Anytime you go out to dine in a place like P.F. Chang’s or another restaurant, you’re likely to find a buffet option in the menu. The buffet originated in France in the 16th century, but it has withstood the test of time and is now popular all over the West. Basically, a buffet is a meal where you and your companions serve yourselves from different dishes that are laid before you.
That is the basic definition of the buffet, and it remains very popular, but numerous concepts and themes have since emerged, and they are especially popular during special holidays or occasions. In fact, restaurants today offer catering services so more guests can avail of their dishes.
Here are some of the most popular types of buffet available.
All You Can Eat Buffet
Probably the most popular buffet style today, this buffet provides guests with the most value for their money. Usually you just need to pay a fixed price and you’ll be given a buffet consisting of different foods like desserts, a salad bar, hot food and more. The all you can eat buffet is especially prevalent in Hometown Buffet and Old Country Buffet.
Catered buffets are becoming more popular now as restaurants are starting to feed more people and in larger numbers. These days, it’s not unusual to see restaurants offering catered buffets for weddings, holiday parties, business meetings and more. In addition, you can find some restaurants now offering buffet services off site, expanding their services.
Buffets for Special Occasions
You’ll also find most restaurants offering buffet during special occasions, holidays or as part of a promotion. For instance, a restaurant might offer a special seafood buffet on the first Sunday of every month for a specific period. It’s also common practice for restaurants to offer buffet on Mother’s Day or other special days.
The cafeteria buffet is slowly catching up in terms of popularity with the others, and here you choose plates full of food as they go through a line. The food in a cafeteria buffet varies and can range from soups to sandwiches to different kinds of desserts.
These are the most popular buffets today, and there’s bound to be more variations since people can’t seem to get enough of them. While some restaurants provide a certain type of buffet, more and more are now offering different types to meet the needs of their guests.
Why are Buffets so Popular?
There’s a reason why buffets are popular with restaurant owners and guests. For the guests, it means an opportunity to savor different kinds of food, while for the restaurant owner it means they can feed a lot of people using only a minimum number of staff. While guests are enjoying their meal, restaurant owners are happy since they don’t have to dedicate a large number of staff to serve people. In addition, buffets can serve as a useful promotional tool, and for guests like you it is an opportunity to eat a lot of different foods while on a budget.
The good thing about a buffet is that while there are different types, the guidelines for eating are the same. While you can choose whatever food you want, try to keep these things in mind.
Start by taking a look at the food items that are on the buffet prior to making a selection, because this way you’ll know which items appeal to you the most and work your way towards them. While you’re eating, remember to ask for a fresh plate before setting any food there. Aside from that, you should never return the same plate since it might lead to germs spreading.
You must also avoid reaching around someone as that is not only considered rude but might lead to an accident. Under these circumstances, the best option is to just wait for them to finish their turn. You should also do your best to keep the line moving and don’t hover. If you can’t make up your mind if you want the food item or not, just move on and go back to it later.
Here are a few other things you need to keep in mind. Avoid touching any of the food that is in the serving trays or dishes, and don’t use your fingers to grab something from the dish. If you want something from the dish, use your spoon, fork or knife. If you are provided with utensils specifically for the buffet, use those.
If you have to get up from your seat, just put your napkin on your seat to let the other guests know that you will be coming back. Finally, you should put all the serving utensils back on their original places in the dishes, as this is the best way to avoid contamination.