Friday, December 19, 2008


Every so often is a good idea to bring the rules out for all to see. Some of our newer readers may not have read back all the way through August 2005 to see the rules, some may need reminding. Sadly, the more buffets that I go to, the more I see the need for the rules. Sometimes I see things that I think - wow! is that not so obvious that it needs a rule? Like spitting food back into a serving tray!

Well, for the moment no new rules, but do read them over. And remember they are to be kept with you in your head and followed whenever you go to a buffet. Please!

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 the 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. (this is not referring to medical guide dogs)

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.

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.


Anonymous said...

Some memories just seem to stick with me. I had moved to D C in 1985 and was examining my dining options (translation: eating my way through town). When I dine alone I enjoy taking a book or the Sunday paper and eating and relaxing for a couple of hours (and usually leave at least a 20-25% tip for the extra time and coffee refills).

One Sunday I selected the now defunct Hogate's- a fairly upscale seafood and beef house on the waterfront for their lovely buffet which 23 years ago was in the $25 range. I had noticed a pair of very large well dressed ladies at the next table who had obviously been there long before my arrival. After a couple of hours as I was waiting for my check I noticed both women going back to the buffet and each getting as many of the jumbo peeled cocktail shrimp as they could pile on a plate with only a few falling off each mound as they walked back to their table. One of them opened her leather purse- about the size of beach bag which she had lined with multiple plastic bags. After furtively checking over her shoulder she proceeded to dump both mounds of shrimp into the bag. They then both returned to the buffet and repeated the process. The total weight of seafood in that bag had to have been at least eight pounds and probably more. I don't know if they skipped out on their bill, but as they walked out I did hear them joking about not leaving a tip because they didn't believe in that particular practice.

I was a bit younger and less experienced in those days and was so flabbergasted that I did nothing. Today I would have immediately notified the management.

Robert A said...

Your story goes so well with last week's article on Abusing Buffets.

Thanks for sharing!