Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Year - A New Rule

The new year will mark the fifth anniversary of this site in August. We have shared a lot of buffets in these past five years. The Rules of the Buffet will be five years old as well. Over this time we have been gradually adding to the rules. Just about every one of the rules is basic good sense and courtesy - but, surprised by this or not, so many people just have no clue about basic sense and courtesy or they think that it does not apply to them.

At the start of each year we bring the rules back to the forefront for all to see again - or for the first time. We are also adding a new rule to the list, as you will see as you read on.


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.

28. Never put the serving utensil, whether it a spoon, fork, or tongs, up to your nose to smell the food that you have taken out of the serving tray.

And the NEW RULE -

RULE 29: Do not eat at the buffet table or while walking with your plate back to your table.

Why the new rule? Some people must think that they are at a cocktail party when they are at a buffet restaurant. They start to fill their plate at the buffet serving table and then while standing there start eating. As they go from serving tray to serving tray they are eating - from their plate (hopefully) but there are other people waiting to get to those trays and even if there are not - there is a dining room table for them to be eating at. Some wait until they are walking back to their table - eating from the plate that they are carrying along the way. In a crowded room they are paying more attention to what they are picking off of their plate than where they are walking or who they are walking into. None of these people are starving so that they cannot wait another thirty seconds to walk back to their own table.

So there you have them - again - now twenty nine rules to eat at a buffet by. I am looking forward to a new year of buffets - and I hope that you are as well. Good eating! Happy New Year!


SkippyMom said...

Great rules and wholeheartedly agree!

May I add one? You might not find it worthy but I hate it.

"Please do not get up from the table while you are still eating and walk to the buffet and/or the bathroom. Wait until you have finished your bite before rising."

I HATE to see people walking around eating [like your #29 -which is wrong on so many levels] but to have a whole mouth of food and stand at the buffet masticating away while you chose more? ICK!

Thanks for the blog!

dave1973 said...

I'm guilty of #29 to an extent. I only eat off my plate of served food, if it's something I'm sampling. I do that to decide if I want to get more of that food, or not to get more of it. I'm a picky eater, and will at times see some new entrees at the buffet (whether Old Country Buffet, Ryans, Golden Corral, or one of the local Chinese buffets). If it's a buffet that you eat first, then pay at the end of the meal; I'm more likely to sample food. Those type of buffets are more likely to charge for waste, and don't want to get hit with a waste charge. Now if I'm sampling lots of food I'm not familiar with, then I'll have a plate with lots of sample pieces, then take it back to my table.