Golden Corral Restaurants Temporarily Closing For Several Months With No Notice

Joel Eisenberg

The closures will impact locations in several states. All are expected to reopen by year’s end.

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Golden CorralShutterstock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Riverbender.com, BND.com, and RestaurantBusinessOnline.com.

Introduction

News of an unexpected temporary closure of an Illinois Golden Corral location has surprised the city and garnered a statement by Alton Mayor David Goins, who said the immediate Golden Corral closing was “disappointing” and he hopes it is a temporary move: “Golden Corral has been a staple in our community for quite some time,” he said. “I am looking forward to when they reopen again and we will be communicating with the owners to see what is ahead.”

According to the July, 2022 article in Riverbender.com which contained the above quote, “Alton’s Golden Corral Unexpectedly Closes Doors For at Least Four Months,” the city is listed as one of many in the proceeding weeks that will also temporarily be shutting doors.

As further excerpted from the article: The Golden Corral parking lots were bare and if you call the Alton location's phone number, no one picks up the phone. The closure also leaves its employees confused and upset. It isn't just Alton's location that's closing its doors. Locations all across the United States have been shutting down. Collinsville's Golden Corral announced that they were going to close permanently back in March 2022, giving the city little to no warning.

The article also references a particularly stark statistic: Before COVID-19, the company had nearly 500 locations operating. They were down to just 305 in April 2021 and their numbers are still dwindling as all-you-can-eat buffets are becoming a thing of the past. The Pandemic took a toll on Golden Corral like it did many other popular restaurants throughout the country.

Indeed, in June, 2022 NewsBreak published my article on the matter, entitled “Plans For Golden Corral Closings in 2022,” which stated: Today, in 2022, Golden Corral is still operating. However, according to Restaurant Business Online in an April, 2021 article by Peter Romeo, entitled “Golden Corral Franchisee Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection,” the following information was reported: Platinum Corral permanently closed 16 of its 28 units. It is the second large franchisee of the buffet chain to seek debt protection since the start of the pandemic. The bankruptcy, and the one referenced that preceded it, does not appear to have impacted the long-term health of the company, though as alluded to earlier the general state of business of most U.S. chain buffets has been understatedly concerning since the advent of the pandemic.

Are the new temporary closings as they appear on the surface, or is there something more concerning behind the actions?

Let us explore further.

Golden Corral, 2022

Regarding the recent and pending national closings, per a recent piece in BND.com, “This Alton Buffet Closed With No Notice, But Don’t Worry. They’ll Be Back Soon,” a simple explanation is in the offing: While there’s currently no clear reason given for the sudden closure, Lance Trenary, Golden Corral president and CEO, said in a June podcast with Sam Oches of Nation’s Restaurant News that multiple locations are currently undergoing a remodeling and re-imaging process and will reopen between now and the end of the year.

None of the other locations facing temporary closures have yet been announced.

Conclusion

I will share any further updates, including a listing of the expected closures, as they happen. Stay tuned for those updates here, on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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