James H. Maynard – HALL OF FAME AWARD WINNER
James H. Maynard is a majority shareholder of Investors Management Corp., the corporate parent of the Golden Corral Restaurant chain. IMC has owned Golden Corral since its inception. There are 482 Golden Corral restaurants, employing more than 32,000 people, operating in 40 states. Representing more than $1.3 billion in revenue, these 381 restaurants are franchise-owned and operated.
Maynard began his business career in the 1960s as a salesman with Burroughs Corp., a worldwide business-machines company. In 1971, he left the corporate environment to become an entrepreneur.
In 1973, Maynard opened his first restaurant, which was profitable enough to allow him to quickly open two others. In spite of a market already saturated with established steakhouse chains, Golden Corral Corp. opened 100 restaurants in its first six years. Within 15 years, it had more than 500 restaurants. The most important reason for Golden Corral’s early success in such a competitive environment and with so little capital was its unit-level management system. The operating partner would receive a check for 20 percent of the restaurant’s previous month’s profit – a powerful incentive.
Maynard has always approached business relationships as partnerships, believing strongly that for a partnership to succeed, each party must honor its commitments and work diligently to achieve the common goal. He believes franchising is a partnership in which the franchisor must provide significant support to franchisees, the franchisees must strive to work within a concept and a system and both parties must work together to continuously improve the customer’s experience.
Maynard established several scholarship programs at East Carolina University and other universities that have provided more than 200 individual scholarships. In 1980, he was selected as the East Carolina University Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. He also served as a university trustee (1980 to 1989).
The hospitality industry has awarded Maynard its highest honors. He served as a National Restaurant Association director for nine years and is currently an honorary director. He is a former director and president of the N.C. Restaurant Association, and has been recognized as a N.C. Restaurateur of the Year in the 1980s. Maynard received the Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2007 Pioneer Award, the highest recognition given during the annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference. He is also a recipient of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s Silver Plate Award.
Maynard has chaired numerous community and civic organizations in the city of Raleigh and North Carolina. He has been inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame. In 2003, Gov. Mike Easley awarded Maynard the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian service honor granted to an N. C. citizen. He also served as a director of BB&T Corp., one of the nation’s largest banks, from 1984 to 2010.