All-you-can-eat joints are great for those on a limited budget with large appetites. Obviously, such a beacon of cheap eatery is bound to attract some strange characters, but when buffet workers spill the strangest, most ridiculous things they ever saw at work, you might rethink your next trip to the buffet!
She Has Zero Shame
“Golden Corral employee here…Once this very big lady apparently had a bathroom emergency, and couldn’t make it there on time. She started filling her pants on the way to the bathroom and it kept falling through her shorts on the floor… in front of the bars and everything and everyone. After going to the bathroom, she proceeded to go back to her table and keep on eating. True story.”
Fifi And Fido
“Lady came in with two small kids. Said she wouldn’t pay for two kids because they wouldn’t be eating. We were curious where the kids went at one point and found she was feeding them under the table like dogs.”
At Least He’s Creative
“I once saw a really fat dude at a Chinese Buffet smear ranch dressing from his wrist to elbow then as he ate he brushed the food along the dressing before putting into his mouth.”
Well, It’s Not Like The Baby Was Gonna Eat, Anyway
“At Golden Corral, I once saw a family come in: mom, dad, one kid and one baby. The mom got a high chair on wheels, then left the baby in a car seat at the table. She pushed the high chair to the buffer and proceeded to stack plates on it like her own personal table on wheels.
She never put the baby in the high chair.”
This, Too, Shall Pass…
“I once witnessed a man eat four plates of food piled high (I’m talking southern food, so it was all fried foods), claim he was having a heart attack and clutch his chest, then let the biggest, most foul smelling fart I have ever experienced.
After he laughed about it, he continued to go back and eat two more plates of entrees, and a plate of desserts.”
That’s Some Impressive Footwork
“Watched a lady get a to-go box and filled up the top and bottom of the box until the styrofoam was about to collapse when she dropped an egg roll on the ground. She then proceeded to pick it up with her toes (she was wearing flip flops) and place it into her box.”
That’s Quite The List
“Been working in a Chinese buffet for six years, here’s my top:
-Kid putting chocolate pudding in his plate, licked the big spoon used for pouring it (the one used by everybody), and put it back in the pudding…I saw him and had to change everything.
-Guy about 18 years old at the ice cream counter, didn’t have time to react and puked in the ice cream cans and on the floor. Looked at it, said nothing, and just walked away back to his table.
-Dudes coming in around 6PM, they ate full plates in like 20 minutes, and puked everything under their table. We had to move every client out of this big section (capacity of about 60 places) because the smell was so bad. I was the one that had to put a mask on to clean everything.
-Extremely fat guy brought a big bag of candies (kind of smarties), took it out of his pocket, put a ton of them on his desserts, and put the candy bag back in his pocket. I was his waiter and I think he told me about four times that we should have these candies in the buffet so he wouldn’t have to bring his own.
-Old lady putting a plate full of chicken wings in her purse (probably to bring back home or something)… no bags nothing, just bare chicken wings directly in there.
-A regular client asking me where was the coffee flavored cake (we have a rotation for desserts, so that cake wasn’t there that day). I told him and he asked me if I could get some for him in the back store. After he insisted like 3x, I finally gave up and grabbed a piece in the fridge and gave it to him.
-We charge the drink ($2.50) but it’s all you can drink. We see plenty of people drinking about 10 full glasses of Pepsi and they complain when I bring the bill and we charge them 2 and a half bucks for it. Some even insisted to talk to my manager.
-We serve take-outs, and someone came to get his order. He looked at the buffet and asked me, ‘Do you think I could grab something to eat real quick?’ while smiling.
We often get this asked as a joke, so naturally I play their game and answered ‘Yes of course!’ The guy literally walked over there, took an entire egg from our salad bar, ate it in one bite, then came back to pay his take-out…I had no idea what to say, and he just left like that.”
Second Hand Lasagna
“I was working wedding functions, they had a buffet dinner, then later on a buffet late snack set. Two guys did something that day that showed me the depths of gluttony.
Guy number one was a tall skinny dude in his early 20s, I assume a college student from the shabby suit and greed that he showed. Come dinner time, he must have been determined to get his money’s worth and went up a total of 18 times and each time came back with a full plate of meat and potatoes; there was determination in his eyes as he wolfed it all down, as his parents watched in disappointment as their son ate more than the rest of the table combined. I, however, was impressed at what he did. At least he wouldn’t need to eat ramen for a while.
The second guy, however, was a bit different. He was a pretty big guy and was sweating as he sat down. It was painful and ever so slightly terrifying to watch this behemoth wobble up to the buffet with a plate in each hand, eyes scouring the food, looking for his next victim.
This man ate us out of lasagna. That doesn’t sound like much, however it was a 700 person function with the equivalent of a pickup truck’s worth of lasagna in the back. I watched him eat a plate, although it was less ‘eat’ than ‘inhale.’ Sweating profusely the whole time, this greasy, smelly sweat that several other wedding goers commented on. His wife watched nonchalantly as if his destruction of the lasagna was an everyday thing.
The staff were contemplating throwing him out when IT happened: the man soiled himself, at the table. He gave no indication that he even noticed that he had messed himself. The assistant manager broke down crying whilst four security members attempted to carry this man out whilst he protested, one of the security members had a bad time however as the vigorous movement of the human jello ball upset his stomach and the poor bouncer got covered head to toe in second hand lasagna. That was the worst display of greed and gluttony I’ve ever seen.”
Chicken Crime Scene
“I saw Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, and Big John Studd eat at a chicken place across from Selland Arena in Fresno in the 80s. Roddy Piper was with them, too, but he had a simple dinner platter and a water.
The big eater was Andre. He ordered 10 whole chickens, five orders of potato wedges, five orders of coleslaw and five pitchers of beer, for himself. The others had similar, but slightly smaller orders. When they were done their table looked like a chicken crime scene.”
Pumpkin Pie Bandit
“Watched a woman come in, go right to the dessert section, and pick up four plates of pumpkin pie. Then, as soon as more plates of pie are set out, she gets up, before she’s even finished eating the four slices she’s already grabbed, cuts right in front of a kid about to grab a slice, and picks up four more plates.
I should mention she didn’t even finish them all. There were like two and 3/4 slices of pie on her table when she left.”
Stay Classy, Golden Corral
“Employee 20 years ago at a Golden Corral. This was before they had those nasty chocolate fountains. Saturday night we put extra all you can eat candy on the bar. Several times kids would eat so much they’d barf on the bathroom floor.”
Even The Bones
“Worked at a sports bar that had free wings served buffet style for ladies on Wednesday nights. There was a group of four obese ladies that came in one time and cleaned out all of the trays. I bussed their table when they left, and only the cartilage ‘nubs’ from the drumsticks were left on the plates. They ate the bones.”
Bit Off More Than They Could Chew
“When I worked at Olive Garden someone had SIXTEEN (16) bowls of the never ending pasta. They threw up in the lobby.”
Something Seems Fishy…
“My friend ran a Golden Corral in Omaha and he told me this older gentleman, skinny guy ate like five plates and my friend kept noticing him running to the bathroom over the course of the five hours he was there. Eventually, he followed him into the bathroom and heard him vomiting in a stall. He was bingeing and purging his meal over and over again. He was asked to leave while in the stall. The guy left so fast as he seemed very embarrassed. Left a gross mess as well on the ground and back of the toilet.”
“I worked at a Sunday buffet in high school (late 90’s), it was $7 a person. I could tell you some stories.
We essentially charged them, brought drinks, then bussed the table. My favorite was the massive lady who would come in by herself, ask for four glasses of milk, and wave you down whenever she finished one for a refill. She would eat about five plates of our macaroni and cheese (probably the worst thing on the buffet), at some point slam all four glasses of milk, then proceed to puke milk, cheese, and noodles all over the bathroom.
She would then sit and drink milk and eat macaroni for another hour or two, then leave a hand full of change for the tip. We all drew straws whenever she came in for who got to clean up the mess.
One day, she came in and I only gave her one milk, she said she wanted four, and I assured her I would bring another one when she was finished with the first, she insisted that, ‘The rules say I get as much milk as I want!’ There were no posted rules. I refused and ended up getting written up for not being hospitable.
From that point on I would just drop a gallon of milk on her table every time she came in (which she usually finished), but refused to clean up the puke mess. Whenever my boss tried to get me to do it in her passive aggressive way, I’d say, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t offer unlimited milk refills if people are just going to puke it all over the bathroom every week.'”
Finally, A Happy Ending
“Seven years of pizza buffet experience. I’ve seen salad bowls full of ranch. I’ve seen huge gluttonous Southern Baptist preachers with a stack of pizza because they’re too fat and lazy to make that many trips. We had a regular who came in two times a week and would stack a whole pizza on each plate per trip on top of unlimited pasta. We called him ‘belly shirt guy’ because his gut hung down below his shirt. Great turn around for him, though because he started eating salads every trip. By the time I left, the man has lost a good 75 lbs and actually looked healthy.”
“Chinese buffet: a man and wife come up to the seafood section and take every piece of snow crab in the tray. They overloaded three plates forming a twisted mountain of crab legs, claws, and carapace bits over eight inches tall.
Nothing else, just every crab bit in the house. Then they sat down in silence, staring at each other, and feasting. I mean how shellfish can you be?!”
That’s It! You’re Banned!
“I wouldn’t say it was disgusting at all. At this buffet they used smaller sized dishes. I think they read a study that said that smaller the plate, the less wasted food, and so people would just eat a little bit less.
But old Butch here didn’t care for the smaller plates. No, he kept stacking the food higher and higher on it. One time he targeted meatballs. He waited until a fresh pan was brought out, and then he went to work. The meatballs he stacked like a little tower, getting higher and higher as they pushed slightly towards the middle. He had about a foot in height of meatballs. It could have been the 8th wonder of the world.
Another time he had snuck in his own plate. One that was larger than the others just so that he could fit more on it without having to make more trips. At the end of it he asked our staff to wash it and bring it back to him. We had to tell him he couldn’t bring his own plate anymore due to potential food safety violations. Instead he tried bringing larger paper plates instead that could be thrown out when they were done.
Eventually he was banned, because the store was losing a bit of money off of him. They put his picture up in the back on a ‘Do not serve wall.’ Well eventually the store was sold to someone else. We removed all the other photos but his… And I put a label on it that said, ‘Hero.’ The new manager was a bit of a jerk, so me and another guy said that he had saved another customer’s life from choking on it. Which may have been possible if someone didn’t chew before swallowing one of those meatballs. The rest of the old staff agreed with it, just so the man could eat into the profits of the new owners.”
I Can’t Believe It’s…So Much Butter!
“I worked at a brunch buffet. There was this one guy who got nothing but a plate of pancakes and a bowl of butter. We are talking about a cereal size bowl full of butter. He had a spoon in one hand and a fork in the other. He would take a piece of pancake and put it in his mouth and then take a hefty spoonful of butter and put it in his mouth. This was for six diner size pancake and every bite accompanied a spoonful of butter.”
You Just Have To Roll With It
“I used to work at CiCi’s Pizza. It’s an all you can eat pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert buffet for $5 and some change. You can imagine the kind of people that eat there.
Basically every customer would charge up to the buffet when we put out more pizza and try to pile on as many slices as they can so that no one else gets any. One lady even tried to take the whole pan of cinnamon rolls to her table. My manager told her she couldn’t do that, but she did it anyway.”
Save Some For Everyone Else!
“I used to be a waiter at one of those Vegas buffets. Usually when you got those massive groups of tourists, you know there will be trouble. The ginger beef was very popular and I saw a man from those tour groups take two spoonfuls from the big pot and put it on a plate. He then left the plate behind and just took the pot.”
30 Second Rule
“So I worked at one called King’s Buffet, it’s kinda like the Mandarin if anyone knows that restaurant. Anyway, I was the one who bussed tables and I would regularly go to the kitchen to put dishes away so I got to see the chaos. It was disgusting, they had chicken balls in a giant containers, the chicken wings always turned out pink, and they kept sweet and sour sauce in a giant buckets. We have had a bunch of insects like ants and cockroaches. But the worst thing happened when I walked in one day. They had a huge roast and they were preparing it before putting it in to cook. They dropped it by accident just as the manager walked in. He looked at it for a good 30 seconds before telling someone to pick it up and get it prepared. I saw so much gross stuff, it was ridiculous… But I still ate the food like a complete idiot.”
A Moral Dilemma
“I have numerous stories of having to clean up after these animals. Food on the floor, spit, puke, mud, sewage, whatever filth you can imagine. People also frequently just go on the floor of your restrooms, not in the toilet or even on the toilet.
What pisses me off as well is there would be parties of 4 or more that would just waste tons of food. Make full plates, take a bite or two, put them aside and sample something else…Then probably get on the web and talk about how much our restaurant sucks. Plates, upon plates, full of soiled food that would now be wasted. So much food goes to waste, it is morally disgusting.”