(The Triangle Trend) — Home to a diverse assortment of all-you-can-eat buffets, Raleigh is a great city for anyone with a big appetite. Our buffets are beloved and variant, though not immune to the effects of COVID-19.
Plenty of consumers have avoided buffets ever since March 2020, when lockdown first went into full force, but that doesn’t mean curiosity wasn’t peaked as to how our favorite buffets were going to make it through the pandemic.
While the situation may differ with each restaurant, Golden Corral is Raleigh’s most popular buffet and can offer some insight as to what to expect at other locations.
Here’s what you should know about returning to Golden Corral during NC’s phase 3, and likely for a good bit of time to come. Although the impact on Golden Corral during this pandemic is not yet definite, CBS reported in May 2020 that they would be permanently closing two of their North Carolina locations, including the one on Glenwood Avenue. The second location is in Henderson. Both have since closed, but there’s fortunately been no further public talk about the closure of other local locations.
Golden Corral Buffet & Grill
Dine-in, curbside pickup, and delivery are offered at both locations. Delivery is available through Doordash, Uber Eats, and Grub Hub. They promise that you’ll have your homestyle meal delivered hot and fresh. You can skip the line and dining room area by ordering to-go. It’s delicious, easy, and perfect for when you’re in a pinch.
If you’re seeking that classic buffet experience, Golden Corral’s got you covered. You’re free to dine inside and walk around the food area to stuff your plates with homestyle favorites. Of course, diners are advised to wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times other than when eating.
Golden Corral hasn’t cut down on their menu either. They still offer a satisfying Dinner Buffet menu every Monday – Saturday after 4PM and Sunday after 11AM. A delicious Lunch Buffet menu is served Monday – Saturday until 2PM. Their beloved Breakfast Buffet menu, consisting of omelets, bakery goods, hotcakes, hash browns, and other southern favorites, is served on the same schedule as their Lunch Buffet.
What they’re asking of you:
- Please don’t enter if you are sick, have a cough, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches, or fever
- Accompany children under 12 at all times during your visit
- And, as mentioned earlier, wear a mask while walking around and stay 6 feet away from others
What they’re doing to ensure your health & safety during your visit:
- Daily temperature checks for all employees
- Utilizing floor markers throughout their facility to ensure proper social distancing
- Reduced tables from dining rooms to ensure proper social distancing
- Cleaning/disinfecting all guest touchpoints frequently
- Reinforcing stringent hand-washing practices, requiring team members to wash their hands a minimum of every 20 minutes, or between tasks
- Providing additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the restaurant
- Diligently following all cleaning procedures, using approved sanitizing products
- Sanitizing and disinfecting all dining areas between each use
- Requiring masks and gloves be worn by all employees at all restaurants
Their three Buffet Services:
“No touch” buffet service: Changing all serving utensils frequently and supplying napkins for handling utensils
“We serve you” buffet service: Eliminates the need for guests to touch serving utensils. Staff serves all your favorites to your table for an all-you-can-eat experience.
Check their page here for a list of all open locations.
According to diner Charlie F., “Golden Corral now operates in a cafeteria format…first change you will notice is the beverage area is no longer self-serve. As you go towards the food area, you will notice that you are guided through roped off areas to enter the line at one end, where you will be asked if you are dining in or doing take out. An employee will follow you through the entire line and plate whatever items you choose. Your server will bring the beverages and a roll to the table….There were fewer salad options.”