zrs70
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Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:41 pm

What is proper buffet etiquette? Can someone go for the next course when most others are in the middle of a previous course?
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srbmod
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:46 pm

It's every man for themselves. Buffets are not designed to be formal, so when you get done with a plate, it's acceptable to go get another plate of food.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:48 pm

Don't sneeze in the food in the buffet line! I have seen old folks do that a lot! I have stopped going to buffet places because of this. The glass protectors don't do diddly squat!

Quoting srbmod (Reply 1):
Buffets are not designed to be formal, so when you get done with a plate, it's acceptable to go get another plate of food.

   Agreed 1 million percent!
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Superfly
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:54 pm

If you touch any food items, it's yours. Don't put it back.
Wash your hands before touching the large spoons that scoop up the food.
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citationjet
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:57 pm

Buffets are notorous for spreading germs. On cruise ships, that is usually how the norovirus is spread. I was on a cruise ship years ago when the norovirus out break occured. The first thing they did is not let the passengers serve themselves from the buffet line. The cruise staff dished up the food for the passengers, while wearing plastic gloves.
Also some people don't realize that you are supposed to get a clean plate each time you go thru the buffet line. Otherwise you are spreading the germs when the serving spoon touches your dirty plate, and then is put back into the food.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:38 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):

Can someone go for the next course when most others are in the middle of a previous course?

If you're talking about buffet restaurants in the US (like Golden Corral or anything with the word 'China' in it), most of the patrons go multiple plates per course so how the hell could anyone keep track? Take your hat off and chew with your mouth closed and you'll be in the top 1% there.

If it is a more formal buffet (e.g. a wedding), if you excuse yourself politely and leave your napkin on your chair you'll be good to go.
 
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:43 pm

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 4):
Buffets are notorous for spreading germs.

Not trying to he a "germophobic", but this is the main reason as to why I rarely ever go to any buffet places.

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
Can someone go for the next course when most others are in the middle of a previous course?

I don't think anyone would care about that. Buffets are not a formal restaurant where "courses" are being brought to your table. If you are hungry, you are hungry. Nuff said.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:19 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 1):
It's every man for themselves. Buffets are not designed to be formal

Nobody I know calls it a buffet, or cafeteria. It's called "going to the trough"

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Starbuk7
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:17 am

Every time I go to a buffet I usually get two plates full to start, this way I do not have to get up for a while.

Also, I have never gotten sick from a buffet, and really never though about all the germ stuff that was mentioned above. That being said, it will not deter me from going to buffets in the future, they are great.
 
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:39 am

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
Can someone go for the next course when most others are in the middle of a previous course?

Sure, it's better that way. Everyone at the table can come and go at a different time so that there's always someone there to "guard" the purses.

@zrs70: Did you get the idea for this thread from that political thread with the misspelled title "Buffet Rules" or whatever?
 
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:41 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
Nobody I know calls it a buffet, or cafeteria. It's called "going to the trough"

Same here, Dread. Actually, etiquette at a "buffet" is an oxymoron - at least here in Phoenix. Don't finger all of the food, don't cut off the guests in line to snag the last piece of roast beef, don't dunk your weave in the soup, and don't pull your dining room chair up right up to the sushi table.   
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:22 am

Etiquette? Buffet?

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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:36 pm

Personally, I think buffet dining encourages over eating. Heaven knows Americans are already fat enough!
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AirframeAS
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:26 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 12):
Personally, I think buffet dining encourages over eating.

An economist once told me that buffets are brilliant in the marketplace. They drive in a lot of revenue compared to the price you pay at McDonalds.... I don't remember the formula he showed me but they do drive in a LOT of revenue because you only go back for seconds once.... or something like that.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:59 pm

I'll "second" the idea that there is very little etiquette at a buffet. Don't cut in line, don't touch the food with your hands. That's about it.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
you only go back for seconds once....

By the very nature of the word "second", you can only go back once. Otherwise, it would be thirds or fourths.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 12):

Personally, I think buffet dining encourages over eating. Heaven knows Americans are already fat enough!

Well, I think we all know this.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:02 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
By the very nature of the word "second", you can only go back once.

Second"s", plural. Not singular. You knew what I meant.
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us330
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:26 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
What is proper buffet etiquette? Can someone go for the next course when most others are in the middle of a previous course?

Yes. You only have a limited amount of time before your stomach catches up to your eyes, so eat as much as possible, as quickly as possible, before the feeling of fullness starts setting in. That way you can get the most bang for your buck.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 1):
It's every man for themselves

What he said.
 
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:28 pm

Quoting us330 (Reply 16):
You only have a limited amount of time before your stomach catches up to your eyes, so eat as much as possible, as quickly as possible, before the feeling of fullness starts setting in. That way you can get the most bang for your buck.

I've tried that. It gets me full very fast. Eating fast is not generally a very good idea.   
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:43 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 12):
Personally, I think buffet dining encourages over eating. Heaven knows Americans are already fat enough!
Quoting us330 (Reply 16):
Yes. You only have a limited amount of time before your stomach catches up to your eyes, so eat as much as possible, as quickly as possible, before the feeling of fullness starts setting in. That way you can get the most bang for your buck.

Sometimes, I love this place... oh, the

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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:08 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 5):
If you're talking about buffet restaurants in the US (like Golden Corral or anything with the word 'China' in it), most of the patrons go multiple plates per course so how the hell could anyone keep track? Take your hat off and chew with your mouth closed and you'll be in the top 1% there.

   The food generally sucks and if you say something about "etiquette" most people would probably tell you to take that communist crap outside.

Quoting starbuk7 (Reply 8):
Every time I go to a buffet I usually get two plates full to start, this way I do not have to get up for a while

My grandpa did that because his mind was starting to fail him. He got a plate, went back for a drink, and came back with another plate.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:43 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):
Agreed 1 million percent!
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):

Nobody I know calls it a buffet, or cafeteria. It's called "going to the trough"


Looks like a family reunion. A buffet is a chow hound's Nirvana. When they see me coming, the restaurant knows they are going to lose money. One thing that is verboten at least at buffets in the States: you get the evil eye when you attempt to take some of the goodies home. I'll admit I've been there done that! At one Chinese buffet, some of the help were bleating I'd guess not too flattering words toward me when I attempted to help myself to their goodies by stuffing them into barf bags, clean unused barfed bags for clarity.

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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:46 pm

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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:29 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 20):
One thing that is verboten at least at buffets in the States: you get the evil eye when you attempt to take some of the goodies home.

Oh, yeah. That is true. I asked a waitress the reasoning behind this. She told me that they don't want food as take-out. But then I asked what they plan to do with my left over food that I cannot eat since I am full. Their response: "We throw it away."  Wow! I responded that I planned on eating that later and if they throw out the food, that is a waste of money....

Think about the children in Africa.... But they don't get it....   
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zippyjet
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:50 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):

Oh, yeah. That is true. I asked a waitress the reasoning behind this. She told me that they don't want food as take-out. But then I asked what they plan to do with my left over food that I cannot eat since I am full. Their response: "We throw it away." I responded that I planned on eating that later and if they throw out the food, that is a waste of money....

Think about the children in Africa.... But they don't get it....



You can thank those @#$% lawyers for this. Due to the sue me lawyer induced culture, food service institutions have to chuck the leftovers instead of give them to those who need it. I'm old enough to remember (my Bar Mitzvah) the catering company gave my parents tons of left over hour d'overs even wrapped and some main courses plus plenty of sweet treats. No more! At least in much of the USA. Try getting left overs from catered affairs these days even if you paid the freight. Another reason to have a Haterade for the legal profession.
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PanHAM
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:05 pm

Quoting starbuk7 (Reply 8):
Every time I go to a buffet I usually get two plates full to start, this way I do not have to get up for a while.

That's exactly how it should not be done. Since the question is about "Etiquette" I suggest you start with the soup, go back to get the salad and the appetizers, then go back to the main courses. if American or Russian go back again to a second helping of the main course and if you still have room left you may eat the dessert.

NEVER EVER TAKE ALL COURSES TO YOUR TABLE AT ONCE

behave, don't tocuh anything you don't take to your table, don't talk while loading the plates because you may leave body fluids over what other people want to eat.

As a general rule for people with good manners, check out the audience, how they are dressed, how they talk and which language and if you don't feel comfortable with what you see and hear, make a U-turn.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Think about the children in Africa.... But they don't get it....

There are laws and the restaurant is responsible for their food. They are 100% right about refusing to let you take home left overs. It is called product liability.



BTW - I love the Chinese restaurant sign, they are so right.
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RussianJet
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:14 pm

Ignore the rice, bread, or whatever else is crap and fills you up too quickly. Pig out on the prawns, roasted meats, and all the other good stuff that's utterly delicious and totally bad for you.

That is all.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:20 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
I don't remember the formula he showed me but they do drive in a LOT of revenue because you only go back for seconds once....

They lose money on me. I can eat like a horse. I've never taken stuff home, but I have gotten dirty looks as I go up for my fourth round, but now when I go, they expect it.

Not that it's good for me. I never go more than once a week, but even that is more than I should.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 24):
That's exactly how it should not be done. Since the question is about "Etiquette" I suggest you start with the soup, go back to get the salad and the appetizers, then go back to the main courses. if American or Russian go back again to a second helping of the main course and if you still have room left you may eat the dessert.

I agree. The food gets cold that way. Besides, what's the hurry?

Around here, the only buffets are Chinese, and I'm good for four rounds. First round is sushi (note: most Americans don't know or care that Sushi is Japanese, not Chinese, almost all Chinese restaurants now offer sushi), soups and salads, main course, dessert.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 24):
BTW - I love the Chinese restaurant sign, they are so right.

I don't see a lot of all-day feeding around here. I saw a lot more of it when I used to visit my late grandmother in Florida at the 'cafeteria' style restaurants. The retired folks would stay for hours! Most of that food came right out of cans, so not much was appetizing to me, so I really avoided going to those places if I could. At least at the Chinese buffet here in town I can see the ladies in the corner cutting up the veggies etc.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:55 pm

Had a chinease buffett in Maine get closed down because they were catching and using Seagull as chicken.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:53 pm

Quoting KingairTA (Reply 27):
Had a chinease buffett in Maine get closed down because they were catching and using Seagull as chicken.

Arrrrggghh....thar be now't wrong wi' a bit o' seagull me ol' maties!

On second thoughts, that is disgusting.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:09 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
Nobody I know calls it a buffet, or cafeteria. It's called "going to the trough"

Used to be, when I was young and had the metabolism to support (endure?) it, I could eat a great deal, and with a limited budget, really appreciated "all you can eat" places... but...

Quoting type-rated (Reply 12):
Personally, I think buffet dining encourages over eating. Heaven knows Americans are already fat enough!

...and so it does. Now, the thought of eating such quantities is mildly repugnant. I eat much less than ever I did, and yet cannot seem to keep weight soundly under control.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:25 am

Quoting KingairTA (Reply 27):
Had a chinease buffett in Maine get closed down because they were catching and using Seagull as chicken.

in a Vietnamese rstaurant in Magdeburg, used to be East Germany, food inspectors found a ready to stir fry Fox in the freezer.

Now, let's talk about road kill cafes in West Virginia
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zippyjet
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:57 am

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 25):

Ignore the rice, bread, or whatever else is crap and fills you up too quickly. Pig out on the prawns, roasted meats, and all the other good stuff that's utterly delicious and totally bad for you.

That is all.

I've noticed at a lot of the buffets the appetizers (dumplings, shrimp toast) is positioned front and center at the buffet tables. These tend to be the most filling. Of course generally these items get consumed and there's higher turnover and therefore usually the freshest and tastiest of the goodies. I've noticed at most buffets (Chinese) the soups are excessively salty. For whatever reason in a regular sit down or carryout the won ton soup is much better. Another thing I've noticed, the egg rolls are not nearly as tasty as in your non buffet eateries. Another thing I've noticed is we Chow hounds actually get smiles because we are enjoying their food. They seem to give those dirty looks to people who take and waste their food.
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:37 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 31):
For whatever reason in a regular sit down or carryout the won ton soup is much better.

Interesting.

I tend to judge Chinese restaurants by their hot and sour soup. If the hot and sour is good, chances are I will like the rest.

To me, bad Chinese places tend to have either watery or burnt-tasting hot and sour soup.

In my town, the Chinese buffet is relatively new and is right across the street from the best "waiters in tuxes" Chinese place in town, which is quite good.

The "waiters in tuxes" place still has a few dishes I really enjoy, but I must say the buffet is getting more of my business, because I love their hot and sour soup, and the rest of the stuff is pretty decent too, not all as good as the other place, but still pretty decent. The buffet's hot and sour is the best in town, and there's got to be at least a dozen Chinese places I've tried in town.

The WIT place has never really had a thriving business, presumably getting by on their higher prices, the buffet place at times is mobbed, and seems to draw people from out of town.

The WIT place gets my business when I'm in the mood for certain dishes or when I want to impress friends or dates, because it is damn good, but the buffet is getting more and more of my routine business. I would not be surprised if the WIT place went under due to the competition.
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PanHAM
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:59 pm

I recently orderd a wantan soup and complained that it had too much starch. They gave me a fortune cookie reading "Archie Bunker is dead" .

 
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:11 pm

Out here the Chinese food is good but then it has a lot of Indian flavouring to it.

Once at a restraunt,I found the taste of the clear soup to sour....so I stirred it some more & there was a small plastic container used to hold the Chilli-vinigar soup in it.....

So i decided to call the chef rather than the manager,the chef was obviously embarrased as the container had probably dropped in the bowl by mistake.I thought so as by friends who ordered the same type soup had no problem.

Guess what ....everytime visit that restraunt I find the quanity of food provided to me a bit more than what the other guests are served.....No complains  
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RE: Etiquette When Eating At A Buffet

Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:52 pm

Don't let the vegetarians in front if you have to queue. By the time they've finished sifting through what they can and can't eat, the hot food is cold.
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