Buffet Workers Reveal The Things You Should Know Before Chowing Down[rebelmouse-image 18346657 is_animated_gif=
Buffets are beautiful places with boundless food and reliable people watching. What goes on behind the scenes, however, might have you questioning whether a buffet is really the place you want to go for food.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Skip the filler, go for the (farmed and frozen) lobster.[rebelmouse-image 18346658 is_animated_gif=
The more expensive stuff is usually placed towards the end of the buffet line in hopes that you'll fill your plate with the cheaper fillers.
Fries and ice cream are the best part...[rebelmouse-image 18346659 is_animated_gif=
I saw a TV show in the UK about folk who try to 'beat the buffet' and apparently it will take you seven plates to break even (going by the figures they gave on the show). Seven plates.
A buffet owner said kid's parties are their breadwinner because the wee idiots just fill up on chips (fries) and ice cream, which costs them very little to make.
So much for those sneeze guards.[rebelmouse-image 18346660 is_animated_gif=
I worked in a deli through college and we had a salad bar that I would occasionally be in charge of. One day another employee came over and said that a handicapped guy put his hand down his pants and started touching all the food barehanded. Thankfully they saw so we were able to swap out everything (literally pounds of food got thrown out), but I don't eat at buffets anymore because the stupid and gross things I've seen people do while in charge of that salad bar.
So my advice, never eat ANYTHING that the general public had access to.
They should charge people for the food they ruin by doing this. Just don't.[rebelmouse-image 18346662 is_animated_gif=
I worked at a c-store that had at least 6 types of soup available all the time. One of my coworkers noticed on the kitchen camera that a lady had dipped her finger in a pot, licked it, and moved on to the next pot. She hurried out and stopped this lady, but learned from one of the floor people that this lady had done this with 3 other soups (why nobody stopped her, I'm not sure). They had to toss 4 out of 6 soups and remake them.
Someone needs a crash course in the dangers of cross-contamination and allergies.[rebelmouse-image 18346663 is_animated_gif=
Once I was at a Chinese restaurant, they had a buffet and a tiny Mongolian grill where you pick your meat and veggies to be cooked together. I went to get my beef and bell peppers at the little grill. There was a lady in front of me that was getting her food cooked, she asked for more shrimp to be added. The cook then proceeds to grab the tongs used for the peppers, sticks them in the raw shrimp, then back into the peppers. I haven't eaten there since.
A discount for having had stomach surgery? Maybe a buffet isn't for you...[rebelmouse-image 18346664 is_animated_gif=
I'm a casino buffet manager, Ask me anything
Pro-tip: walk the buffet line and look at the pans, if you see dry, crusty rings or food specs, it's been sitting for a while, request something fresher.
Crab legs aren't worth the hassle of trying to eat them for most people
Old people try to steal a s* ton of food, all the time. Show me an old person and I'll show you someone who has 7 cookies in a napkin in her purse "for the ride home."
Buffets run on a cost per cover model. Whereas a cover is the price of one adult meal. We calculate how much the average person eats from several categories. Proteins, center of the plate items, sides, soups/salads, desserts.
Please don't ask what items are gluten-free, if you need a gluten-free diet, you'll know even though we don't run a gluten-free kitchen.
Please don't ask for a discount because you had stomach surgery, it's a buffet, you eat as much as you want and if you can't eat that much, maybe a buffet isn't for you.
Nope. Totally going for the unlimited carbs.[rebelmouse-image 18346666 is_animated_gif=
Stay away from the fillers like rice, bread, polenta and anything else like that. It'll take up valuable room that could be better filled by the nicer things on offer.
The amount of waste at buffets is really depressing.[rebelmouse-image 18346667 is_animated_gif=
Worked at a restaurant where we did buffets at weddings etc. There is so much reserve we throw away. Sometimes full trash containers per day.
Our food was nice so I always took something that was over for at home.
Feeling very attacked. Again.[rebelmouse-image 18346668 is_animated_gif=
You're allowed to get food more than once. Stop piling the turkey on top of the pizza on top of the fried rice on top of your salad.
"All you can eat" doesn't mean forever.[rebelmouse-image 18346669 is_animated_gif=
They really will throw you out if you "stay too long."
Pro tip: the fresh food is on the bottom of the tray.[rebelmouse-image 18346670 is_animated_gif=
Our restaurant isn't strictly a buffet but we do a couple buffets a week. When we put out more food, we rotate it. The tray we're removing, we take the last couple- I dunno- biscuits out of it and put them on top of the fresh one. I've seen buffets that don't rotate the food but I think most do.
So, don't just grab a chicken leg like normal people. Shove all the rest of the chicken out of the way until you find the bottom chicken and eat that.
Or don't because they're not going to put food out there that can't handle sitting in a chafer anyway and digging around in the pan f*s it up for other people. I'm not the buffet cop.
Hell who needs a professional's buffet advice anyway?
Maybe a Purell station ahead of the food would be helpful...[rebelmouse-image 18346671 is_animated_gif=
People touch all manner of things then hit the buffets without washing their hands first. So yeah, if you have ever eaten at a buffet your food probably was sprinkled with weiner dust.
I try not think about this any time I'm at a restaurant. It's too much.[rebelmouse-image 18346672 is_animated_gif=
Just remember the spoon/utensil that you used to load whatever onto your plate has been touched by hundreds of people that day.
Going to a restaurant right before they close is seriously not cool.[rebelmouse-image 18346673 is_animated_gif=
I worked at a restaurant that had a Sunday buffet for 5.5 years. We really hate it when you come in 15 minutes before close. The salad bar is homemade other than the canned fruit and pudding. Sometimes leftovers are put on the buffet (they are stored properly though). We hate it when you go on both sides of the buffet. Our dinner rolls are store bought and covered in liquid butter after being pulled from the oven. There is butter in the corn for flavor.
These buffets are starting to sound like petri dishes.[rebelmouse-image 18346674 is_animated_gif=
The stale rolls become bread pudding. The fresh stuff is usually on the bottom as containers are flipped when filled. The towels used to wash tables aren't changed In an evening.
There's a lot here, but the plastic bag idea is genius.[rebelmouse-image 18346676 is_animated_gif=
I work in catering which is very similar (literally a buffet that we bring to the events)
- There's a good chance that the cake or pie you got was just a thawed out frozen cake, as in the same kind you can find in the freezer section at your local grocery store.
- If you want to get lots of free food, befriend someone who works in catering and give him/her some freezer bags before they start their shift
- You know those delicious as f_ck appetizer meatballs? It's only 3 ingredients: 1 part Chilli sauce, 1 part Grape jelly, and a bag of frozen pre-cooked meatballs
- Unless you're the kind of person that is okay with gas station stuff, don't eat the hotdogs or hamburgers.
- EVERYONE in this industry cuts corners, with the possible exception of the guys at the very highest and most expensive tiers (who not even the 1% can afford, they are 0.1% territory). If we didn't then we'd never get anything done on time and the service would be even more expensive (and it's already pretty expensive as is). That said, I'm happy to say that the one I work for is one of the better ones in the area fwiw
- The best populations to serve for in my experience are blue collar workers (company Xmas parties). They are all very polite folks that are usually pretty patient and low maintenance.
- The worst populations to serve for in my experience, consistently across the board, are middle-aged uptight businessmen/businesswomen. Always gets way more food than they can actually eat so their plate has this massive mound of food waste on it that is impossible to stack other plates onto, never drinks water throughout the day so they ask for refills on their lemonade/Arnold Palmers constantly, looks at me (the server) with a stack of 13 plates and thinks "yeah, it's okay for me to ask this guy to take my plate for me right this second", always at least one guy who brings their kid with them to the benefactor party or wine meet-and-greet who is bored out of their mind because everyone else was sensible enough to leave their kids at home (and if you've been invited to one of these events then you can absolutely afford to hire a sitter), you often times have no choice but to butt into their conversations to ask if anyone wants their plate taken/a refill/any special assistance because you can stand over their table for 5 solid minutes and these non-inclusive douchenozzles will never even notice that you exist, the list goes on.
Well I'm certainly not doing "all you can eat" for health reason, so...[rebelmouse-image 18346677 is_animated_gif=
All the premade "salads" potato, noodles and ham, all that stuff is terribly unhealthy. I mean literal cups of mayo and ranch go into their making. Also the light ranch is just regular ranch in a different container.
Their ability to bounce is a big clue.[rebelmouse-image 18346678 is_animated_gif=
My mom worked at a buffet and she says to stay away from anything with eggs because they are synthetic (fake).
Noticing a trend of health code violations...[rebelmouse-image 18346680 is_animated_gif=
If you see them restocking the pans and put fresh food on top of the old food, run away. Pans with older food should be removed from the line before putting in the new.
And the post-buffet mood, because obviously.[rebelmouse-image 18346681 is_animated_gif=
The meal's not over when I'm full. The meal is over when I hate myself.
Being street smart and book smart are two different forms of intelligence.
One acquires wisdom through life experiences while the other gains knowledge through reading books, articles, and from higher learning.
But sometimes there are certain situations where neither applies to a person–even though others may initially perceive them to be intelligent.
Curious to explore this further, Redditor Indianfattie asked:
'What is incorrectly perceived as a sign of intelligence?"
Status and credentials aren't necessarily strong indicators of intelligence.
"Edit: Thank you for the gold and silver! I am so rich. Therefore I am smart! S-M-R-T smart!"
Money And Brains
"People seem to think if you are rich with a good job you must be smart. Generally speaking I've only met one rich person I would consider smart. The rest? Ooooooof. I seriously wonder how some of them passed gradeschool."
"I was surprised when I learned that knowledge isn't necessarily correlated to intelligence. I met a lifelong academic who knew damn near everything about her topic .... but just the facts. It's like, she was a walking encyclopedia, could cough up any info about her field, but she couldn't really process it that well, or draw conclusions, or apply it to a different topic. It's hard to explain. She had a nice 2TB SSD drive full of info in her head but she had a substandard CPU. Since then I've met several people like that. All academics, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with it."
Certain behaviors and personality traits can be misleading.
The Quiet Observer
"Silence. I’ve been told so many times that I’m thoughtful and a deep thinker but really I can’t figure out what to say lol"
The Saying Goes
"There's a very good saying about that, I may be paraphrasing but I've always heard it as: a wise man speaks because he has something to say, a fool speaks because he has to say something."
Way With Words
"A cromulent vocabulary."
"This embiggens me."
Judging By Appearance
"I’m living in China right now and everyone keeps calling me intelligent as I’m bald and left handed."
History has proven leaders don't always make the best decisions.
"Being in charge."
Capable Until Proven Incompetent
"Always maintain a healthy skepticism for anyone claiming to be authority, at least till they prove themselves capable."
Save The Compliments
"if someone’s in an authoritative position, it should be others that praise them and say how good they are, not themselves."
The Peter Principle
'The Peter principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to "a level of respective incompetence." Employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.'
"I once worked for a company where the VP was the living embodiment of the Peter principle. She had been with the company for 20+ years, and somehow got promoted to VP of marketing."
"She very clearly had no idea what she was doing and as a result would end up micromanaging to stay busy. And she loved to come around at 4:30 on the Friday before a holiday weekend to 'say hi,' aka make sure no one was leaving early (we were all salaried)."
"This woman was completely incompetent, had no business managing anyone and didn't understand her duties at all, yet somehow she was an executive and made close to $200K per year. Just by outlasting everyone else."
A person with a big vocabulary can be deceiving.
I knew someone from work who boasted a huge vocabulary and always sounded like an academic scholar when he spoke at meetings.
My view of him completely shattered when he came in for his shift one morning and seriously asked where he could get some "expresso," "expecially" since he was very tired and could use a pick-me-up.
My colleagues and I just blankly stared at each other since his statements at the time were so jarring.
In the US, teenagers technically become adults at 18, an age when they are presumably able to make decisions for themselves and establish independence.
But some teenagers feel they've emotionally and mentally reached maturity before being of legal age, and for some, long after.
Maybe it was a life-changing event or some kind of turning point that make these young adults feel like they are wise beyond their years.
Curious to explore anecdotes relating to coming of age, Redditor brokenbeanie asked:
"When is the first time you remember feeling like an adult?"
These Redditors experienced an epiphany when they realized trips to the grocery store was routine.
"When I got mad that they rearanged the grocery store."
"When I was buying my own groceries and had survived for two weeks on my own. I figured I must be doing it right since I wasn’t feeling hungry or diminished."
Raising A Pet
"It took me a few years. I had a cat for a year and that's when I was like 'holy sh*t I've somehow managed to keep us both alive for an entire year.' That's when I felt like an adult. That was mid to late 20s. I am also a late bloomer."
Accomplishments without the supervision of another adult were common indicators for people who felt grown-ish.
Learn As You Go
"My first summer in college, my roommate and I housesat for a couple who were out of town all summer. Paying rent and bills, buying groceries. We were both working, thank God, but we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. Lived on boiled eggs, raisin bran, bologna and cheese sandwiches, and ten cent ramen."
No Approval Necessary
"The first time I didn’t have to ask for permission to go out."
Tasked With Responsibility
"In college, I was with some friends at a party and one of them fell and busted his face so badly, he started bleeding badly. I went looking for someone to do something when I realized I was the only sober one there. Not a fun night or feeling."
Regarding making purchases, these Redditors realized they could afford luxuries previously not granted to them.
"Honestly, the first time I bought a car without mentioning it ahead of time to my parents. I was 27 or 28, married (no kids, though), and it was at that point that I realized 'I didn't really run this past anyone............hmm....' All of the college loans without a cosigner, my careers (firefighter/paramedic and nurse),my marriage, vacations... Etc...All the stuff I did as an adult and it took a $32,000 purchase to really feel like an adult"
Answer To No One
"I wanted to buy a box of fruit roll-ups. But was feeling weird about it because as a kid we were not allowed to get it. It was too expensive and my parents didn’t want to buy it. At some point, while I was thinking about putting it down, it dawned on me that I was a grown man with my own income. I bought like 20 boxes."
Remember your first job? That was a defining moment for these Redditors.
Joining The Daily Grind
"Starting my first full-time 9-5 job."
"Same. It was weird not having to clock in or out and being allowed to leave work to go run an errand etc."
"I relate to this so hard. I remember when I got my first big boy job I'd pop my head into the bosses office and be like 'cool if I go to lunch?' Or something along those lines and she'd give me a weird look. After like two weeks she let me know that she did not care about lunch breaks, doctors appointments, or even leaving a little early, so long as the work got done. One of my earliest memories of that adulty feeling."
I remember buying my first movie ticket to an R-rated movie was extremely satisfying.
I conveniently forget what movie it was, but it was most likely for a horror film.
Not that the restriction for those under 17 has ever prevented me from sneaking into another theater after having purchased a ticket for a PG-13 film.
Hey, I never claimed to be a model teenager.
No joke, I will never forget the old Sock'em Boppers commercials. I am well past the age group that plays with these things but that theme song is often in my head. What can I say? I watched a ton of TV as a kid and saw that commercial a million times.
They're now known as Socker Boppers and it's just not the same. Remember that video jingle, "it's more fun than a pillow fight?" Those were the days. Alas, everything good must end.
There are a host of other commercials that have left an impression on people. These people shared their thoughts with us after Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 asked the online community,
"What's a commercial you'll never forget?"
"I still giggle..."
"I still giggle at the LifeAlert "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials. They even have a newer batch of them out."
There's a criminal in my house!
"Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"
The world may never know.
"I tried to collect..."
"Yo quiero Taco Bell!"
"I tried to collect all those stuffed Taco Bell dogs they did in promotion around this time. I had almost all of them, but never got my favourite one, with the military hat that says, "Viva gordita!""
I remember those! There were so many. I swear, I had at least one or two but they've now been lost to time.
"This is your brain."
"The "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs" egg commercial."
Oh, but remember the old Rachel Leigh Cook commercial where she destroyed the entire kitchen and not just the egg?
"The dancing old man..."
"The dancing old man from the Six Flags commercials."
Now this one really takes me back.
The Venga bus is coming!!!
And everybody's jumping!!!
"That mid 2000s..."
"That mid 2000s Chef Boyardee commercial where the can follows the family and rolls home with them."
You mean the one where the can is clearly stalking the family and people are too shy to say otherwise?
At least that's how I like to play it out in my head.
"The Wilford Brimley..."
"The Wilford Brimley diabeetus commercial."
At this point, diabetes should just be called Wilford Brimley syndrome.
"The Budweiser Wassup Commercial refuses to exit my brain to this day."
WAZZZUUUUUPPP!? Any kids watching Scary Movie will not understand that reference in the movie sadly.
"Five eight eiiight, two-three hundred... ...Empiiiiire!"
Good choice. This one is always living rent-free inside my head.
"My bologna has a first name. It's O-s-c-a-r. My bologna has a second name. It's M-a-y-e-r. Oh, I love to eat it every day and if you ask my why, I'll say. Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with b-o-l-o-g-n-a."
This commercial is likely singlehandedly responsible for teaching children how to spell "bologna."
Apologies if you now have relentless commercial jingles rattling inside your brain right now. You should have known we'd awake some long buried childhood memories!
Have some commercials you remember? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
If you're not familiar with the phrase "you are what you eat," it is not a literal statement.
Instead, the line suggests that it is important to eat better quality foods in order to stay healthy and fit.
But the notion that we can go through a transformation of some sort based on our behavior or surroundings can still be a thing depending on certain discussions within context.
Curious to hear examples of what this might be, Redditor standardgenre45 asked:
"What’s something that people turn into their whole personality?"
We can lose sight of ourselves when heavily influenced by another individual or a group of people.
Influenced By Devotion
"Politicians they follow."
Era-Specific Like-Minded Individuals
"The generation they're born in."
We Like, We Follow
"‘Girl bosses’/MLM cult engagers"
"And social media."
People can take on the characteristics that apply to their environments.
"Here in the Netherlands people who live in Amsterdam base their personality on Amsterdam."
When In Colorado
"People move to Colorado and Colorado becomes their personality. They buy a jeep or Subaru and start wearing Chaco’s, and plaster Mountain Life all over everything they own."
Claiming Ownership Of The State
"Not only that, but 'Colorado native' is a whole thing too. I've met many people who have nothing to talk about except how bitter they are that people keep moving in and how much better it was when they were kids."
What The Canadian Said
"It’s that way for a lot of major cities around the world. Here in Canada each province’s capital city has a bunch of people basing their personality off of it."
The Thing About Major American Cities
"Lots of New Yorkers (City not state) guilty of this too. But it’s not just them. Los Angelinos, San Francisans, Chicago and DC are guilty too. Texans are probably the worst about it, especially the further they get away from Texas, then you’ve got people from Austin who are like the elitist Texans, they’re like the oddest mix of hippie and redneck. They often pride themselves on the hippie and denounce the redneck while still obviously being one."
Things having to do with money can be an obsession and really take over the essence of a person.
Living Work Or Work For A Living?
Value Of Conversation
"Or just money in general. I worked with a guy who only ever talked about what things were worth, mostly vehicles. What he was thinking about buying. How much he could sell something for. The trades he wanted to make. How much our customers made. What motorbike he bought before from a guy on the street we happened to be on and what it's worth. That's all. It was annoying as f'k. Any conversation at all, you could be talking about your grandma, and he immediately tries to change the subject to value. It was literally the only small talk he knew. The fact he was poor just made it sad."
Just Cut The Pricetag
"Omg my husband is kind of like this and as much as I love him, it's so frustrating. I'm just not all about money. We don't need to tell the kids how much their gifts cost. Idk. It makes me a little nuts."
Power Of Money
"True, I lived it twice. First time I was a young, driven, ladder climber. Second I was a greedy, grab All the Cheeto’s before everything goes to pot… then when it did in 2008, financial collapse happened, I became lost. I’d let 95% of my identity become my job when it disappeared so did I. Took over a year to get my head right."
Ever been told that you're turning into one of your parents?
That's another phrase often uttered, especially by a sibling who sees that you have slowly taken on the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of your mom or dad.
Learned behavior or genes?
Could be either or both. What do you think?