All you can Eat Manners and Etiquette when Dining at all you can Eat Buffet Restaurants
R. Renee Bembry
All-you-can-eat buffets allow diners to view available food options “in the flesh” as opposed to viewing menus with select pictures of a few accessible dishes.
When making food selections, diners can opt for items they usually eat or they can try new foods based on actual preparation appearance. In some ways, choosing food in this manner may fair above ordering food from menus, since you never need to wonder why meals servers place before you at the table barely emulate menu photographs. What is best is that, aside from paying, all patrons need to do to show appreciation for dining freedom at all-you-can-eats is demonstrate a bit etiquette while getting their food.
Wash Your Hands Before Serving Your Food
Most people are not likely to go in the restroom and wash their hands when arriving at a restaurant – especially if they just left home and washed their hands before exiting their doors. Patrons who have been participating in activities that gave them dirty germy hands should show some etiquette and consideration by washing their hands before attending buffet bars. Other people must touch the serving items. There is no need to be unsanitary about it.
Wear Proper Clothes – Not Pajamas – Pull Your Pants Up!
Should you decide to leave home, or wherever, and drive to Sizzler down the street, put some real “clothes” on! Something about wearing pajamas, intended for sleeping, does not fit well with eating at buffets. Just because buffets intend to make all customers feel at home does not mean it is okay to look like you just left the bed. What is more is to keep your pants pulled up! No one wants to see your underwear hanging out at the food bar! Underwear looks unsanitary, even when showing away from buffets!
When at the buffet, watch out for other patrons. Colliding with someone carrying a plate or bowl of food could cause someone to spill and you certainly do not want the spill on your clothes or feet.
Refrain From Passing In The Line
Some customers may be a bit slow getting their food from the tubs to their plates. There could be reasons for this that other customers do not think about – especially on hungry stomachs. Persons with arthritis, for example, could need extra time grasping tongs, spoons, and other serving utensils.
Show a little etiquette by being patient and allowing others sufficient time to place food on their plates.
Turn Away From Food Bars And Cover When Coughing Or Sneezing
Everyone knows that coughs and sneezes usually overcome us without warning, and thus, could easily present while you stand at a buffet. Should you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, turn away from the food bar and quickly cougher your hacking or spraying.
Use Serving Utensils When Available
Restaurant staff normally places utensils at every dish that requires scooping or lifting. Exceptions would be whole fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges, and grapes. When serving utensils are available, it would be a very poor lack of etiquette to grab food with your hands.
Leave Fallen Food Wherever It Lands
Should fall from a serving utensil while you were trying to place it on your plate, leave it wherever it falls so that someone from the staff can get it. If you waste food on the floor that could cause a fall, let a worker know right away so they can clean it up.
Take Care When Carrying Food To The Table
When you head back to your seat with your food, watch out for others walking around the restaurant – and especially children who may forget not to run. Also, watch out for people in their seats. Do not hold your food over people’s heads because you want to squeeze through a shortcut to your chair or you do not want to wait for someone happening toward you to pass before continuing your stroll.
Wait For Clean Dishes Before Returning To The Bar
Some buffets keep ample supplies of clean dishes at the food bars and tumblers at the fountains. This makes it easy for customers to get seconds and thirds without having to wait for additional dishes. Some restaurants prefer to bring dishes as their customers need them however. When dining at establishments preferring the latter method, wait until the server brings fresh dishes before returning to the bar. Do not go back for more food with used dishes. The same goes for refilling drinks. Get fresh tumblers for your refills.
Refrain From Taking More Than You Can Eat
Just because you get to take all the food you want after paying a one-time fee, this does not mean take a slew of food and throw away if you change your mind about eating it. It shows better etiquette to take small portions, especially when trying new foods, and then eating what is on your plate before getting more. Taking small portions allows customers to try different items, determine their likes, and only discard small amounts of food should they not like something.
Dining at buffets is great for omnivores and vegetarians alike since food bars always have lots of variety in food items they offer. When patrons exercise dining etiquette and teach children to do the same dining can only be more pleasant at all-you-can-eats.