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Who doesn't enjoy an all you can eat buffet? I know I do, but buffet dining can get a bit tricky if you don't understand the rules. In this article you will learn ten tips to help you navigate the buffet gracefully.

1. Wash Your hands: I can't tell you how many clients I've seen who dash for the food, and forgo washing their hands. Your hands have been in contact with many surfaces prior to getting to the table, and must be disinfected. I personally also take it a step further and wipe my hands on a wet wipe after serving myself, just in case the shared serving utensils are contaminated  by someone who did not wash their hands. (that's just me)

2. You must get in line: Find out where the line begins and go with the flow do not dart in and out of the buffet line in an effort to hurry things along unless the person in front of you directly advises you to go around them because they will be a while, or they are waiting for a specific dish to be brought out.

3. Do not begin eating in the line, I understand the lure of that dessert on your plate and how it might beckon you to take a bite prior to sitting down but do all you can to resist eating until seated.

4. Serve yourself in courses: Think about a proper dinner in which you are served. Soup, Salad, Main, Dessert. Follow the same order at a buffet, avoid piling your plate with fish, chicken, waffles, cake, ice-cream, salad, muffins, veggies and bread, you will cause the poor person sitting across from you to surely lose their appetite looking at that messy plate of yours

5. Don’t use your bare hands to serve yourself: Most buffets come with a serving utensil for each dish and you need to use this utensil, never grab for things with the excuse of “Well I’m going to eat it” use the serving utensil.

6. When to eat: The same rule applies for a buffet as a formal dinner when being served, once you arrive back at your seat, wait for your party to come together before eating if there are 8 or less in your party. It is a good idea to try and stick close to your party while in the line so you all arrive back to the table together.

7. Talk with your children prior to entering: A buffet is a bit more relaxed and spacious, and children can get a bit out of hand running around and playing in the restaurant because of the informality, not to mention the sugar rush from the all you can eat dessert bar.

8.Move with grace and ease: I understand you’ve been waiting with your party, and the hostess has just called your party up, but please, do not rush to the buffet line, go first to wash your hands, and graciously move to the line in a calm manor to select the foods you’d like. Moving with grace and ease also limits accidents, as you are carrying your food back to your table and accidents can happen when we rush.

9. Don’t stuff yourself: I understand you want to try everything because it’s a buffet but do not stuff yourself. Instead decide what you would like to try and serve yourself smaller portions so you can enjoy the foods you’d like. But please do not stuff yourself then lean back in your chair as if you were in a recliner at home, and loosen your belt buckle, think of the others you are dining with. Simply, eat smaller portions and keep it together.

10. Use a clean plate for additional helpings: Do not return to the line with your soiled plate in an unappreciated effort to save the staff from washing dishes. Leave your plate on the table, and go to the line and begin again with a clean one, this is what is expected. Wait staff will clear away used plates by the time you return from the line.


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