1. Wait your turn in line like everyone else. Butting in ahead of others or sneaking back between people to grab one more roll is rude. And it is really rude to butt in front of first time buffeters to get seconds of something you’ve already gone through the line and eaten.
2. Do not touch buffet food with your fingers. Tongs and serving utensils are there to transfer food from the buffet to your plate. Use them. That also means you cannot take food from the buffet and pop it into your mouth.
3. No licking your fingers. fiddling with your hair, scratching your crotch or butt, or wiping your nose while in the buffet line. None of us watching you do this will want to touch the tongs after you do.
4. Exercise some self control. A buffet is not a free for all, “pile it a mile high on the first pass” occasion. This is not a competition to see who can take the greatest amount of food at one time. Take a moderate amount of food for a *normal* serving, go to your table and eat it. If you want seconds and thirds, you can go get more after all the guests have had a chance to access the buffet the first time but to pile your plate to overloading on the first pass may mean there is none for those guests waiting in line behind you.
One of the most astonishing acts of selfishness I have seen is when a young man took the equivalent of 4 servings of a breakfast egg dish that were left in a steam pan thus leaving the last three men behind him with absolutely no egg dish whatsoever. Yet another bad example I witnessed was a potluck buffet for a wedding reception where the first 2/3 of the guests transformed themselves into pigs and piled their plates to overflowing and literally left nothing for the last 30 guests. I know this because I was the second to the last person to go through the buffet line and there was absolutely nothing to eat. Every pan, dish and bowl was scraped clean.
5. Keep the line moving. If you are one of those people who picks up each individual piece of lettuce and examines it before putting it on your plate, please do the rest of us a favor and wait til the end to go through the buffet. Ditto for picking up pieces of meat on the buffet and wondering what it is as you hold it aloft.
6. Clean plate each time, please.