Friday, January 26, 2007

More New Rules

I find that I must add a few more new rules to the list of Rules of the Buffet. Sadly, I would never have believed that I would have to add something so obvious and disgusting as this first new rule.

RULE 23. Never bring an animal into the buffet.

Now, I am not talking about a service dog.
I had the misfortune to experience someone bringing their new PET HAMSTER into the buffet. Here is how it went. A woman was sitting at a table alone. She was joined by her two daughters, one of whom was carrying a Petco box with holes in it. She put the box DOWN ON THE TABLE and shortly later opened the box to play with the hamster inside. They remained at the table with the animal for over an hour. Then she got up with the box to walk through the dining room and placed it on several more tables to show what was inside. She showed it to an employee who screamed, but the employee did nothing and said nothing to her. An animal in a restaurant (especially a rodent) is a health code violation. I have seen how these restaurants clean their tables and there was nothing that they were going to wash those tables down with that was going to disinfect whatever that animal could be carrying.

A comment was made from a table behind me when they noticed the box, but that they thought that the box was, at least, sealed. I informed them that it wasn't. Many vocal comments were made then by them loud enough for the people with the animal to hear, but these were ignored. With no manager to be found, it crossed my mind to make a call to the Board of Health. Just for the record, this was at an OCB.

I never thought that I would see an animal brought into a restaurant. A buffet restaurant with all of the food out and exposed with this animal being carried around the room is the ultimate.

RULE 24. Never put your hands into a serving tray.

Rule 25. Tell your children not to put their hands into a serving tray - and make sure that they do not!

Believe it or not, in a recent poll of buffet owners they were asked what they most would like and they all answered that they wanted parents to teach their children not put their hands into the serving trays - ignoring the serving spoons and just reaching on in.

This is true of some adults as well.

They would also appreciate it if parents had their children wash their hands before coming up to the serving tables.

RULE 26. Do not carry on a conversation throughout dinner with the people at the tables around you.

People seem to think that dining at a buffet is a community experience. Some think nothing of turning to the people at the next table or tables and starting a conversation that becomes loud enough for the room to hear and goes on for the entire meal. Friendly is one thing - a multi-table discussion?

So for now, four more rules added to the growing list. At some point in the future I am going to write an article about the informality of buffet restaurants - and how that is not such a good thing. Out of that informality some of these rules have sprung!

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