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Sep 4, 2009 07:58 AM

Ever feel guilty about eating too much at a buffet or all-you-can-eat?

...and I don't meant just regarding the waistline. I was at a mom-and-pop Asian buffet place, which included sushi (16 different rolls!), for just seven dollars for lunch. But there, and at other buffet places here in economically down Charleston, SC, I discover that owners/workers seem to be monitoring what you eat, always looking at your plate, and they don't remove used plates so you see them stacking up in front of you like a reminder of how much you have taken. I think they try to guilt you into not eating as much as you want. I could *completely* go to town on tasty all-you-can-eat sushi for seven dollars (not to mention the other food they have), going back numerous times to eat a very large amount...but I would feel guilty, and probably get nasty looks from the workers...can they even ask you to leave because you are eating too much? Or should I not care and just eat as much as I want, no matter how large it may become?

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  1. I don't feel guilty about eating too much, but I do sometimes feel the need to clean my plate even when one or more of the food items isn't any good- which is often the case with ayce buffets. But all it ever really takes is just a glance around the dining room to see how much other people have left on *their* plates, and then I don't feel guilty at all!


    Some of the casinos around here have started hiring people from Africa to work in the dining rooms. After so many years of seeing all of the starvation that goes on in certain countries over there, I do feel some guilt when I see people leaving a table with so much leftover food on it that it would feed a village for a week!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clarkafella

      I concur with the "clean your plate" thing. I've seen places that have signs up to that effect (although I doubt they'd enforce it). Other than that, I don't think anyone should feel guilty - it is up to the owners to set pricing such that they make a profit.

    2. Quite the opposite. I feel like it's a waste of my time, since I don't generally eat enough at one sitting to justify going to one of these places.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jmckee

        Seven bucks for a meal is wasting your time? If you ate in a place that charged you ten bucks for a sandwich or salad only, would that be wasting your time too? I never imagined a person's time and the amount of food he or she could consume correlated into to a customer's enjoyment of overall satisfaction. I always thought it had to do with quality and value received.

        There's no rule to say you have to try everything....only take what you can eat and not waste any food.

      2. Maybe but it doesnt stop me from stuffing myself silly...

        Speaking of which where is this $7 all you can eat place exactly?

        1. I'd be more worried about the quality of the sushi that comes from a place that is only seven dollars for all you can eat..

          4 Replies
          1. re: Humbucker

            I'm sure you get exactly what you pay for.

              1. re: Humbucker

                Tastes pretty awesome to's not nigiri, just rolls.

                1. re: Humbucker

                  I agree about that, and I think I would feel very uncomfortable if they were watching everyone. That's not an enjoyable environment to eat in!

                2. My only peeve is that (since you can't take it home) these buffets make you throw out perfectly good food that you just can't possibly finish (eyes bigger than stomach, which usually happens to me, unless I'm very careful!) We just went to a buffet Indian restaurant today, and my sister piled her plate high - then couldn't finish it and had to waste a ton of food. There was a sign at this particular place that said: "To keep food costs down, please do not take more food than you can eat." (But I guess my sister didn't heed that warning!)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Morticia

                    You're blaming the restaurants for people taking too much food and then having to throw it out? Isn't that the customer's responsibility not to take too much?

                    1. re: Morticia

                      >>"these buffets make you throw out perfectly good food that you just can't possibly finish"<<

                      Yeah, I hate it when they do that. They hold a gun to your head and force you to pile more and more food onto your plate. Terrible, just terrible. At least they don't ask you to take personal responsibility for your actions.

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        "They hold a gun to your head and force you to pile more and more food onto your plate."

                        This is exactly why I have stopped going to AYCE buffets. I am afraid of guns, being a lily-livered Canuck....

                        But seriously, I do have this tendency to eat whatever is on my plate, and I don't like feeling unwell when I try to finish every bite on my plate. I have had to stop going to AYCE places. I want to try everything, but I hate having to finish it all. It was no longer a good experience. Plus the yield on good vs. bad dishes was quite low, there is a lot of 'meh' for very little "awesome'. Guess I am finally learning in my old age...

                      2. re: Morticia

                        I see your point about the frustration. (Why throw it away when you'll be perfectly happy to take it home and eat it as leftovers the next day?) However, from a business perspective, if this was the case, what would stop people from eating until they are full and then going to the buffet one more time to pile as much food on their plate as possible, sitting down and asking for a doggie bag?