Golden Corral Hiring Overview For 2023

Founded 1973

Type Public

Headquarters Raleigh, NC

Size Large Corporation

Industry Restaurant

Are you looking for a way to put your food service experience to work for you? Join us as we take a look at America’s #1 Buffet and answer the question: Does Golden Corral hire felons?

When you hear the word “buffet,” what restaurant comes to mind? For many of us, our minds immediately go to the Golden Corral. In fact, Golden Corral has around 500 locations in 42 states. This means there’s a good chance they have a restaurant near you!

Today, we want to help you figure out how to get a job at Golden Corral with a felony. In this article, we’ll answer questions like:

  • Does Golden Corral hire people with misdemeanors?
  • How can I improve my odds of getting hired at Golden Corral?
  • Does Golden Corral do background checks?
  • Will my felony keep me from getting a job here?

At Relaunch Pad, we know that finding a job as a former felon is hard work. To help ease the load, we’ve done a ton of research on how to get a job at Golden Corral with a felony. Our team is made up of former felons and people who have been actively involved with reentry programs for years, so you know we know our stuff.

Part of that research means reaching out to companies and asking them the real questions. We contacted Golden Corral directly to find out if they hire former felons, as we have with more than 1,000 businesses across the States. We find out from the company itself and then we look online to see what others have to say.

Here’s what we know about how to get hired at Golden Corral with a felony record.

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Does Golden Corral hire felons?

Confirmed felon employer

a Golden Corral restaurant

Official Golden Corral policy for hiring felons

When we asked Golden Corral about their policy for hiring former felons, they sent us this response:

“Please have your individuals submit an application for employment at We operate both company-owned and franchise-operated restaurants in 42 states. The applicant may note their type of felony conviction for consideration on the application and may further discuss during the interview process.”

This response is great in that it encourages anyone who’s interested in working for Golden Corral to submit an application. They also encourage you to be honest about your past on your application and during the interview.

Has Golden Corral hired felons in the past?

As you can see, their official policy doesn’t confirm that they hire former offenders. However, we know from other sources that some locations have hired people with criminal records in the past. This is great news for you, as it means the company is not completely opposed to hiring former felons.

You may find it’s easier to get a job at Golden Corral with a felony at a franchise location.

Franchises are often locally owned, which may make the manager more open to giving you a chance.

Does Golden Corral hire people with misdemeanors?

We believe there’s a high likelihood some Golden Corral locations are willing to hire people with misdemeanors. There are a couple of reasons we believe this:

  1.    We know some locations have been willing to hire former felons.
  2.    Misdemeanors are usually less severe than felonies.

With that in mind, you should definitely consider applying here, even if you have a misdemeanor on your record.

Will Golden Corral hire you with pending charges?

Some locations would have no issue with this after they’d cleared you for the position you applied for.


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What are the chances of Golden Corral hiring a felon?

Is Golden Corral on the Ban the Box list?

Unfortunately, Golden Corral is not on the list.

The Ban the Box Campaign is an effort to remove questions about criminal history from employment applications. In a similar effort (the Fair Chance Business Pledge), companies pledge to give all applicants a fair chance at employment. The goal of these movements is to make sure a person’s criminal history isn’t a deciding factor in the hiring process, unless the offense is related to the line of work they’re applying for.

While they may not be on these lists, we know some locations have hired felons. So there are definitely Golden Corral restaurant managers who are willing to give people a second chance.

Does Golden Corral have special programs for hiring felons?

We were not able to find any information about a felon-oriented training program at Golden Corral. This doesn’t mean they won’t hire and train former felons. It simply means they don’t have a program in place with that specific purpose.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

Average likelihood of hiring felons

After careful consideration, we would say your odds of getting hired at Golden Corral with a felony are average. We know that some locations have been open to hiring former felons in the past. That doesn’t mean they will hire everyone with a record who applies. However, it means you’re more likely to get a fair chance with Golden Corral than with some other companies.

How to get hired at Golden Corral

What are some entry-level jobs?

Entry-level jobs at many Golden Corral locations seem to fall under one title: Restaurant Hourly Team Member. If hired for that position, you could be trained/cross-trained for any of these roles:

  •         Baker
  •         Buffet Attendant
  •         Busser
  •         Caterer
  •         Guest Experience Attendant
  •         Grill, Fry, and Hot Cook
  •         Line
  •         Local Store Marketing Coordinator
  •         Host/Cashier
  •         Prep Person
  •         ProStart Intern
  •         Meat Cutter
  •         Utility Person
  •         Server

As you can see, once you get your foot in the door, there are a variety of possible positions. Keep in mind that these jobs are fast-paced. If you’re a server during the dinner shift, you’ll be on your feet and on-the-go your entire shift. Working in the kitchen or on the line will also be extremely busy and demand great attention to detail. You’ll need to be detail-oriented and have great customer service skills if you become a cashier.

Tips to get hired here with a felony

What can you do to increase your chances of getting hired here?

Start by putting together a great resume.


  • Make sure your resume highlights any work experience you have that’s related to the position you’re applying for.
  • Include references on your resume who will verify that you’re respectful, reliable and hard-working.
  • Use the Golden Corral Careers Page to search for jobs near you.
  • When you apply, read the job description carefully. If they mention specific skills required for a position, be sure to highlight the ones you have in your application.
  • Be sure to stress your availability. If they’re hiring for all shifts, let them know that you’re available whenever they need you.
  • Pay careful attention to details like spelling and grammar when filling out the application. Ask for help from a friend or family member if you need to.
  • When you’re sure you’ve included all of the information they need, submit your app.


  • Be sure to show up on time (or early) for your interview.
  • Wear nice clothes to your interview. (Khaki pants and a polo shirt would probably be a good choice for guys. Ladies will probably want to wear a nice blouse and slacks).
  • Watch your language while you’re in the interview. Make sure you avoid using any prison slang.
  • Make a great first impression and tell them why you would be an awesome addition to their team.
  • Mention skills like: cooking, cleaning, dish washing, customer service, attention to detail, following directions and being a team player.
  • Ask them some questions about how they got started working there and what they enjoy most about their job. Show genuine interest in them, and they’ll take more of an interest in you.
  • Answer their questions honestly. (Even the tough ones about your background).
  • Stay positive. Always emphasize how you’ve grown and changed as a person since your offense.
  • Offer to give them additional references if they want them.
  • Be confident! You can do this job and you will be an asset to their team. Don’t leave the interview without making this clear to them.
  • After a couple of days, feel free to call back and speak to the person who interviewed you to ask if they’ve made a decision.

Does Golden Corral do background checks?

We weren’t able to find a clear statement that says they do. Their statement encourages applicants to be honest about their past. So, your best bet is to assume they will do a background check to confirm what you discuss during your interview.

Here’s some helpful information about background checks:

First, there are several states that don’t consider information more than seven years old. So, depending on when your offense occurred, it may not even come up in a background check in these states:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require a more thorough background check).

Second, there are some states that won’t consider cases where you were found not guilty. Here are the states that fall into this category:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Third, there a lot of states where your background check will reveal your entire record. This includes cases where you were found not guilty. Here’s the list of those states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Keep in mind that a background check may tell a company about what you’ve done, but only you can show them who you really are.

Golden Corral ratings

We went online to to see what current and former employees had to say about working for Golden Corral. Overall, the reviews seemed pretty positive (3.1 out of 5 stars). Over half (54%) of those who left reviews said they would recommend the company to a friend.

Here are a couple of positive comments which appear many times in the hundreds of reviews posted on the site:

  • “Decent money, good hours, free food”
  • “Management is easy to work alongside of”

While no company is a perfect fit for everyone, it’s always good to see companies with mostly positive reviews.

What felonies Golden Corral will not hire

The company didn’t list out a bunch of charges that would stop you from getting the job before you could even explain the day.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

Does Golden Corral hire felons? It certainly looks that way. However, there are some offenses which might make it harder to get hired. Here are some examples:

  • Theft, for those who are wanting a cashier position. (Since you would be handling cash.)
  • Sex offenses, for those who are interested in a catering position. (Since you could be asked to cater events at locations you may be restricted from.)
  • Violent offenses, for those looking at a server position. (Since you would be interacting with the public a lot and possibly dealing with irritated customers.)

Does Golden Corral hire sex offenders?

There are no records for this, so it’s something we can’t weigh in on. If you know firsthand, please share below!

Does Golden Corral drug test?

We had trouble finding a clear answer to this question. It’s possible each location is able to make its own decision regarding drug testing. We always recommend proceeding as though they will drug test, that way you won’t be surprised if they do.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

Do you have stories to share about Golden Corral? We want to hear from you!

Do you have any questions we didn’t answer above? Feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Did the information in this article help you get a job at Golden Corral with a felony? We want to know that, too!

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