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Dinner And A Show.

Shutterstock/Sergey Mironov

Dinner And A Show.

"The case of the naked Lo Mein!

I was in a ubiquitous Chinese Buffet, minding my own business and overdosing on MSG. Life was good.

A lady walked up to the Shrimp Lo Mein and spent five minutes picking out just the shrimp while angry folks lined up behind her. As she walked away with her plate piled high there were muttered curses from the other patrons.

A couple of minutes later a manager walked by the buffet station and spotted the now naked Low Mein. He was no dummy. He scanned the room and spotted her right away. Now she was a marked woman!

Flash forward a few minutes and a worker comes out to refresh the Shrimp Lo Mein. Our shrimp thief jumps up and begins the process again! She was picking out her third shrimp when the manager accosted her. She looked up, glared at him and flipped him the famous middle finger!

That earned her banishment from the restaurant. As she was escorted out, yelling all the way that she was entitled, folks were clapping. As she was going out the door she vowed never to return. Now folks were laughing at her. She stalked away shouting curses and I loved every minute. An MSG overdose and entertainment all for about $10 is not a bad deal!" (Source).

She Had Her Cakes And Ate Them Too.

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She Had Her Cakes And Ate Them Too.

"Once watched a really massive lady (I mean Hoveround bound, so heavy the chair squealed and groaned when she shifted) take entire PANS from the dessert table, like, you know not a plate full of pie, the whole damn pie, and the ones on either side.. she actually took about half the table herself.

But after the dessert, yes AFTER dessert, she went back and picked all the meat out of the meat and veggie or meat and pasta dishes. like all the meat.

Then she moved to the seafood table, and this is the nasty part, she scooped out the plates full of various seafood type items, did not even go to the table, would just suck the butter or broth off the meat, then pour the stuff back into the heating dish and go to the next hot plate.

And the staff, when they tried to remove her, were threatened with a lawsuit. When the cops came t remove her? They had to call in a freaking TECHNICIAN. She pulled the key to scooter, dropped it into the eternal abyss of her bosom, so they had to actually get forklift type thing to move her scooter and all...and the rest of us were given free drink refills for the WEEK and 50 dollar gift cards. Thank you Golden Corral" (Source).

Making A Day Of It.

Shutterstock/Nopparat Nakhamhom

Making A Day Of It.

"I have a friend who worked at a buffet restaurant and said some families would come to the restaurant and spend the entire day eating. They would eat a meal, sit around for awhile, then eat some more. Their kids would run around the restaurant and play in between snacking. This would last from lunch through dinner" (Source).

Major Health Code Violation.

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Major Health Code Violation.

"A woman walks up to the buffet, rummages through the different bowls with her bare hands, tasting different toppings, licking her fingers then rummaging through the next serving container. She reached down the front of her pants, scratched her crotch, and went back to her bare handed digging through the bowls and other serving containers. She tasted one dressing, spat it back into the serving container.

My wife complained to the weekend manager about what we had seen, and he said it was OK, and that he wasn't going to waste all that food. My wife told him that he was required by the health codes to waste the food. The manager said, 'What are you going to do about it?' My wife told him she would call the health department inspector for that area. The manager then said, 'Why should I be afraid of that b---h? None of those a--holes are in the office, they won't come out, and those dumbf--ks wouldn't know what was going on anyway.' So my wife calls, says, 'Hey Bill, this is Connie, from the West Office, I'm going to be doing an emergency inspection on {RESTAURANT NAME}, if that's OK with you.' The manager told my wife that she couldn't inspect the restaurant, that she wasn't a health inspector, and that we needed to leave before he called the police. Connie showed him her badge, announced that the buffet was closed as a health hazard, and had me go to the car and get her clipboard and inspection kit.

The manager called the police, who backed my wife when they arrived. Connie found enough to totally shut the restaurant down" (Source).

Evolutionary Mistakes.

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Evolutionary Mistakes.

"Buffet Vultures!

These folks are the worst! Their mission in life is to wipe out an expensive item and they don't give a crap about anyone else. At your every-day Chinese Buffet, that item is often crab legs.

They are not content to sit at their table. They have a need to lurk around the buffet station just like a vulture waiting for some poor animal to die.

Sometime there are three or four them circling their prey. The pecking order is extremely important to them. If one vulture gets a little too close, I swear the others hiss at him!

So the crab legs come out and the poor worker practically runs for his life before the vultures descend. I saw one lady pile up three huge plates of nothing but crab legs. The third plate was balanced on top of the other two. The look of triumph on her face was scary.

One day I mentioned this phenomenon to a buffet manager and he said he was long since numb to it. He didn't even think of these creatures as human. They were just an evolutionary mistake that nature would eventually rectify!" (Source).

Missing The Taco Station.

Shutterstock/Dalibor Danilovic

Missing The Taco Station.

"I was producing a live comedy show at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. I was only in town for a few days and was working with a crew that I worked with several times a year. A coworker and video editor friend of mine had heard good stories about the buffet at the MGM Grand, which is pretty close to Mandalay Bay. So, on one of our meal breaks we decided to go and check out what all of the fuss was about.

When we arrived, there was a line of people waiting to get in, so we had to stand there for a few minutes before being admitted. While we were chatting, I hadn't paid much attention to the group of 3--4 young, Korean tourists in front of us. At one point, my friend nudges me and nods toward the group, as if to say, 'Check that out.'

They guy standing directly in front of me was in his early 20's, casually dressed in t-shirt and ball cap... and blue jeans... with his right arm stuffed straight down the back of them. His hand was right down the middle of his ass-crack and so deep that his belt was literally about half way up his forearm. Just casually standing there, almost elbow deep in his own underwear, like it was the most normal thing to do when standing in line at a buffet restaurant.

I'm not known for being shy in social situations, so I tapped Mr. Stinkfingers on the shoulder, motioned to his ongoing spelunking activities and asked, 'So, are you digging for gold back there or something?'

He quickly jerked his hand out and apologized profusely, but I added: 'I hope you're planning on washing your hands before you start handling the utensils at the buffet stations, because everyone else after you has to use the same ones.' He apologized again and said he would.

He did not. My friend and I kept our eyes on him and rushed around to get to the buffet stations that he'd not yet soiled with his most certainly fecal-flecked phalanges. Turns out the MGM Buffet was great, though we never did get to the taco station" (Source).

The One Strand Pasta Bandit.

Shutterstock/pema

The One Strand Pasta Bandit.

"The worst of the worst was at a Shakey's restaurant I used to frequent in Kyoto. They had pizza slices, pasta, and some fried chicken for variety. One man, youngish, around 25, would take all the spaghetti on multiple plates, balance them very carefully on his arms, and return to his table. He would leave one strand, though.

One.

Did this at least three times on my visits to that establishment. Now, being in Japan, it's very hard for the manager to tell the patron he was being rude. In the West, no problem. Tell that scumbag of a customer and put them in their place, but in Japan, one must always be polite! So no one said anything...until me, the angry foreigner.

One day I went with my girlfriend (now my wife) and she wanted to get the pasta. The guy elbowed her out of the way and proceeded to take everything, but leave one strand. Now, keep in mind that my wife is around 5'1". This guy was around 5'11" and not skinny. After witnessing this, I went over to his table where he sat alone, surrounded by plates of pasta. I also took the empty pan with the one strand in it.

At his table, he looked at me and asked 'What?'

Not saying a word, I proceeded to take all his plates of yet-to-be-touched pasta and dump them in the pan. I did leave one strand, though.

He left the restaurant and never came back again" (Source).

You Don't Know Where That Ladle's Been.

Shutterstock/Touch of eyes

You Don't Know Where That Ladle's Been.

"Normally I wouldn't name the franchise, but they tend to treat their employees like s--t, so I'm saying this happened at a Harvester.

If you've never been to Harvester before, they have a salad bar where you can get pasta, cheese, bread, lettuce, sauces, and other such things before your meal arrives. The sauces come in large plastic jugs with individual ladles.

The most outrageous violation of restaurant buffet etiquette came when an elderly woman went up to the counter. She ladled one sauce onto her salad bowl, then using the same ladle, dunked it into a different sauce. This was bad enough. She then proceeded to lift the ladle to her face, sniff it, then lick some of the sauce off. And then she put it back into the sauce.

Staff did nothing" (Source).

Pay Attention To Your Kids.

Shutterstock/swissmacky

Pay Attention To Your Kids.

"I hate buffets. I hate buffets. Apart from people tending to immediately find their inner Hedonismbot and make trip after trip to load plates with more nasty warming-tray food than they're probably ever rated to carry, I've personally seen things that made my skin crawl.

At a Chinese buffet, I saw a man who was holding a toddler on his hip and talking to someone as he stood near the dessert station. The little girl, bored, craned her head back toward the dry cookies and neon-yellow pudding. Her gaze fell on the ice cream machine. Aha! A curl of chocolate soft-serve dangled tantalizingly from the spout. It was just close enough to reach. She pulled her finger from her nose and stuck it up the nozzle, getting a big glob. Back to her mouth. Mm, delicious! Her finger trailed back up toward her nose, then she checked to see if any more ice cream had appeared. It had! Her finger popped back out of her nose, back up the nozzle for another dip. Back to her mouth.

I haven't eaten soft-serve ice cream since. Every time I look at the machine, I see tiny snot-slicked fingers rooting for chocolate.

That was probably the most egregious incident. To be fair, it was a kid and her dad wasn't paying any attention" (Source).

The Staff Can Be Just As Guilty.

Shutterstock/Ikonoklast Fotografie

The Staff Can Be Just As Guilty.

"Then there are the sins of the staff:

• I was once at a buffet for a business lunch and saw a bowl of raw chicken pieces sitting out on the line, under one of the warming lamps. The employee was headed toward the kitchen and got distracted. The bowl sat out for about twenty minutes before someone thought to move it.

• At the same buffet as the one with the little girl and the ice cream machine, I dipped up some noodles that were covered in a heavy sauce. When I got back to the table, I pushed them around on my plate and found that they were bound with a rubber band that blended right in. They must have tossed rubber-banded bundles of noodles into the cooking pot. I have a few serious allergies that make Chinese buffets dangerous ground but I never thought I'd risk eating a rubber band and setting off my latex anaphylaxis.

• One thing I learned is that if you try to bypass the buffet and order off-menu, you might turn to see a sullen waiter putting together your meal from the very stuff you were trying to avoid. I've discovered, especially at breakfast buffets, that it's prudent to specifically order food that you can't find out on the buffet line. Of course, then you run the risk of making everyone hate you for complicating their jobs. You can see it in their eyes....just get the buffet, a--hole!" (Source).

But So Can The Guests.

Shutterstock/Tsuguliev

But So Can The Guests.

"...and the many, many sins of your fellow guests, including:

• Dribbling juices from a shellfish dish through other food (a big danger to me, since I am very allergic to shellfish). The universe smacked me down roundly when I was fool enough to crave the vegetarian kimchi one buffet. I made a beeline for it, only to find that they'd stuck the stuff between a vat of purple tentacles and some sort of shrimpy noodle thing. Tentacles emerged from the cabbage amid pools of murky shrimp juice, as if the kimchi had become sentient and was waiting to make its move. The customers were jerks for dribbling bits of food into other dishes, but I also blame the restaurant... if you go to the trouble of making vegetarian kimchi, why would you stick it between two seafood dishes?

• Two words- chocolate fountain. Or maybe cheese fountain. Or gravy fountain, if the diabolical think-tanks have come up with something that gross. The big problem here is that it merges thinking-outside-the-box with rampaging gluttony, and that's a dangerous proposition. Sure you're not supposed to run a couple of dripping chicken wings under the chocolate curtain, but what the staff doesn't know won't hurt 'em, right? I have seen things I never expected to see coated in cheap melting chocolate. Sausages. Drumsticks. Once a forkful of scrambled eggs. And all of those drippings and bits get recirculated....blarrrgh.

I think that the really awful thing about buffets is that seeing all that cheap food brings out the worst in people. They get greedy, and they know this isn't fine dining so their manners fall by the wayside. It's the sort of thinking that inspires a man to make a little log cabin from sausages, with a bacon roof (actually seen at a breakfast buffet). It's the sort of thinking that makes someone shrug and shuffle onward when they drop a cod fillet into a vat of banana pudding.

No thanks" (Source).

Even At Disney.

Shutterstock/s_bukley

Even At Disney.

"At a Disney buffet, one time a family went to the buffet table and removed the serving trays/bins of the food! They brought them back to their table before the cast members realized what was going on. Once at the table, they immediately stuck their serving utensils in the trays, making it impossible for the cast members to retrieve the food and return it to the buffet.

The chef was seriously not amused. They hadn't taken every tray, of course but what they did take required time to replace, which inconvenienced many other paying guests. They did get told not to do that again" (Source).

All For Instagram.

Shutterstock/ArthurStock

All For Instagram.

"There was that time that two girls wasted all the food for likes.

I was at a hotel buffet in China and it was an upscale place with plenty of variety and lots of great high end options - wide assortments of appetizers, all you can eat seafood and cooked to order steaks. My wife and I were seated next to two young girls who looked like they weighed maybe 150lbs between them.

After we come back with our plates piled high, we noticed the two girls hadn't eaten but instead had kept shuttling back and forth and grabbing plates and plates of food. They ended up covering their entire table with perhaps over a dozen plates, each crammed with heaping portions of everything - mountains of crab legs, oysters, steaks, lamb chops and pretty much every item they had.

We were flabbergasted because apparently they did this just to take pictures!

While we ate, they spent the next 15 minutes arranging the food and putting some food off the table and onto clean plates, flagging the waiter to take away the perfectly good and uneaten food! They whipped out their cellphones and they took pic after pic, endless selfies, posing with the food, taking close-ups of the food, taking shots of the whole table and so on before they chose and posted a few to social media.

After that, they started eating (we were already two rounds in at this point) and they ate about what you'd expect two tiny Chinese girls would (which is to say, one of my plates between them). Now full, they got up and left, leaving more than 10 plates of good food uneaten.

But hey, at least the leftovers were arranged photogenically!" (Source).

The Poor Kid.

Shutterstock/Anna Nahabed

The Poor Kid.

"I remember my family and I going to a Mandarin for dinner.

When we got there and were being lead in we passed a table with two women and a child. The child was sitting there quietly looking slightly bored while the two women were demolishing a couple plates piled high with crab legs.

I really didn't think anything of it at the time. They each had one plate of crab legs, piled a little high but not a mountain. What got to me was what I saw as i passed there table for the rest of the night.

Went to get food, women were eating crab legs.

Went back for seconds, women eating crab legs.

Went for dessert....you guessed it.

When my family finally left about an hour, hour and a half later they had full plates and were mowing down crab meat. And there was that boy looking like the most bored creature you have ever seen. He had obviously finished eating even before I got there and he had to sit quietly while his adults gorged. I never felt so sorry for a kid in a restaurant.

It wasn't even that these women were only eating crab meat, I guess to get more value for their money, but the total disregard for this kid who was sitting for hours quietly with nothing to do and no one to talk to.

Monstrous" (Source).

Cross Contamination.

Shutterstock/Savchenko

Cross Contamination.

"I'm going to preface this with the fact that I am 1-vegetarian, and 2- (more importantly) EXTREMELY allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, as well as some legumes like lentils. These foods can easily kill me, even if they are only traces in a dish.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who insist on piling their plates high with mounds of food from one or two containers, causing entire products to have to be recooked every few minutes because they cannot stand the thought of having to wait their turn in line again. I have seen a woman go up to a buffet and take 6 dishes of some sort of meat soup back to her table to share between her and her friend. They both ate about half a bowl, then repeated the entire process with several other courses, causing the poor chef to have to continually replenish the trays that they visited.

But by far the greatest violation of etiquette I see on the regular is cross contamination. Perhaps I am more sensitive to this than most, since I have grown up acutely aware that some people will die if they ingest certain foods, but I cannot stand when people think it is ok to simply fling utensils or serving spoons around, allowing products from one tray to go to another, and another, with no regard for the other people who may have to eat them. Often times I am unable to eat at buffets at all since if they have even one dish with nuts in it I have to assume all the dishes could be contaminated.

I have witnessed a woman walk up to the serving containers at a Chinese buffet and scoop up a seafood dish, then a vegetarian one with the SAME spoon, then pick up the spoon from the vegetarian dish and use it to get meat from the next plate over, then use that same spoon to pick up noodles covered in a peanut based sauce, then put it back in the vegetarian dish! Needless to say all I ate that meal was salad and chips I could order directly from the menu, but it boggles my mind that people can be so ignorant and selfish as to put other people in harms way because they cannot be bothered to have normal manners, like using the spoons in each dish for that dish only" (Source).

A Conversation No One Wants To Be A Part Of.

Shutterstock/CREATISTA

A Conversation No One Wants To Be A Part Of.

"I was at the breakfast/lunch buffet in one of Cathay Pacific's first class lounges in Hong Kong where there was this lady who decided not only that she had to talk to her co-workers while taking trips back and forth to the buffet on her phone, but that she couldn't be bothered to use a hands free device or hold her phone like a normal person. She cranked up the speaker phone to max volume, left it on the table, and shouted back at it from the buffet line. She probably wouldn't have gotten away with this if it were crowded due to background noise, but still, there were a number of people (8--14 I'd say) sitting at various tables trying quietly to enjoy their meal and we had to listen to this lady go on about her stupid meetings and reports as she made trip after trip back to get food. For reasons I don't understand she didn't want to fill up her plate - that would be too easy. She'd just take whatever amount of food she could eat in 4--6 minutes before standing up and walking back again. I couldn't believe that the staff didn't say anything to her, but I saw other customers giving her the stink eye" (Source).

The Criminal Enterprise.

Shutterstock/beeboys

The Criminal Enterprise.

"The food at the buffet was delectable. My husband and I, and two other friends were relaxing at the dinner table after we'd finished eating, when I got up to take a photo. While I was setting up my camera on a tripod, one of the two old Chinese women who were at the table beside us started jabbering in broken English and pointed at me. We figured out that she was annoyed at me for having taken a photo which may have included her in the background. So, I told her, 'OK, I'm not going to take pictures any more.' However the woman kept jabbering, with an aggressive facial expression. I didn't know what else she could be jabbering about, but one of our friends pulled me aside and told me.

Earlier, throughout the meal, he'd seen the woman go up to the buffet line, load up her plate, and when she came back to the table, she wrapped the food and slide it into her purse. Then she got up with her purse and walked toward the door. My friend saw her pass somebody, pass the purse off to her, and take another purse from her. Then she went up to the buffet line again, loaded up another plate, came back to the table and packed the food into the new purse she'd gotten. She got up and went toward the door to exchange purses with an accomplice again. She and her companion took turns doing this. My friend had seen each of them do this three times. It was an actual criminal enterprise.

When the woman kept grumbling at me for taking the picture, our friend called for the manager to come over and related to the manager what the old women were doing. The manager talked with the women, while a supervisor thanked us for reporting the food thieves" (Source).

Taking The Blame.

Shutterstock/kimberrywood

Taking The Blame.

"The time that got me most mad was that time I got blamed for someone else's hoarding.

I was at a buffet in America and I spent the first round getting a little bit of everything. My favorite item by far were these delicious oyster shooters made with some amazing fresh Pacific Northwest oysters. I had got 2 and I vowed to go back for more.

When I went back to the station, there were none left and some other item was there instead. Disappointed, I asked the guy behind the counter if there would be any more and he gave me the dirtiest look and yelled at me, 'No, there's no more oysters!' I was taken aback and a little shocked at his reaction to what I thought was an innocent question. I went back to the table, dejected, and told my wife I can't get more oysters. I was sad.

Then I glanced over and I discovered the table next to us had their table filled with oyster shooters. It was a family of four Asians and they had probably 2 dozen shooters between them. Looking around, I noticed we were the only other Asians in the place and so the staff member must have assumed I was with these guys.

Not only did they take all the oysters, I got yelled at because they took all the oysters. I was so mad. I kept death glaring them the entire night and complained loudly (hopefully loudly enough that they heard me) about a--holes who take all the food and leave none for others. My wife actually had to calm me down because I was so upset and made sure I didn't go over and yell at them.

One of the guys in the group noticed I kept giving him the death stare and seemed pressured to try to eat all the shooters. They failed. They left several uneaten" (Source).

Trim The BS.

Shutterstock/DenisFilm

Trim The BS.

"Fat reduction!

So I'm at your standard American-style chain buffet and in a short while I'm going to be $10 poorer and comatose!

There is a man that is a part of a group of about ten. He gets up and heads over to the serve-yourself carving station. He grabs the knife and lops off a nice chunk of beef. He then proceeds to spend two or three minutes carefully trimming every tiny bit of fat off his meat and leaves it on the carving board! As he walks back to his group he sees the manger looking at him and gives him this smug, patronizing smile. That was his second mistake.

The manager walks over to the carving board, carefully scoops up this idiot's discarded fat onto a small plate and brings it over to the group who are now happily munching away.

'Sir, I saw you trim this fat and accidently leave it on the carving board. I thought I would bring it over to you so you didn't need to make a second trip and spend any more time away from your group. In the future, you may want to trim your fat on your plate instead of making other patrons wait. Enjoy your meal.'

As the manager walked away the other members of this jerk's group were really giving him a hard time and he deserved every second of it!" (Source).

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