By Howard Spence
LANSING, MI -- Delta Township is fast becoming known for its expansion of restaurants and fast food venues. This boost in the number of restaurants in Delta Township is providing residents and foodies throughout the area with a wide variety of different eating options.
In recent years, a number of new and different types of eateries have opened in Delta including Rally's, the Hibachi Buffet, Chick-fil-A, LongHorn Steakhouse and Nola Bistro. The new eateries supplement long-standing restaurant favorites in the area, including the World Buffet, Applebee's, Logan’s Roadhouse, Cheddar’s, Finley's and the Outback Steakhouse.
Another exciting and much anticipated addition, Golden Corral restaurant is slated to open soon. The restaurant is an American family-style steakhouse that features an all-you can-eat buffet and grill offerings. They will be serving breakfast lunch and dinner.
Golden Corral is located at 730 Elmwood Road near the intersection with W. Saginaw Highway where the former Fire Mountain Grill was.
Ever since Fire Mountain Grill abruptly closed last year, there has not been an American family-style steakhouse buffet in the area and many residents have sorely missed this option for eating out. In fact, some Lansing area residents have been regularly driving to Grand Rapids, Flint, and Battle Creek for opportunities to enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet serving numerous hot and cold American style food.
The management team at Golden Corral is Kay Dalton, General Manager; Don Godin, Kitchen Manager, and Al Secepanski, Hospitality Manager. The restaurant had been scheduled to open in February, but some additional upgrades needed to be made.
Significant improvements have been made to the building, including new furnishings and equipment. The menu is also expanded beyond what had been offered by Fire Mountain Grill. The managers of this Golden Corral are anxious to open their doors to the public.
"We want our guests to feel as though they are in a great restaurant environment, not in a cafeteria, when they walk in the door and sit down ready to eat - we want them to feel at home," said Ms. Dalton. "One of the things which we hope to bring to our restaurant to distinguish it from other buffet and fast food eateries is an atmosphere were they will not feel rushed, but can sit down and enjoy the company of their friends and other guests over a well prepared meal which provides them with many different food alternatives. We want our restaurant to be clean, and the food which is prepared to be attractive and tasty."
Golden Corral is expected to employ a total of approximately 150 employees. Although they work with their employees to accommodate their own scheduling needs, Dalton indicated that the great majority of the employees would be full-time permanent employees.
"We had interviewed and made job offers to approximately 150 people during January and February," said Mr. Godin. “We believe we found some really good potential employees to work in our restaurant. However, with the delays in getting approvals to the changes made in the building structure and equipment, we may have lost some of those employees to other employers. We are continuing to look for good employees who can help us establish the Golden Corral brand here in Lansing in a positive way with our customers."
Ms. Dalton remarked that during her prior employment as a training officer for McDonald's and other eateries in Florida and Georgia, she had been an active supporter of community organizations. She remarked that not only was community involvement important and a good marketing strategy, but it also provided a much-needed opportunity for businesses such as the one she now manages for Golden Corral to be good civic partners.
Ms. Dalton indicated that given the lack of similar full-scale American food buffets in the Tri-County area, she expected that the new Golden Corral would bring in customers from as far away as Okemos and Charlotte.
"Even with the delays in getting all of the final inspection approvals to date, we are looking forward to opening our restaurant to the public before the middle of March," said Ms. Dalton. "We want to provide a missing answer to what has been a desired solution to a significant part of the restaurant consumer marketplace here in the greater Lansing for some time. We are optimistic that we can provide American buffet food services that will be pleasing to the public on a consistent basis."