CHILLICOTHE – If you like buffet style dinners you are in luck local Golden Corral is reopening.
In March of 2020, a majority of the Golden Corral restaurants in the US were closed due to social distancing orders and stay-at-home orders. The local Chillicothe Golden Corral was closed and waited for months before announcing a full closure.
Golden Coral attempted to change the buffet style eatery to a more serve food style due to COVID-19 restrictions. The 483-unit chain has been the largest buffet concept in the U.S. for years and has been enjoying modest growth even as its competitors have struggled. When pandemic hit it shifted to a take out only and shut down 35 stores furloughing 2,290 employees.
In February Governor Dewine announcing a reopening of self serve restaurants with restrictions.
Golden Corral a nationwide buffet-style food restaurant filed for bankruptcy in October reporting debt of $49.7 million in their court filings, a downfall attributed to restaurant closures and a drop in sales during the pandemic.
The sign at the location in Chillicothe (1660 North Bridge Street) even had the building up for sale or lease for months.
This amended order, reopens self-service food stations in restaurants, bars, banquet and catering facilities, and services, as long as the following conditions are met:
- Customers must wear facial coverings while using self-service food stations or in line for self-service food stations. Those unable to wear a facial covering must be served by an employee.
- Buffet tables/salad bars must be spaced a minimum of 6 feet away from customer seating/tables, and lines must not extend into seating areas.
- Customer flow at buffet tables/salad bars must move in one direction with a beginning point and ending point, and customers must maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing while in line. Directional signage must be posted indicating where the customer line begins.
- Hand sanitizer must be placed at self-serve food stations, including at the front of the line and end of the line of buffet tables/salad bars, and used by customers prior to, and after, serving themselves.
- At least 6 feet of social distancing must be maintained between seated customers and customers in line for a buffet/salad bar and monitored by employees.
- Serving utensils must be replaced or cleaned and sanitized at least hourly. It is recommended that customers use disposable napkins, tissues, wax paper, etc., when handling serving utensils, and operators of self-service food stations are encouraged to make them available. A trash receptacle should be conveniently located.
- Use of individually packaged condiments is recommended instead of shared or bulk condiment dispensers.
- Commonly touched surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized frequently.
- While in operation, self-serve areas must be continually monitored by staff who are trained in food safety, including monitoring customer hand sanitizing practices at the self-service food station.
- Food must be protected from contamination, including sneeze guards on self-serve equipment.
- Signage must be placed at self-service food stations requiring customers to use hand sanitizer before and after serving themselves, and to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing while in line. The signage should recommend that customers use disposable napkins, tissues, wax paper, etc., when handling serving utensils.
- A sample sign is available on Ohio’s coronavirus website at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/Posters-and-Signs (food service operations and retail food establishments may choose to develop their own signage).
The order goes into effect on February 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.