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9 Things You Need to Know About Golden Corral

Ever wonder why Golden Corral is "America's #1 buffet"? It starts with the golden rolls, obviously—but here's the whole story!

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Lancaster, PA - January 15, 2017: Exterior of Golden Corral Buffet and Grill restaurant location. Golden Corral is a chain restaurant that offers an all-you-can-eat buffet at over 500 locations.George Sheldon/Shutterstock

The golden rules

For many people, Golden Corral’s legendary buffet is the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. The family-friendly chain has all the American essentials on its menu, and everything is all-you-can-eat. Golden Corral has spent the last 45 years perfecting its restaurants—here’s a look at the secrets to their success. Plus, learn the secrets restaurant menus use to influence your order.

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Kid girl eating Japanese yakisoba noodlesGOLFX/Shutterstock

They love kids

Monday through Thursday nights, kids eat for cheap. Plus, with all the options, you’re sure to find something for even your pickiest eater. Have a child under 3? They eat for free! Speaking of picky eaters, here are 15 secret weapons for parents of particular kids.

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Kokomo - Circa November 2016: Golden Corral Buffet and Grill. Golden Corral serves many free meals to active duty and military veterans IVJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

They love veterans, too

Golden Corral has given more than 5.1 million free meals to active duty military and veterans and has donated $12.9 million to Disabled American Veterans. They also host a camp called Camp Corral for children of injured, ill and fallen military members. Over the past six years, Golden Corral restaurants have raised over $9 million and sent nearly 18,000 military children to Camp Corral.

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Buffet breakfast set in restaurant close upOlga Sapegina/Shutterstock

There’s a breakfast buffet

On weekends, you definitely need to get to Golden Corral for their breakfast spread, with omelets and cooked-to-order eggs, pancakes and waffles, sausage and bacon, cinnamon rolls and fruit…we could go on, but let’s just say it’s really good. The price is right, too—less than $9. Here are some foolproof ways to navigate a buffet like a boss.

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Kokomo - Circa November 2016: Golden Corral Buffet and Grill. Golden Corral serves many free meals to active duty and military veterans IJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Golden Corral started small

The first Golden Corral was a 175-seat steakhouse in Fayetteville, North Carolina, back in 1973. From these humble beginnings, they’ve grown to roughly 500 locations around the United States. Here’s another famous chain with a surprising start: Auntie Anne’s.

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Salad bar organic foodji_jinn/Shutterstock

The salad bar is out-of-this-world

Diners swear by Golden Corral’s signature salad bar. With tons of different options to create the salad of your dreams, this GC staple alone is worth the trip. Bring on the bacon bits! Need to add more greens to your meals at home? These 35 salad ideas are way more exciting than another Caesar salad for lunch.

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Kokomo - Circa November 2016: Golden Corral Buffet and Grill. Golden Corral serves many free meals to active duty and military veterans IIJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Golden Corral has a smoked menu

In 2017, Golden Corral added its new Smokehouse menu, which includes brisket, baby back ribs, turkey and chicken smoked with hickory wood. All meat is smoked and cooked on-site, and you can douse your feast with a variety of different barbecue sauces. Yum! Check out some more fast food restaurants you had no idea had secret menu items.

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Vibrant Picture of Chocolate Fountain Fontain on childen kids birthday party with a kids playing around and marshmallows and fruits dip dipping into fountainSFROLOV/Shutterstock

Two words: chocolate fountain

Golden Corral doesn’t just stop at classic treats. Their dessert buffet features freshly spun cotton candy, and they also have their Famous Chocolate Fountain—with plenty of treats for dunking. Some locations even have the triple fountain, with chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel, so you can really Willy Wonka out.

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Lancaster, PA - January 15, 2017: Exterior of Golden Corral Buffet and Grill restaurant location. Golden Corral is a chain restaurant that offers an all-you-can-eat buffet at over 500 locations.George Sheldon/Shutterstock

Golden Corral has swag

Are you a ride-or-die Golden Corral fan? Check out these T-shirts on Amazon, and wear your heart on your sleeve. After all, if you’re the Queen of the Golden Corral, people need to know! Learn how your favorite fast food joints got their names.

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in the hands of the girl a box with fresh coffee and a cupcake, takeaway food conceptpolya_olya/Shutterstock

You can get Golden Corral to go

Craving GC but really want to relax at home, too? Get the buffet to go! While they only offer delivery through GrubHub at the Winston-Salem location for now, you can always go into the restaurant and fill up to-go boxes with your favorites. Price is determined by weight when you check out. Next, don’t miss these secrets your fast food worker isn’t telling you.

Originally Published on Taste of Home