Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday – Free Dinner for Veterans

It has become popular over the last few years for restaurants to offer free meals on Veterans Day. But Golden Corral has one of the longest running military appreciation events among national restaurants. This is the 15th consecutive year that Golden Corral has provided a free buffet meal and drink to current military members and veterans. This year, the 14th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday event is scheduled for November 11, 2015, from 5pm to 9pm.

Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday

Veterans and active duty servicemembers can receive a free meal at Golden Corral!

Military Appreciation Monday is offered to anyone who has ever served in the US armed forces. In the past the only requirement to receive the free meal was to inform the restaurant you are a veteran. They usually go on the honor system, and no proof required. That being said – please don’t abuse the system. Claiming you are a veteran just for a free meal is an insult to those who have served our country.

Here is more information about proving your military service:

These forms of ID are usually acceptable for most restaurants or Veterans Day offers. Many other places will accept a membership card from the VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of American, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or another service organization. A photo of your time in the service may also be sufficient proof of service, depending on the location.

Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday Facts

Golden Corral has been a wonderful supporter of the military community – providing millions of free meals to veterans and servicemembers, and contributing millions of dollars to support veteran organizations. Here are a few amazing facts about Golden Corrals’ support:

  • In 2013, Golden Coral provided over 433,500 free meals for veterans and active duty service members. Guests and restaurants combined to contribute over $1,409,000 for the Disabled American Veterans organization. These funds are used to assist disabled veterans.
  • In the 14 years this event has been running, Golden Corral has given veterans and active duty servicemembers over 4.4 million free dinners, and contributed over $10.2 million to the the Disabled American Veterans organization.

I would like to extend my thanks to the folks at Golden Corral for making this possible, and to all Americans who have served – thank you for your service!

For more details, visit Golden Corral’s website.

Visit our Mega-list of Restaurants offering free meals on Veterans Day. for other free meals and deals this Veterans Day!

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Date published: October 23, 2014. Last updated: October 9, 2015.

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Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. J. L. Hickman says

    I’m a Vietnam Veteran, retired after twenty years service, and we will not be visiting our local Golden Corral. Why? Because it’s extremely difficult to find parking and wait through the interminable line. I’d just as soon visit a Dennies where we won’t have to wait 1-2 hours just to be seated, even if we do pay full price for our meals.

    • Dave says

      Comment for J.L. Hickman and others fearing the long wait. Anytime something is offered for free, there will always be long waits, but this offering of appreciation from Golden Corral is more than just a free meal. It’s a time to socialize with other Vets (present and past) in support of this day in which we served for the freedom of this great nation. I suppose if you don’t have the time to wait, then this is your decision or you can wait in the lines and start a conversation in rememberance of the times spent serving your country. you might just meet a new friend to share lifes journey.

    • B says

      They usually have a VA rep there to ensure all benefits are being received and such as well as usually people who know/knew each other are in abundance. So it tends to alleviate the waiting sensation.

    • Andrea Morgan says

      My Vietnam veteran husband loves the long wait in line at Golden Corral for the free yearly dinner. He suffers from PTSD and rarely goes out for entertainment so this a chance for him to socialize with people with whom he has something in common. Usually a waitress comes out to the line with fresh made cookies and drinks for the line. It is just like a party and everyone waiting is very friendly and patient. These people are thrilled to be so appreciated by Golden Corral.

  2. Andrew says

    To the gentleman who complains about the long lines at the veterans appreciation meals…they don’t have to do it yet they spend lots and lots of money to give us vets a meal to show their gratitude for our service to country. You should show alittle more appreciation to the businesses that honor us. I for one feel honored that my service in the Navy did not go unnoticed by these great people and sponsors including the great jobs that the BSA and the GSA do. I am honored and I say thank you to all the sponsoring restaurants.

  3. Sharon Johnson says

    To the gentleman complaining about the long lines and the wait. Enjoy yourself and stay home. We have enjoyed these various offers for several years. We love the lines and the wait. We love the opportunity to meet and visit new people who have shared many of the same experiences that we have. We are very thankful for the business’ that appreciate our vets, what they have done for our country and are willing to show their appreciation in this great way. We feel honored that they are willing to donate their service and money in this way.

  4. Ken says

    If you want free food and don’t mind the wait then you should check it out. It’s a great opportunity to get some free food and hang out with other vets, but for the sake of God… Don’t believe that they are doing this because they care about you. A lot of companies “care” about veterans because it sounds great, looks great, and gives you repeat business from veterans, their families, and all those that support the United States military and the sacrifice they have made. Don’t get me wrong because I’m not trying to say anything rude towards those who have served, but please remember that if people cared as much about veterans as they did about…oh…say.. Cops. Then I’m sure they would have a big day honoring police officers with a free dinner and it would be announced on both the news and radio weeks in advance.

    • dan says

      i would like to say I admire what the police and firemen do but the day is meant to honor veterans not the police and firemen if they want a day I’m sure that nobody would complain about those organization petitioning for their own day at a restaurant. But keep the days separate. No disrespect intended. its our day thank you

  5. Marcia says

    Thank you for remembering and appreciating my husband and all the Vets before, during and after him. I am proud to be a Ret Navy Wife.

  6. says

    Thank you for honoring veterans every year. I learned how to “hurry up and wait” in the Army and many of those waits were in line. At 68, I can still follow orders! It would be great if local golf courses would bring over a golf cart to move veterans and wives with limited mobility from their cars to the front door. I know others waiting in line will make way for our brothers and sisters.

  7. barbarajo99 says

    Thank you so much and God Bless that you are honoring the Veteran’s . My husband served in the Korean War ( The Forgotten War) .. Michael was Airborne 82 than became the 101 st. I Just wish this generation and the last could feel the need to serve their county.

    Because of our Veteran’s who put County First we can enjoy our Blessing’s of a Republic for the People.

    All Our Soldier’s , Women and Men have make it possible by putting County First, Before their Families and Friends to have a future….. Remember the United States is a Young Nation…… God Bless Our Veteran’s THANK YOU :0)

  8. Pamela Wharton says

    This is so messed up. The Veterans Day is for the many men at women that put their lives on the line for this country. It is their day to be “Thanked”. Here I sit looking at all the veterans that came with their families and it is like this country has forgotten them. Every year Golden Corral does this great deed to honored the veterans. Now this year they decided not to do it on veterans day but to do it on the 17th instead and not even the staff can tell me why.

    • says

      Pamela, Golden Corral has traditionally honored veterans on the Monday following Veterans Day – they’ve been doing it for years. One of the main reasons they do this is so Veterans can receive a free meal on two days. Golden Corral also donates millions of dollars to military and veterans charities. Overall, they do a very good job of honoring and supporting the military and veteran community. The good news is there is still time to visit another restaurant if there are any in your area. And of course, you can always visit Golden Corral next Monday. I hope this is helpful.

      Thanks for your service!

  9. John Doe says

    With long lines anywhere I tend to sweat and anxiety kicks in. Those who do not have this issue should enjoy the free meal. I for one tend to get wreck less at a line anywhere.

    OEF 2010 Afghanistan
    John Doe

  10. rose says

    I served my Country at the end of the Vietnam War and was very proud to do it. However I get asked almost in disbelief are you a Veteran which I proceed to show my Veteran card. Is it that hard to accept that women will be there also because they are proud of there fellow Brothers. Please say Thank you Ma’am for your Service as well as Thank you Sir for your Service.

  11. says

    It’s about vets not police (although many police are vets). The military has always been celebrated as defending the entire country and we haven’t really seen negative issues regarding military in the same way we have with increasing police violence. Iow, it’s easier to overwhelmingly support the military than it is for people to provide unwavering police support (given recent police incidents…)

    Semper Fi to all Marines and thanks to all veterans.

  12. Tony Berke says

    As a VietNam vet who tried to attend the thank you meal at my local Easley, SC Golden Coral, let me just say that I believe it would be a great idea if military ID WAS indeed required, as this would shorten the line and clear out the parking lot considerably to allow disabled vets access to this benefit. Do I think a lot of people are abusing this privilege? I don’t know, but would not be surprised, as I’ve run into many people claiming to be be vets who most certainly were not.

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