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.
Everyone has a breaking point.
Even the person who seems to be the calmest has that moment when their patience has run thin, and all it takes is a little more prodding and antagonizing to set them off.
Curious to hear examples of when strangers online were surprised by what they witnessed, Redditor Specktakles88 asked:
"Have you ever seen a normally calm person completely lose their sh*t? What happened?"
A triggering moment unleashed wild behavior.
The Dude Who Had It Coming
"I was chilling at a friend’s house as a kid. His dad was the chillest, nicest guy. That day, my friend’s mom (also super nice) was across the street talking to the neighbor about something that I can no longer recall. Neighbor was one of those guys who never respected common etiquette: music blaring, parking his sh**ty boat in front of other people’s house, cars parked on the lawn. The neighbor started screaming at the mom and we all went out on the stoop to see what was happening. As soon as we got outside, the guy called my friend’s mom a c*nt. Well, my friend’s dad heard that and went full Hulk mode. He ran SCREAMING across the street and just f'king decked the guy and crouched over him shouting warnings and threats. Took a while for his wife to calm him down. I don’t think any of them had ever seen him react to something in that way, maybe even the dad himself."
"I worked as a line cook with a chef who I became really good friends with. Really chill dude, easy going, and actually super fun to cook with. He taught me most of what I know about cooking and I owe him a lot for my success. Never really saw him get mad until one day, we were getting slammed during busy night and one of the servers said something that really ticked him off, not sure if I ever heard what it was, but next thing I knew he had sent the deep fryer basket flying at Mach 1 across the kitchen, nearly missing the dish kid and shattering a light bulb. He stormed off and 5 minutes later after a smoke break, came back and casually continued cooking as if nothing had happened."
"He apologized about it the next day and we never talked about it again. The restaurant industry is a stressful place."
Thing About Grandpa
"When I was in my late teens I was financially irresponsible and borrowed money from my grandparents to move out of my mom's house. We made a plan on how I would pay it back in installments and I only missed two payments, with each one I called my granddad and asked if it was okay. He was always cool about it. One day I got a call from him and he was LIVID. Screaming at me on the phone and I could hear my grandmother crying in the background. He was the angriest I’ve ever heard anyone in my life and I was terrified. He wanted to know why I hadn’t made the payment that month, but I was sure I had. It turns out I had accidentally set the automated payment to be drawn from the wrong account and it hadn’t done it. It was an honest mistake on my part, and I explained that to him. I transferred the money immediately and he instantly calmed down. I later found out he had become an alcoholic after he quit smoking, and he would talk to my grandmother like that regularly when no one was around."
Awakening The Beast
"This is not my story but my dads. Growing up his best friend Leif was a quiet, shy guy that was a bit socially awkward. In school he wasn't physically bullied but this one kid teased him constantly. This would have been late 50's, early 60's so kids were expected to just tough it out. My dad would usually confront the kid but one day a girl runs up to him and says that Leif and the kid are fighting."
"My dad runs over to save Leif but when he breaks through the circle he finds the bully flat on his back, Leif sitting on his chest, holding him by the ears and smashing his head into the pavement over and over. My dad tackles him, wrestles him to the ground and screams at him, asking what he's doing. The thing that stayed with me from that story was how he described it, 'it was like there was nothing in there, I felt like I could see the back of his skull through his eyes.'"
"Luckily they were kids so the damage was serious but limited, the bully escaped with stitches and a concussion and Leif had to talk to the school psychologist. My dad and Leif stayed best friends and when I met him as an adult he was still quiet but less shy and awkward."
Work-related stresses really brought out the fury in these people.
"I had a friend who was in his 60's, a functioning alcoholic but he was the most calm and composed guy I have ever known. He never used to raise his voice or swear. Everything was done with meticulous precision."
"He once explained to me that if you use vulgar language and shout all the time, then you will have nowhere to go when you really do get angry."
"I had worked with him for about 3 years, never heard him raise his voice or swear before. The week before he had been shafted on his pay and the manager promised to get it sorted by Friday. Friday rolled around and it had not been sorted. So when my friend walked up to the manager in the open office and declared loudly 'Where the f'k is my money? You promised this would be resolved.' The whole office went silent and the look of dread on the manager's face was haunting. The money was in his account by the end of the day."
"That was him losing his sh*t."
"I used to see this woman in my building every day. Very friendly. We always checked on each other’s lives. We had lunch a few times over the years. It was friendly to a certain degree. A couple years passed. She was much older than me. One day, riding the elevator, she told me that she was saying goodbye. I said I was sorry to see her go and asked why. She said she was retiring that day. I asked if her office was throwing a party or if she was celebrated. She turned to me and her face contorted into an image of rage. She clenched her teeth and said she didn’t tell anyone in her office, including her bosses. She only told the HR person last week. This was her last day and she was never returning to see or talk to anyone in her office again."
The Gentle Giant
"I used to do seasonal work sorting tax returns. Like, 500 people in a warehouse size room sorting through returns, stacking them in boxes, etc. This one guy on my team, huge dude, a gentle giant, really nice. Suddenly one day he smashes the table he's working at, then flips a big box full of paperwork. It flew over my head and twenty feet away. He threw the table out of his way them stormed out. Turns out he was getting his paycheck garnished for something or other."
Rambunctious behavior really set these people off, but it also restored peace.
The Teacher Who Had Enough
"One of my teachers in high school was THE calmest dude. Never yelled, never told kids off, would just laugh and smile and wait for us all to calm down and then continue with his teaching. One day we must have been particularly rowdy and we weren’t calming down like we usually did. He couldn’t get a word in edge ways. I could see him getting increasingly frustrated and eventually he just bellowed SHUUUUTTT UPPPPP And the entire class was shocked into silence. He never had to do it again lmao"
Too Angry To Hold A Knife
"It takes a lot to make my mom yell. On the rare occasion she did yell, it still felt like she had self control. Like she yelled on purpose, because there was a reason to yell (like she needed to be that loud for us to hear us, or one of the kids needed to learn to never run into traffic again.)"
"But one morning when we were teenagers, my brother was being really, really difficult."
"And my very sweet, soft-spoken mother yelled 'GOD DAMN IT SHAWN' and threw a butter knife down so hard it stuck, 1/4 inch deep, in oak hardwood floor. Against the grain. I can still hear the noise it made."
"We were all very, very well behaved for the rest of the day."
"I did eventually ask my mom why she did that. Her explanation was that she felt she was too angry to hold a knife, even a butter knife, and was trying to get it out of her hand before she did something stupid."
Granny's Mean Streak
"Man my grandma has a similar thing. This boy was a couple years older than she was and he was constantly picking on her. He's riding his bike home from school one day and he rides past her and he's shouting at her and she knocks him right off his bike and beat the sh*t out of him. My sweet lil granny. The neighbor that saw it said he was proud as sh*t that she beat the snot out of this shitty kid lol. I think it was the start of my grandma's bad b*tch streak because not much later, she started street racing. She was allegedly a sweet little girl, but man I think she must have had a mean streak in her."
"Jerry Springer Christmas"
"My mom. We had what we now refer to as the 'Jerry Springer Christmas' when I was 7 or so. One aunt hated her sister in law and started screaming at her, then shoving started, husband's got involved, then it just continued to devolve from there. My mom went straight into mediator mode and tried to calm everyone down but it wasn't working. She decided to come check on us kids and found my cousin and me holding each other and sobbing because we were scared. The next thing I hear is her scary mom voice screaming over everyone 'listen here you motherf'kers. My kid is in there crying on Christmas because her family can't keep their sh*t together for one the one day a year we all see each other. You're gonna march your a**es into that room single file and apologize to each kid individually, then you're going to shut the hell up until I get them out of here. We're going to go find look at lights and this family better be the picture of goddam Christmas joy by the time we get back.' My mom never really cussed in front of me and only ever used gd when things were really bad. That side of the family didn't celebrate Christmas for a few years after that."
"Edit: thank you for the awards and kind words! Ma is tickled pink at all of the comments about how wonderful she is. I tell her every day how lucky I am to have her."
Rage is something that exists in all of us.
Some people are good at letting small things run off their back, while others have no patience for the smallest of grievances.
The lesson to be learned here is, never underestimate the calmest people. They might be the ones to really look out for. You don't want to be the reason for them to break their patience streak and unleash all of their built-up fury on you.
Be kind to others, and just don't be a prick.
Songwriters base many of their songs on love because the relatable emotion makes it easier for artists to connect with their audiences.
Whether that applies or doesn't apply in our own lives, we listen to the songs conveying these experiences to take us back so we may relive these affirmative moments from the past.
Curious to hear what's on the moody playlist of strangers online, Redditor udontknowmegurl asked:
"What is the saddest song you've ever heard?"
These iconic artists really touched the hearts of many people through their music.
Dolly's Love Anthem
"I will Always Love You by Dolly Parton, you can really tell she f'king lived that song."
When Mom Went To Heaven
"The night my mama died, my dad sang Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love to her in the back seat of the car on the way to the ER. She died of fully metastitized pancreatic cancer 18 days after diagnosis."
It Gets Deeper With Age
“'Landslide' by Fleetwood Mac I find that the older I get, the more meaning this song has."
Leave it to Disney to have us reaching for the tissue box.
"That song from UP makes me cry every time and it doesn’t even have lyrics."
When She Loved Me
"That one Jesse sings in Toy Story 2"
And let's not forget these emotional tunes that resonated with many Redditors.
Irish Folk Song
"‘Danny boy’ at a friends funeral 10 years ago. He, his sister and his gf all passed away in a house fire all in their early 20s. It was an Irish wake and the mix of grief and whiskey joy was something else."
When Love Moves On
"Into Dust by Mazzy Star gets me."
When You Want To "Disappear"
"How to disappear completely by Radiohead. Haunting instrumental, depression dripping through everyline of lyrics 'im not here, this isnt happening.'"
Ray Of Light In The Darkness
"You Are My Sunshine"
"Everything but the chorus is heartbreaking. Few people know anything but the chorus though."
From A Powerful Album
"Sylvia - The Antlers"
"Actually that whole album, Hospice, breaks me but this song in particular just leaves me in a mess every time."
When Love Fades
"The Night We Met by Lord Huron."
"No matter where I am, if I’m happy, who I’m with, etc. I’ll bawl my eyes out if that song plays. It’s so painful and true because one day they’re there and they’re your everything and then they start slipping until they’re gone and you wished you could go back to before you met them so you wouldn’t have to go through the pain of losing them. Just the lyrics 'I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you' hit this. People falling out of love in relationships, growing apart with friends, family members passing, etc. is what this hits for me and it hits hard."
One of the saddest songs I've heard is not connected to a personal experience, but the story being told is heartbreaking.
It's called "The Queen and the Soldier" by Suzanne Vega. The song is basically about a lonely, repressed virgin queen who keeps her heart closely guarded.
When a soldier enters her domain and challenges her internalized emotions, it's too much for her and has the soldier executed.
The song has continued haunting me ever since I first heard it.
An almost guaranteed phase of entering adulthood is unintentionally making it clear how much older you are than some present company.
This could be by the way you dress, talking about seeing a movie in its initial release when the person you're talking to wasn't born yet, or more than likely, by the way you talk.
When you say a slang term or phrase which was common place when you were a child, but today would likely be met by looks of confusion, or even disgust, should you use a term which is not only outdated but now considered offensive.
But then, shaking these old fashioned, or just plain old, terms and phrases might be a difficult task, so engrained are they in our vocabulary.
Redditor InfiniteDrafts was curious to hear what phrases people continue to use, despite knowing how quickly it will date them, leading them to ask:
What slang do you use regularly that is totally outdated?
Maybe rethink alternative words for "awesome"...
"I called a taco 'the Shizznit' a few days ago."
"I instantly felt 90 years old."- fattydad075
Not as "radical" as it once was...
"Righteous and radical."- king_7__Colors Flashing GIFGiphy
Language is eternal!
"None of MY slang is outdated, it's today's youth that are wrong!"- hotasphalt
How long have you got?
"I say things are the bees knees on the regular."
"Is 'on the regular' dated?"
"I also call the ocean 'the drink' for whatever reason."
"Picked that up at some point."- Paradigm6790
"This sub is making me extremely paranoid about my words now bc I say pretty much all of these words still."- jjjjjjj30season 10 friends GIFGiphy
Charming once, vulgar now...
"HAULIN’ A**."- f*ck_korean_air
Nah, come closer.
"Far out."- PaulClifford
A bit off
"Right on."- bombaderogato
Does anyone still even eat popsicles?
"When I'm ready to leave I say 'Let's blow this Popsicle stand."
"To be honest I'm not even sure what a posicle stand is."- B-Sdetector69Popsicle Freezer Pop GIFGiphy
It's hard not to feel self conscious around the younger generations who might laugh at your dated vocabulary.
But one should just remember, in 10 years or so, they'll likely find themselves in the exact same position.
And won't feel as "groovy" as they once did.
Who doesn't love a theme party?
When you not only get to dress up in something completely over the top, but also get to bear witness to everyone else's zany outfits in-keeping with the party's theme.
Be it Regency era, glam rock, or fairy tale villains.
Or what if the challenge is just to be blatantly inappropriate?
"You are going to a party. The theme is dress inappropriately. Who or what do you dress as?"
And not on your foot, one imagines...
"Nothing but a tube sock."- Sanguiniutron
"Dress normally, because if the theme is to dress inappropriately, and you dress appropriately, technically you're the one being inappropriate for the occasion."- GoAwayImHereForMemes
"I've actually been in a completely opposite situation."
"Was invited to a art exhibition, came in well dressed. It was basically porn but the person I went with forgot to mention that."
"I felt very malplace standing around people wearing next to nothing."
"So I would probably do that again because what's more inappropriate than being appropriate at an inappropriate event?"- cccantyousee
"I mean, if dressing inappropriately is the appropriate attire, then dressing appropriately would be inappropriate for the party, thus, making it appropriate."
"Now that I think about it, it's an unsolvable paradox."
"You could never appropriately dress inappropriately."- MUNKIESSGetting Ready Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
It's all in the details
"With the pants cuffs rolled up, wearing tevas with gym socks."- BitPoet
And they say you can only wear it once...
"Bridal gown."- fromhelley
Depends on your surroundings...
"Imma wear a parka."
"In South Texas."
"In August."- Ahshalon_TeniskParka GIF by moodmanGiphy
The question is, what aren't you wearing...
"Nothing I'd just show up in lingerie."- cloboehobo
Wrong on so many levels...
"A two sizes to small wrestling singlet, and crocs."- thirdtimer_2020I Like Swimsuit GIF by MOODMANGiphy
There's little more fun than facing the challenge of dressing to impress.
Or, in this instance, un-dressing to impress.
And if you are greeted by a round of shocked expressions, you know your choice of outfit was a success.