When it comes to Golden Corral, there are few bigger fans than I.
How big? Just look at this belly. Tofu didnt do that, son.
Heres another example of how beloved the buffet restaurant is to me: One morning a few years ago, I drove to four different Golden Corrals in the rain and more than 40 miles vainly trying to find one serving breakfast so I could commit unnatural acts with grits, bacon and that gooey cheese stuff.
You know how junkies say they have a monkey on their backs?
It was then that I knew I had a pot roast on mine.
As a dues-paying member of Golden Boys Anonymous, it pains me to ask, Does Golden Corral hate us?
Dont look at me like that. How else to explain the recent addition to its menu of two items that some claim will only exacerbate the growing problem of growing bellies and butts in our country?
I speak, of course, of the Chocolate Wonderfall and cotton candy.
Cotton candy? Man, I love that stuff, but its something you eat once a year, at the State Fair and even then you feel guilty because you know your body is calling you dirty names with each bite.
A spoonful of sugar
Not so fast there, said Bob McDevitt, senior vice president of franchises for Golden Corral. McDevitt insisted the company has nothing but love for its customers and that neither addition is as bad as some claim.
It takes about a teaspoon of sugar to make a serving of cotton candy, he said. Its a low-calorie, low-fat dessert. Same with the Chocolate Wonderfall. Both are about 50 calories per serving. Weve found that the vast majority of people put a fresh strawberry in the chocolate fountain, or some other fresh fruit.
Weve been very, very well-pleased with the way our customers have responded to the two new items, he said, although he acknowledged that occasionally we do hear complaints from people asking, How can you do that with all the problems people are having with obesity and health-related issues?
Our answer is, Thats what customers want, he said.
Golden Corral, based in the Triangle, has no moral or corporate responsibility to ensure that gluttons who, me? dont O.D. on ribs, pork chops or anything else. Since its obvious, though, that many of us dont have the discipline to rein in our appetites when confronted with an endless array of food for around $10, somebody had better do it.
Okay, hold up a stubby, grease-stained hand if you, as have I, have ever gone into GC vowing that you would make only two visits, max, to the hot bar? Or, better yet, how many of you have convinced yourselves that you were only going to eat salads only to stuff yourselves on pot roast and mashed taters?
So, does that mean that I am asking Golden Corral to save us from ourselves?
Look, as someone who has piloted two small businesses straight into the ground, Im the last one to whom GC executives would turn for business advice, but here goes anyway: Since they arent likely to limit the number of visits we can make to the Chocolate Wonderful or the cotton candy machine, perhaps they could affix an excise tax to those and other less-healthy selections, the same way the government has to cigarettes.
A study by the Campaign for Smoke-free Kids purports to show that the percentage of young smokers decreases by 7 percent with each 10 percent hike in taxes.
Would a similar tax on, say, sweet potato casserole, lead to a similar decrease?
Barring an excise tax, never popular, how about an exercise tax? Thats right: Anyone making multiple visits to the dessert rack would have to do 25 jumping jacks or 15 sit-ups before being served.
Saunders: 919-836-2811 or email@example.com