Author Topic: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.  (Read 7534 times)

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Harriet Jones

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2014, 07:46:35 PM »
I think it depends on what you believe you are paying for.  Are you paying for a 'cram as much as you possible can in' container or a single meal?

If it's the latter then you know you are taking more than your fair share, if it's the former then no.

The buffet is $5.13 no matter how much food you take so long as it all fits within the container.

You're obviously following the "letter of the law", but are possibly violating the "spirit of the law".  If the cafeteria management decides they're losing too much money at the buffet, they'll probably start charging by weight.  When I worked at a place with a cafeteria, they charged by the ounce for the salad bar and the buffet.

Possum

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2014, 03:49:52 AM »
Another buffet question. Is it rude to take all of an item after it is placed on the buffet?

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?
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.

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.
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.

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.
If a buffet knows they'll serve 400 crab legs an hour at max, based on the fact that for the past five years they serve no more than 400 crab legs per hour at max, and so they put out 400 crab legs at 6 pm and a single party takes all 400, that is not the kitchen being poorly prepared. 

menley

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2014, 04:30:03 AM »
I think it depends on what you believe you are paying for.  Are you paying for a 'cram as much as you possible can in' container or a single meal?

If it's the latter then you know you are taking more than your fair share, if it's the former then no.

The buffet is $5.13 no matter how much food you take so long as it all fits within the container.

You're obviously following the "letter of the law", but are possibly violating the "spirit of the law".  If the cafeteria management decides they're losing too much money at the buffet, they'll probably start charging by weight.  When I worked at a place with a cafeteria, they charged by the ounce for the salad bar and the buffet.

Agreed - this happened at two client sites I worked at. In both cases, management was fed up with people clearly taking more than intended for a single lunch and changed the policies. I'd be careful if I were you. At one client in particular, people who were taking extra and saving it for another meal were disciplined (management identified them as they were taking up significant space in the employee refrigerators and began monitoring the ins and outs).

AnnaJ

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2014, 12:38:02 PM »

If a buffet knows they'll serve 400 crab legs an hour at max, based on the fact that for the past five years they serve no more than 400 crab legs per hour at max, and so they put out 400 crab legs at 6 pm and a single party takes all 400, that is not the kitchen being poorly prepared.

I agree that a one-time (or very rare) incident like this is pretty beyond the best of planning, but several people have posted about buffets that always have this problem and that is poor planning.

TootsNYC

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2014, 03:11:07 PM »
Thank you to everybody who suggested ways to ward off the "hugger." I will certainly try the small step/lean back or the making myself larger routines.

I have let others go ahead of me when there's no one behind the hugger, but in this case since the line was rather long it almost felt like I would be cutting back in . . . like I stepped out of line seeming like I was done. Does that make sense?


Actually it does not. (Well, I mean, I see the logic you have drawn, but I believe it is faulty.)

That would fall under the "things that seem like Special Snowflake / rude behavior but are not."

You are not cutting in line. You are readjusting your place in that line, to no one's detriment.

And even it's not "stepping out" because you aren't stepping out.

(I could see your logic--still wouldn't agree with it, necessarily--if you let the guy behind go in front of you at the supermarket checkout because you were waiting for your DH to bring you the ice cream--because you are waiting for your items to purchase, you are sort of stepping out of line. But in this case, you aren't doing that in any way.)

Do it at any time.

TOLady

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #50 on: June 13, 2014, 07:59:16 PM »
I just returned from a resort - all-inclusive. The amount of people I saw going up and just PILING their dinner plates and only took a taste or two of stuff and went up to get the stuff they liked, leaving the rest to be tossed, still amazes me (a country where food in quantities like that are incredible to the staff that work there and as they have told me that this offends them to have it thrown away (they are not allowed to take it if it is left on the plates - but trust me, if they could, they would!).

I, myself, took the salad plate, took a very tiny portion of what appealed to me, ate those and went back for more of what I really liked.

What really disturbed me, however, were the grill station vultures. You can choose between various raw fish/chicken/beef/seafood varieties and have it grilled to your preference. The flat grills are quite large. The number of people who would stand in front of the station and "guard" their cooking food was nuts! Dagnabit - the chef could have been cooking 15 peoples selections without a problem (there was a different grill station for those with allergies), but NO - they had to watch their individual meal cooked and would quarterback block anyone who wanted to give in their order.

I would just gave my order to the chef, walked to the other stations and selected my sides and came back when it would be done.

Don't even get me talking about the "lady" who refused to share the bread toaster (one of those revolving belt ones) with anyone else (she also did not use the tongs when choosing her bread and had to take not the first or second slice of the pre-sliced, but feel through until the slice felt perfect!

When I made my toast - I knew I had time during the rotation to get a fresh juice - bring to the table - get my selection of egg - bring to the table and pick up my toast (coming back to flip to brown the other side - using tongs) - no one was inconvenienced.

Then again - as a lover of e-hell - I know my etiquette!

NyaChan

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #51 on: June 14, 2014, 02:03:01 AM »
Honestly,  I would have waited by my food while it toasted or cooked. 

1) I don't want someone else to take it by mistake or to take someone else's by mistake if I mix-up which one was mine when I get back
2) I don't want people preparing food for me to have to hold the food for me if it gets done sooner than I expect or have to keep track of which order was mine out the many they are cooking
3) I want to watch them cook it so I know what went into it.

Now if they are flat out not letting anyone else get food prepared at those stations that is bad, but just waiting there isn't IMO.

ladyknight1

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2014, 09:00:31 AM »
I would not be one of the hoverers. That drives me nuts. I have seen that on cruise lines as well, during the lunch buffet.