Buffet Etiquette: Patience, Plates & Doggie Bags

by Claire Valenty on August 20, 2010

in Table Manners

At the Buffet:  Don't forget - you can always come back for more.

When you think of buffet, “manners” may not be the first word that jumps into your head, but, buffet etiquette is important to help us multi-task (stuffing our faces and looking good)!

It is hard to picture that you really need manners when you are eating someplace where the entire point is to shove as much food as humanly possible in your face as quickly as possible. Whether you realize it or not, though, buffet etiquette does exist (and helps us retain a little dignity when we are piling our plates high at the trough). Make sure you are up to speed (even if the buffet line is a little slow) on your buffet etiquette with our tips below!

  • Patience is everything when lining up at the buffet. Don’t stress, huff or push the person in front of you if they are taking their sweet time. Just think about how much faster you will still be getting your food versus a normal restaurant where you ordered from the wait staff!
  • The above rule does not give you a license to take forever in the buffet line, though. Keep in mind there are others behind you and keep the line moving!
  • Always use a clean plate for every buffet trip. Think about it – your germs from your mouth are on your fork which has scraped your plate clean. If you bring that same plate back to the buffet and the bread tongs you are using to get a slice of bread hit that plate, your germs have then spread to the bread tongs. Now, multiply that factor by everyone else sitting around you in the restaurant. Gross!
  • Even though your wait staff does not bring you your food, they definitely clean up after you and probably bring your drinks. You do not have to tip them a lot, but, do not forget about tipping them entirely.

The worst example of poor buffet rules is asking for a to-go container. Even if you can not remember all of the above, that is definitely a buffet etiquette don’t!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

alain May 17, 2013 at 6:44 pm

i really like to get the to go containers because you can take the food for free to your house and there you can eateeee hehehe

eddie espinoza November 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm

People SHOULD not stand in line with a full plate of food eating to be served a second portaion again.It is very unhealthy and if there was an inspector i think that thay could stop the line restock the counter so some one should be in charge this from not happing.

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