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Golden Corral restaurant in Waynesboro scheduled to reopen

November 20, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The recently closed Golden Corral restaurant on Pa. 16 next to the Wayne Heights Mall will reopen in December under the direction of Jeff Donald, the restaurant's former longtime owner.

On Nov. 3, the restaurant closed its doors to "reorganize," apologizing to the community and its employees in signs posted on the front windows. The signs blamed the unstable economy, the rise of food costs and the financial meltdown of the banking industry as reasons for the closure.

Donald said he was stunned by the news that after 25 years, the Waynesboro Golden Corral was closing. A few months earlier, he ended his 19-year career as owner and sold the franchise to Blue Ridge Corral LLC and its president, Christopher Connolly.

"I was shocked liked everyone else," he said. "I knew within about two or three days that I could reopen it, so I reassumed the business."

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Donald said officials at Golden Corral's corporate office in Raleigh, N.C., called him after learning of Connolly's announcement and asked him to step in and save the franchise.

While businesses across the region continue to make critical cuts, Donald said he does not anticipate the current economic crisis will affect the restaurant once it reopens.

"We are a value-type restaurant that offers great food at a great price," he said. "I don't foresee any problems because people have to eat."

Donald said Thursday that he is taking advantage of the closed doors to do some necessary remodeling to enhance the business with some updated facilities and additional menu choices.

He hopes to have the restaurant back open by Dec. 6.

The restaurant still will feature its signature buffet and steak options, but Donald said he plans to complete the experience for diners by adding a new carving station.

Attempts to reach Golden Corral corporate offices were unsuccessful.

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