As a restaurant who offers a buffet almost daily, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we would like to share some tips on Buffet Etiquette so that the experience is a pleasant one for all our patrons.
Whether you choose to have a buffet so that you can sample a variety of food or because you find it more affordable, there are some things to consider so that the experience is enjoyable to everyone.
It’s not merely about good manners but also about hygiene. A buffet is a wonderful experience, and we recommend you try it out!
What to do and NOT to do at a Buffet
- Observe the direction of the people in the line before you join the line Do not cut the line, for whatever reason, as this is rude to everyone else. There is always enough food available
- Attempt to have a look at what options are available in the buffet beforehand, so that you can plan what you want to eat, as far as possible. It is advisable to sample a few options first and then return to try other options
- Ensure that you take a clean plate each time, as there are usually sufficient available at the start of the buffet section. This will avoid the spread of any germs and help promote hygiene. As part of buffets, the kitchen staff are fully prepared for the extra washing and cleaning tasks. If there aren’t clean plates readily available, please speak to one the staff
- Always use the utensils that are allocated for each dish. Do not mix the utensils. If there aren’t sufficient utensils, please ask the staff to assist. There is also usually a side plate or spoon holder for these utensils, so always leave them back there and not in the dish itself. There are a variety of reasons why mixing utensils may not be acceptable, e.g. personal preferences, allergies, cultural requirements, etc.
- If the dish has a lid, please place the lid back on after use to ensure that other patrons are not left with cold food. It is acceptable to partially close the dish with the lid to make is easier for people behind you, if the situation calls for it
- Try not to eat food from your plate whilst standing in the line. Besides being unhygienic if you are still in the process of dishing up, it may be considered off-putting for others
- Apply common courtesy, patience and respect to others in the line
- If you plan to return to the buffet station, leave your napkin on your chair as it will signal that you will be returning
- Yes, it’s a buffet and you served yourself – but do leave a tip, as the staff cleaned up before you arrived, they will clean up during and after your meal as well