Eric Holm has been in the restaurant industry for over 30 years and has substantial experience in restaurant operations, marketing, and development. In 1996 Holm joined Metro Corral Partners to develop Golden Corrals in central Florida and is currently operating 32 restaurants. Average unit volumes in 2016 for Holm’s restaurants exceeded $4.8 million, surpassing the system-wide average $3.4 million. Holm Restaurants ranks in the top 50 largest franchised restaurant group in the United States. He has received numerous awards, including being selected Franchisee of the Year by Golden Corral nine times. On a national industry-wide level, Holm was named 2006 Franchisee Entrepreneur of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News.
Tell us about your experience
“My first restaurant experience was when I was fifteen years old. I was hired as a bus boy, and my mom was a waitress. I looked around and saw what was going on around the restaurant, and I thought to myself, ‘Self, I could probably do this.’ I thought this could be a good place for a career in the restaurant industry. That’s how I got my start.
“I’ve been operating Golden Corrals since 1996. I currently operate 32 Golden Corrals—that’s the most in the system. In 1996, I had an opportunity to take over four Golden Corrals in Orlando, Florida. So, we got them, followed the manuals, the procedures, and the business took off. The very next year, I was Franchisee of the Year.”
What have you gained from owning a Golden Corral Franchise?
“The nicest thing about Golden Corral is that it has provided me with an opportunity to provide others with opportunity. I know what’s it’s like to be in their position, because I’ve been there plenty of times. I’m who I am because of the way I grew up. My humble beginnings helped form me. But the success that I’ve had has not changed me over a period of forty years.”
“Owning Golden Corrals also has afforded me the opportunity to donate millions of dollars back into the communities in which we serve. In 1992 we founded ‘Helpings from the Heart’ as a way to give back to the community and to thank The Salvation Army, which provided a Thanksgiving meal to my family when I was a child and we were struggling. Over the past 25 years Helpings from the Heart has helped serve up more than 25,000 free Thanksgiving meals at the Orlando Salvation Army. We’re really proud of that.”
Why should someone choose Golden Corral?
“As a brand, Golden Corral has amazing systems and formulas. If you follow them, you have a high likelihood of being a success. Golden Corral changed my life. It’s afforded me and my family things that we never dreamt of before. We have a lifestyle that is unique and that we enjoy very much.”
“Our thirty-third Golden Corral will be the Gateway design. We’re very excited about that. It has a unique dinner house feel to it—on the exterior and the interior. I take a lot of pride in being a Golden Corral franchisee. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m the same old guy—just a country boy that did good.”