Friday, March 21, 2008

The Sad Need for Another New Rule

Ah, the rules. If you have read this site you know about the rules. The Rules of Buffet Dining. So far we have had 26 of them. Look out because here comes 27!

This rule is very necessary. I have witnessed the need for this rule and one of our readers, Brett - our friend from Erie, PA, also witnessed the need for this rule and shared what he saw with me.

Rule #27 is a two part rule. I will state the rule and then go into the sightings that have led to it.

#27 - Do not put anything back into a serving tray that has dropped onto the serving counter - and never put anything back into a serving tray (whether from the counter or your dish) with your fingers.

Now, we already have Rule #9 that says, "If you put it on your plate, leave it there. Never return food to the serving tray." And we have Rule #24 that says, "Never put your hands into a serving tray. " With these clearly stated, would you not feel that picking food up from the counter with your fingers and dropping it back into the middle of the serving tray is a "No, NO!" Evidently not. Of course, perhaps we are preaching to the choir and all of you experienced and considerate buffet goers would never do this - but there is an awful lot of people out that who have not read the rules - and would not care if they did.

I witnessed a child do it. Brett witnessed an adult. I saw a child take a shrimp that had dropped from his plate onto the counter, pick it up and then drop it into the serving tray. Brett told me that he saw an adult woman do the same thing with macaroni and cheese. Some mac and cheese spilled onto the counter and the woman picked it up with her hands and plopped it back into the serving tray. In this instance, the staff saw this and sprung into action, pulling that tray and immediately replacing it with a fresh one. (Again, the wonderful Erie, PA OCB)

Yuck! So now we have Rule 27. I hate to think what Rule 28 might be!

Just in case you don't know Rules 1 to 26, here they are (again) -

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.

We should print them on a card and hand the cards out at restaurants. (If you do, please just credit "The Art of the Buffet" as the source with this web url. - Thanks!)


JTan said...

Just curious: did the woman who placed the mac & cheese back in the serving try at the OCB get reprimanded in some way after they switched trays?

Robert A said...

If Brett is out there, I will let him comment since he witnessed the incident.