My Golden Corral Experience

I just finished spending three days with the Golden Corral restaurant group in San Antonio. They are a force to be reckoned with. I gave a keynote speech on leadership, managment and service excellence. Everything I said to them I had already heard in their sessions leading up to my talk. I just said it in a different way.

They display the three things that are vital for success which are:

Skill…..They know the business and how to execute it.

Attitude….They all have a can do attitude and work very hard to achieve excellence in a very tough business.

Passion….One after another I heard them talk about how much they love what they are doing.

I had a  good lesson on the importance of these three traits from from Carol Quinn who has a company called  Hire Authority. Her website is: She really is an expert on how to identify high performers and high potential performers in a one hour structured interview. I took her online couse last week and found it fascinating and very educational. For anyone interested in hiring high performers consistently you can contact Carol at: One of Carol’s large accounts and biggest fan is a company in the top 10 Fortune 100.

Another person that has created a very effective  profiling  and interviewing system for hiring top performers is Venita Steinbauer. She is a former Gallup associate. She does work with Golden Corral with an on-line system. Her company is KeneXa. Her website is: Her email is: I heard from several Golden Corral leaders how her system has helped them hire the right people and decreased turnover dramatically.

I go to Golden Corral’s in Orlando from time to time to have the selection of vegetables, salad bar and a few other things. If you can not find something you like to eat at Golden Corral then you have a serious problem.

They have quite a selection….In fact it is a terrific selection. Today I visited their store in San Antonio which is  a new design. Everything was very good  from Amber Lee the cashier to Gloria my server. The best part was that the food was very fresh and attractive. The hot food was hot and the cold food was cold. The desserts looked wonderful but I skipped that so I could stay awake the rest of the day. The whole place was very clean and the very best part was that the food tasted great. The managers Kim, Kevin and Chris were very visible and making corrections as they spotted something that was not right. I noticed one cook that had a dirty apron which was visible to the guests. It was not 30 seconds until I witnessed Kim tell the cook to go put on a clean apron….That is attention to detail.

Golden Corral like Walt Disney World is doing a great job because of the way they work. At Walt Disney World it is not magic that makes it work, it is the way we work….It is the same for Golden Corral.

Golden Corral is Creating Magic one guest at a time and one recipe at a time with homemade food made from scratch. Very few restaurants do that anymore. They have 500 restaurants and are getting ready to grow even larger, but it is now how big there are that matter, it is how good they are…..Have a magical week everyone…..Lee

1 Comment
  1. Lee, in the quest for excellence, so many companies do not realize that it is attention to detail that propels them into a higher level. As I speak to groups all over the world, I am consistently asked what the “secrets” are of such companies as you describe with Golden Corral. Quite simply, I address the fact as you do that the details do not happen on their own. Once they turn their focus to every facet of their operation, they move the bar from good to great. Thank you for sharing, Lee!!

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