There's arguably much to like about eating at a buffet restaurant. You don't have to choose just one item, you get to try many different things, and if you are going to embrace "all you can eat," then a buffet can be economical.
Some buffets struggled during the pandemic, but according to Reader's Digest, some are making a comeback, with Golden Corral growing 14% between 2020 and 2023.
However, even chains that are having success can have restaurants that the company or its franchisee feels would be better suited in another capacity - especially with development thriving in Florida.
This article will discuss where Golden Coral will be closing a store (and where it has already done so) and how real estate development and profitability may have come into play.
The Rumored Upcoming Closing in Orlando: UCF students and patrons in Orlando may soon have to meet their buffet needs elsewhere. According to the Orlando Business Journal reporting in January of 2023, a redevelopment plan was filed to demolish the Golden Corral location next to UCF on Colonial Drive and replace it with student housing.
The development plan reportedly outlined plans that the restaurant would be replaced with a 5-story, 556-bed housing unit.
An Official Sale With A High Price Tag: Now, in reporting on November 6th, the Orlando Business Journal reports that the Golden Corral property has been officially sold for $7.2 million to make way for the student housing mentioned above. The Golden Corral is reportedly still open, and there is no official word as to when demolition will begin and the Golden Corral will close.
The Orlando Golden Corral will not be the first store that was set to be shuttered due to profitable new development. Here is another example.
Port Orange: In March of 2023, it was announced that the Golden Corral location in Port Orange was closing its doors to make way for a Miller's Ale House.
Eric Holm, who is the franchise owner for the Port Orange Golden Corral told Volusia Hometown News that sometimes real estate is worth more than restaurants, explaining, in part:
“Different businesses are worth more for real estate than they are for operations. We have a whole lot of other Golden Corrals, but if somebody gave us a great offer, we would certainly consider it."
A New Type Of Restaurant: Golden Corral is currently developing a new expansion restaurant called Homeward Kitchen, which will not be a buffet, but will still offer the comfort foods that some love about Golden Corral.
The author is not affiliated with Golden Corral or any restaurants.