It's not about having enough of an item prepared to meet demand. It's about taking more than five times of your fair share, especially of high-demand items, leaving everyone else unable to have any until the kitchen (which has a pace and rhythm to cooking things) can get caught up. No one else gets a single crab leg while your group of four has 400 of them piled on your table.
Another buffet question. Is it rude to take all of an item after it is placed on the buffet?It's never rude to take the *last* of something, but it's always rude to take *all* of something. The former meaning there's only a healthy-sized spoon full of rice left, so you finish it off. The latter meaning they just put out chicken and you get every single drumstick and thigh from the bin--or in your case, they just put out the crab legs, so you and your party clean out the entire dish, taking far more than one serving per person.
I think that it is inconsiderate of other guests, if not rude. I have seen this happen with crab legs on a buffet several times. And really, how much crab can you crack and eat while it is still warm?
This is really the fault of the restaurant - they should either have enough of an item prepared to be able to meet demand or they shouldn't offer it. Unfortunately things like crab legs can be a big draw and buffets will advertise them as available without really intending to provide a sufficient amount for demand; and by demand, I mean they should be able to satisfy the desires of their customers, even the ones who want to eat several servings.
I live in Buffetland and there are dozens of buffets that offer things like crablegs and prime rib and always have them readily available, so it is absolutely possible.
Actually, it is a problem of not having enough prepared. If people are emptying out the food item then the kitchen needs to be preparing multiple batches or have them thawed or precooked and ready to reheat; this really can't be a mystery to them if it happens as often as people here say, and it's a sign of a poorly run buffet.
There is no 'fair share' at a commercial buffet - people will take the amount they want to of certain foods. Restaurants have choices - raise the price of buffets so they can buy enough of the popular items; penalize people for wasting food by charging them extra (I've seen signs threatening this); stop serving items that they cannot/will not keep stocked; have a staff member serve items that are popular - people can return for more servings, but only one serving at a time.
Well, this depends. I used to know a guy who, maybe a few times a year
, would decide to splurge on a Chinese buffet. He loved oysters and would hover around the buffet until they brought them out, take them all, eat them all, and go back and hover for another batch, several times in succession. His table was a sea of shells. It was crazy! But he only did this a few times a year.
So unless there's a different
gimme pig staking out the oysters every night, the restaurant couldn't really cook enough for this guy every night. They'd be throwing out bushels of oysters night after night. All they could do was try to keep up on the occasions when he was actually there.