ANDERSON — The coronavirus pandemic has eliminated a popular restaurant chain’s presence in Anderson.
A notice posted on the door at Golden Corral, 6315 S. Scatterfield Road, says the buffet-style restaurant has closed “due to the business impact of COVID-19.”
Earlier this year, as the pandemic took hold in the United States, Golden Corral closed all 35 of its company-owned stores and furloughed nearly 2,300 employees. The buffet chain’s biggest franchisee, the 1069 Restaurant Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, prompting the closure of 33 units in Florida and Georgia.
The pandemic has been difficult for buffet-style restaurants in particular as health-related restrictions have meant the discontinuation of self-serve options like salad bars, buffets and beverage stations in those places.
“It’s a tough year for a lot of folks in the restaurant industry,” said Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department. “We certainly hope 2021 is better. I think the pandemic after it’s said and done, after all the misery, it’s going to have had a very large impact on the way we buy things, goods and services going forward for a long time.”
Winkler said that since the now-vacant Golden Corral building was constructed with a commercial kitchen, he expects another restaurant to move into it fairly quickly, assuming a reasonable lease or purchase agreement can be worked out. The lot is situated just off Interstate 69.
“If (the price) is reasonable, it’ll be picked up pretty quickly,” he said. “When you build a building and put a commercial kitchen in it, you’ve made a significant investment, so it’s hard to imagine the building won’t continue to perform as a restaurant.”