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Golden Corral Can Thank Reddit for This Bad PR Buffet [UPDATED]

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Golden Corral Can Thank Reddit for This Bad PR Buffet [UPDATED]
[ Social Media]

Today’s going to be a long day for the public relations team for the Golden Corral restaurant chain. Thanks to some front page prominence on Monday morning’s reddit news cycle, the company is going to have to deal with some pretty disgusting sanitation issues depicted in a few YouTube videos and a series of images posted to the site.

Posted within a few hours of each other, both a set of images depicting the dishwashing stations at a Golden Corral and a YouTube video showing some unsanitary food practices shot the the top of the front page.

The images, posted with the title “Just an average day for a Golden Corral Employee, best working conditions ever,” show a kitchen in disarray – with trash and dishes stacked up everywhere.

“This is how the Golden Corral I worked at was every single day. I feel like more people should see these pics,” says one commenter.

“I used to work at a Golden Corral in Kentucky and I can confirm this. Ours never got quite that bad but it was still pretty nasty,” says another.

Alone, these pictures might have been overlooked. But when combined with these videos that just emerged – well, it’s looking like an all-you-can-eat PR nightmare for Golden Corral. There’s even a new subreddit for tracking all the Golden Corral drama. Yes, r/goldencorral now exists.

YouTube users Ben Jammin actually uploaded these videos earlier this month, but they just found their way to reddit late Sunday night.

“Apparently, what my company likes to do to get ready for inspections, is put their food by the dumpsters,” says the Golden Corral employee in the video.

“I’m an employee here, I’ve been working here for a long time – and I don’t feel that this is right.”

In a followup video, our little Edward Snowden of Golden Corral laments what is happening, expressing concern over the future of his job:

According to the YouTube uploader, the employee in the video made repeated attempts to turn in statements to management.

“It’s been over a week now since this has been brought to corporate attention, I contacted the volusia county health dept…..they dont handle it….they gave me a number and a persons name…..said to ask for them in person……the operator didnt know who i was talkin about and didnt seem to care,” they say.

Golden Corral has yet to respond to any of this on their social media accounts or on their corporate page. But it’ll only be a matter of time, as these images and videos are still holding sway over reddit and are beginning to spread around to other corners of the web.

If they take their cues from other restaurants that have been “exposed” for unsanitary practices by internet investigators or poor social media decisions (think Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King), Golden Corral will probably just fire whoever was involved and issue a public apology. We’ll have to wait and see how this one turns out.

UPDATE 1: Golden Corral is beginning to respond on YouTube in the comments section of the above videos:

“None of these items were served to a single customer. All food items were destroyed within the hour at the direction of management.
1. Brandon Huber, the employee who made this video, participated in the disposal of the food.
2. The following day, the father of the employee, posted an offer to sell the video for $5,000, which was not accepted.
3. The manager involved in the improper storage was terminated for failing to follow approved food handling procedures”

UPDATE 2: They’re also posting comments to Facebook and Twitter now:

[via reddit]

Golden Corral Can Thank Reddit for This Bad PR Buffet [UPDATED]
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  • Kento Dangerous

    “an all-you-can-eat PR nightmare for Golden Corral”

    Bravo.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/astoryincloth CoyoteLovely

    I was horrified by the first video, but after the news of the owners of the video trying to sell the video on e-bay, and the follow up “proof” video… that contained no proof, I’m a little leery. I’m not sure that I think this guy is necessarily a credible source.

    That said, the photos of the kitchen seem legit… I guess we’ll see what happens.

    • John Odijk

      He needed the money to buy pimple medicine.

    • Jacqueline

      Apparently the video was put up on eBay for $5k but with an explanation that it was actually “not for sale”; it seems to have been more of an effort to give the video exposure than an actual attempt to make money off of it.

    • coski

      I find it odd that you’ve been down-voted for just being a skeptic. I, too, had to raise my eyebrow with what this inarticulate, pimply employee was claiming without any real proof. As it turns out he uploaded this video AFTER he disposed of the food that was never served to the public. I think people are just out with their pitchforks, witch-hunting for any whistle-blower after this whole NSA thing.

  • http://www.toomanysteamgames.com Dan

    A bit of an odd way to word the headline. Rather than “Reddit post reveals unsanitary conditions at Golden Corral causing PR nightmare” or “Golden Corral deals with a buffet of bad PR after being outed on Reddit” you instead seem to imply that it’s somehow Reddit’s doing that they are having a bad PR shitstorm? Hmm.

  • PROUDGCMGR

    Every restraunt chain has a bad incident happen every now and then. GC has hundreds of stores dont let a mgr thats more concerned w passing their CSQ ruin your want gor our delicious food. Although this is a bad situation GC holds their mgmt team to very high standards.each mgr goes thtough ten+ wks of extensive out of state training that has alot of food safety in it…..as for the pic of dish area all stores have utility guys for dishes dont jump to conclusions the sanitizer most likely broke which means all dishes wee having to b washed and sanitized in triple sink.

    • UseYourDamnBrain

      I see what you’re attempting to do here, PROUDGCMGR, but your fourth-grade literacy level doesn’t speak so highly of Golden Corral’s hiring standards. Perhaps you should obtain a firmer grasp on the English language before stepping in to defend your heartless corporate daddy.

    • gk

      as a former gm, YOU never have enough labor to do anything concerning sanitation at 2 you clear out your kitchen just 1 cook, lunch dishes still a coming, NO dishwasher til 5, no baker til 5, no salad person til 5, LABOR LEADER REPORT RING A BELL PROUDGC MANAGER, WE GOT OUR ASS HANDED TO US IF WE WENT OVER ON LABOR, OH AND REMEMBER ALL OF THAT WONDERFUL FOOD THEY PUT OUT, IT WAS OFFSET BY LOW LABOR COSTS, YEA THAT PICTURE WAS ME EVERYDAY, EXCEPT ME AND MY KM WOULD HAVE TO CLEAN IT EVERYDAY BECAUSE IT WAS GROSS, OH THATS RIGHT I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE DINING ROOM TALKING TO THE 200 PLUS SENIORS THAT CAME IN AT 2 AND STAYED UNTIL 5 WAITING FOR THE STEAKS, AND WHEN I WENT TO MANAGER MEETINGS AT OTHER STORES I WAS NOT ALONE THE SAME MESS GREETED ME THERE TOO

  • Babalu

    I think all buffet restaurants are nasty, but this takes the cake. So now, Golden Corral has fired the manager, thrown out all the meat, yada, yada, yada. If this restaurant hadn’t been exposed, business would have gone on as usual. No telling how many diners ate tainted food at this restaurant before the tell-all video…yuck!

  • ihaveneverandwillneverconsumefood@goldencorral.com

    The company (franchise model) is predicated on generating bundles of debt structures to concoct, create, manufacture “fatrocious”, god awful pseudo-recipes to sell to American vulgarians, and should be put out of business post haste!

  • iworkforgc

    I work for Golden Corral in Bradenton. I don’t know about the store mentioned, but I do know about our store. We have surprise inspections monthly. We don’t know when they are coming in and once they are there, there is absolutely no time to pull food to the trash. They come through the front door, straight to the kitchen. They check everything from food temps and cleanliness to uniforms and proper procedures. I was noted once for not measuring the proper amount of salt onto broccoli. So, I can’t really believe this place was actually trying to hide food…there is no time for that during an inspection.