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Lorri Mealey

All You Can Eat Not Eat All You Can! All About Restaurant Buffets

By May 31, 2009

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I loved the Seinfeld episode where Newman was chowing down at a restaurant buffet and the owner finally yells at him Its all you can eat! Not eat all you can! There is something about a well stocked buffet that draws in hungry customers, promising the most bang for their buck.

This week I put together Restaurant Buffet Basics, covering different types of restaurant buffets, including catered buffets. Besides making me hungry, this article got me to thinking- are restaurants who feature a buffet as their main attraction seeing a dip in sales because of the obesity epidemic or a rise in sales because of the recession, and more people looking for a bargain? Or are they like everyone else, just bobbing along, trying to weather the storm?

What do you think about restaurant buffets? Love em? Hate em? Share your thoughts at the Restauranting Forum.

June 12, 2009 at 9:59 am
(1) Ryan Loose says:

With the economy in the state it is, a lot of restaurateurs have been considering including a buffet type service to help lower costs. Its true, you do cut down on wait staff costs, but its important to consider overall upkeep costs also. Keeping up with strict HACCP standards may actually off set the savings of buffet style dining, so its important to take everything into account before attempting a buffet service.

Another drawback to attempting a buffet style service would be foot traffic. Rather than your wait staff shuttling food from the kitchen to table, the customers have to make a mass exodus to and from the buffet line. Youve removed the need for large serving trays and tray stands, which can hinder foot traffic, but youve also increased the amount of people in your serving lanes exponentially. This is why the floor plan of a tableside service restaurant may not easily translate into a buffet style business model, even for just a few services a week. Establishments like Old Country Buffet are specifically designed to provide ample aisle space even when at maximum capacity. Without careful consideration of your floor plan, table set up, and traffic lanes, your lunch buffet could end up in a huge traffic jam.

March 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm
(2) Chef says:

I love all you can eat places :) nom nom nom

October 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm
(3) Jermaine Depperschmidt says:

That you are my role designs. Thank you for that post

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