Friday, November 23, 2007

Bringing Out the Rules

Every year it is good to bring out the Rules of the Buffet - remember those - and repeat them. They tend to get buried in our list of articles and they are so important that they need to come out and make an appearance every now and then.

I have no new rules at the moment. So many don't follow these - and most are common sense and courtesy that they should not even need stating and most should know without ever reading them. But alas! Think about your last trip to a buffet and realize how many of these rules were ignored - hopefully, not by you - but by those dining around you.

Well, here are all the rules to date!

1. All you can eat is not a challenge. It is an offer!

2. There is no limit to the number of times that you can go up and get food.

3. Take your food in courses - as you would be served if ordering from a menu.

4.Everyone must pay!

5. No food is permitted to be taken out of the restaurant.

6. Take only what you will eat - do not waste food.

7.For a more social meal, it is polite to wait for the others at the table to finish their plates and then go up together to get more.

8. Take a clean plate every time that you go up to the buffet tables.

9. If you put it on your plate, leave it there. Never return food to the serving tray.

10. Never eat at the buffet tables!

11. Children under 12 should not be going up to the buffet tables alone.

12. The buffet table is not a cafeteria line.

13. Tip the server.

14. Never take a serving piece from one item and use it for another item.

15. Never place your dirty plates on someone else's table.

16. Never use your silverware to serve yourself from the buffet trays.

17. Once you have gotten what you want, don't stand around the buffet tables. Move on back to your table.

18. Children should remain seated through the meal.

19. Do not fill community plates for the "table". Each should take their own plate of what they wish to eat.

20. If you cough or sneeze into your hand, please do not use that hand to pick up the serving utensils.

21. In th buffet, as in any restaurant, children (and adults) should use their inside voices.

22. Don't talk on your cell phone while you are getting your food at the buffet tables.

23. Never bring an animal into the buffet.

24. Never put your hands into a serving tray.

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

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

There they are! Everyone is based on actual events. It is sad to even have to list some of these - but these are not isolated events. They happen over and over again.

Feel free to print them out and hand them around the next time you are in a buffet. If you are a buffet owner or manager - post them!


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David in Gary Indiana said...

I will have to disagree on rule #7 about going back to the buffet together. At every buffet I've been to (chain & independent), most servers I've encounter are too quick to want to clean off the table, even if it's reserved. I'm told that they're to never trust the reserve tickets on the table, as most people refuse to flip them over. In one case, my reserved table was cleaned off, and the server seated the next group. I got the manager, but the manager allowed the next group to sit at the table I was supposed to be seated at. So from now on, at least 1 person in my group is made to stay at the table in order to keep the table reserved. You may think at everybody should leave together, but if you want your table to stay with your group, then at least 1 person needs to stay, or you may get a server that is hasty at cleaning off your table, and the manager may condone it. It's happened to me at the Hobart/Merrillville Indiana OBC & Schererville Indiana Golden Corral (with this Golden Corral being the overall worst at everything).

#13: I only tip the server if I get good service. If service is that bad, then I won't leave anything, and I've been known to leave notes as to why I didn't leave a tip, so it gives the servers an idea what he/she needs to do to improve next time. If a server is having a bad day, and I see it, but makes an effort to provide good service, then I'll tip more than the $10-15%.

#22: that one is too common, finding people on their cellphones while getting their food. If a person has a bluetooth headset, then ok (still inappropriate), but holding that germy phone while getting food is gross.

#23 about bringing in an animal may seem inappropriate, but if a person has a medical reason for having that animal (usually a guide dog), then a restaurant can't refuse that person. I know at the Highland Indiana OBC, a lady goes there every weekend for breakfast with her dog, and her friends & family. I know the woman can see; so I'm not sure why she has the dog.

Robert A said...

Your right about servers being too quick to clear away the table and reset it for another guest - even with a reserved sign still showing, but we still try to go up together. It makes for a much pleasanter meal to be eating "together". When our table has been wrongly cleared we make quite a fuss with the server and make sure that our table is reset for US again.

As to the animals in the buffet - this is not referring to a seeing eye dog or medical dog. The animal that prompted this rule was a HAMSTER - and it was being let out of a cardboard box to walk on that table!