Ways To Successfully Manage The All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet
Let's Talk About The All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet
I love to eat. I make no bones about it. Give me a few friends, a few bucks, and we are on our way to the nearest restaurant that features an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Personally, I love the convenience and overall savings I get from eating the all-you-can-eat-buffet. I am a hefty guy and sometimes when dining out with family or friends, one plate from the menu is simply not enough. That is not the fault of the restaurant, but mine for loving food so passionately.
I am not going to endorse any restaurants locally or nationally for their all-you-can-eat-buffet, for I have, at one time or the other, ate at most every restaurant that features pizza, seafood, and just everyday, good, old-fashioned country food such as cream corn, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread and peach cobbler. I am not choosy when the all-you-can-eat-buffet is the choice of dining for my family and I.
I was raised by strict, good-mannered parents. They didn't tolerate shenanigans at the dining table. They were still this stern when I married and my wife and I would eat with my parents many Sundays after church. What does my disciplined-training in table manners have to do with the all-you-can-eat-buffet? Plenty. Allow me, if you will, to expound on that subject.
Things You or I Cannot Do At The Buffet Tables . . .
- Mimic, cough, or say sarcastic things under our breath because the line is not moving faster.
- Load up our plates as if we will not see another morsel of food for eternity.
- Hold places in line for our friends who are running late.
- Start conversations with friends we see in the buffet line making it difficult for other diners to make their way around the buffet serving tables.
- Stand in one spot and take our time in making our choices of food.
- Bellow at the waitresses to bring out more of this kind of food or that kind of food. Manners are very useful at a buffet table.
- Pick up pieces of food like pizza, chocolate pies, corn-on-the-cob with our bare hands. This is not a healthy gesture.
- Yell at the table where our friends are sitting--asking if we can bring them a plate of food.
I would say that these are the fundamentals of "Ways You Can Successfully Manage The All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet, but there are more thoughts I would love to share with you concerning this food favorite event that most restaurants love to present for their customers called the all-you-can-eat-buffet.
Now take the name, all-you-can-eat-buffet. That sounds so delicious and tempting. And I am right in calling it delicious and tempting. But let's be real honest with each other. The sign all-you-can-eat-buffet IS NOT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. Come on. Be reasonable. If we all took this sign at face-value, we would eat ourselves into a coma. No restaurant, I don't care how impressive they are, means for us to 'eat all we can eat,' when the sign really means, 'eat all we can hold and be satisfied' like civilized adults. That's what this sign means.
I know of a man circa 1985 who was escorted from our Pizza Hut in Hamilton, Alabama, when it first opened for eating all he wanted. And more. Much, much more. I am not being cruel, but the guy was already a huge man, and his capacity for holding large amounts of food was more than us average-sized people, so he, so to speak, 'made himself at home' one day during the noon all-you-can-eat-buffet for lunch. The waitress was very discreet and nice as she mentioned to the restaurant manager that this man was really overdoing the all-you-can-eat-buffet and the manager, out of respect for other customers told this guy that the 12 empty plates on his table would enough and asked him politely to leave the establishment.
The large man grew irate and threatened to sue the nationally-known restaurant and the manager who invited him to do just that for the sign, all-you-can-eat-buffet, was meant for people with reasonable minds. This made the large man even more angry. The quick-witted manager told the waitress to call the police, but the large customer, to show his boldness, only stood--daring the manager to do his duty to remove him from the restaurant. Soon the local police came and with some stiff convincing, and a threat of a billy club, the two police officers casually-escorted the large, rebellious customer out of the restaurant and into the squad car to be carried to the city jail for booking. See? The all-you-can-eat-buffet is not for us to be animals, but reasonably-minded citizens. I like that better. I am proud of the fact that I have never been arrested for anything. But being arrested for overeating at the all-you-can-eat-buffet would be hard for me to live with. And down.
Another fact I would love to share about all-you-can-eat-buffets is this. Did you know that Jesus was the very-first person to ever present an all-you-can-eat-buffet? That is true. Remember His feeding of the 5,000 with two loaves of bread and five fish? Nowhere is it written in that passage did He or his disciples charge per trip to any of the people who were fed. Actually, He didn't levy any charge for the people eating their fill of the obviously-delicious fish and bread. Personally speaking, I would have loved to be part of that blessed crowd on that day when He did this miracle as to not send anyone home hungry. And I would wager, and win big, if I put all my money on the possibility that the food was extra-tasty, perfect, if Jesus prepared it. I like to think of things like that sometimes.
In my stories, I like to present both sides of the coin. The plus. The minus of my topics. And there is a down-side to the all-you-can-eat-buffet. I know. That's tough to get your head around, but it's true.
FACT: if you do not get to the restaurant during the all-you-can-eat-buffet serving time, you are out in the cold, friend. And restaurants will NOT keep the buffet tables open an hour or two later just for you.
FACT: you have to really watch yourself while preparing your plate at an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Some people, the ones without any formal manners at all, will act like they are at home and run over you and your plate and possibly blame you for being in their way. I have witnessed this happening in a restaurant one time where I was enjoying an all-you-can-eat-buffet.
FACT: you have to have a keen eye when you get the bill for an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Some restaurants do not include drinks on the original bill, but add them later. So do not cause a scene at the cashier's register. Just pay the bill and go about your business.
FACT: you have to be extra-careful when you are attending an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Many senior citizens enjoy this type of eating also. So please, do the right thing and allow them to go ahead of you. You can always go back for seconds. And besides, you will feel better about yourself.
FACT: it is NOT carved in granite that YOU consume so many platefuls of food that people think that you are starving. Just eat enough to be content. I know. The all-you-can-eat-buffet is tough to walk away from for just when you are through eating, the waitresses will bring out even more taste-tempting food and for some cosmic reason, you are suddenly hungry all over again. This has happened to me many times.
FACT: do NOT assume that you can fill-up a carry-out carton of food from the all-you-can-eat-buffet. Some restaurants have signs that say, "Eat-In Only," and they mean it. Just be content with your table of friends and family and the chance to eat, talk, and enjoy the afternoon of food and fellowship.
I didn't know this until years ago, but (now comes the free plug) Shoney's Resturants in most towns, features a delicious breakfast buffet, that is yes, an all-you-can-eat-buffet. My family and I have enjoyed this particular buffet many times in a town nearby our hometown of Hamilton, Alabama, which by the way, doesn't have a Shoney's.
Other Types of Resturants That I Wish Would Have The All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet . . .
- Nathan's Hot Dogs at Coney Island. Yes, I would put away as many of these tasty hot dogs as I could. People say (on television) that their hot dogs are the best in the world.
- Hardee's. Are you kidding me? I would be there with bib on for the great cheeseburgers, hamburgers and chicken sandwiches. I wouldn't care what it costs. I would eat until I couldn't walk.
- Arby's. Oh yea, baby. Bring on those beautiful roast beef sandwiches. Lots of them for I am a hungry man.
I know that the above restaurants may never see the need of having an all-you-can-eat-buffet. But man, how I can dream that they would. I would make it my business to be the first in line at each restaurant if they ever decided on this type of food service.
Oh yes. Forgetful me. I did forget one famous restaurant on the above list that I would literally fall on my knees and thank God if they ever featured an all-you-can-eat-buffet.
And that restaurant is Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
What's a few more hundred-thousand calories and a few more pounds to carry round?