Golden Corral Franchise
Published July 12, 2017

Case Study: Golden Corral’s Golden Ticket

How They More Than Doubled Franchisee Survey Participation 

CHALLENGE: Survey participation was low and lacked support from franchisees and senior management.

Since opening its first restaurant in 1973, iconic brand Golden Corral has embraced a guest-focused culture. Now, as a franchise with over 480 restaurants, a key part of their core values is to better serve the needs of their guests while also working hard to ensure their operators have a voice.

Attempts to survey franchisees to gather feedback, however, were met with a lackluster response and franchisees were reluctant to share their opinions.

“Franchisees were generally reticent to provide honest feedback and as a result, the attitude of senior management was somewhere between, ‘It can’t hurt’ and ‘Why are we doing this?’ Not surprisingly, we gave up.”

Bob McDevitt, Golden Corral’s Senior Vice President of Franchise Development, knew that it was imperative for franchisees to be heard. Golden Corral needed a way to overcome franchisees’ skepticism, and partnered with Franchise Business Review to conduct an independent survey.

Putting Values into Practice

Previous Golden Corral surveys typically had a response rate around 30%. The survey conducted by Franchise Business Review resulted in a 71% response rate.

“Every franchise organization, no matter how large, needs to keep its ear to the ground. The FBR survey is a good addition to the arsenal of tools to do that. Having their research in hand has helped us adjust our thinking.”  

By partnering with FBR, Golden Corral was able to live up to it’s commitment to hearing and addressing their restaurant operators’ perspectives. Management was able to get an honest, non-emotional assessment of how franchisees view management and where they feel more attention is needed. They shared the results with franchisees and are prioritizing issues and making adjustments–with input from franchisees–on an ongoing basis.


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