1. The food is never very good.
2. I eat too much.
Growing up, there were so many buffet restaurants (Remember Ponderosa!). With my value conscious dad, we would essentially starve all day, then go in and, “get our money’s worth”. Rough translation, eat until you want to throw up. Yes, I am an adult now but some old habits die hard.
3. When I go out to eat, I want to relax.
As a busy mum of four, it is a treat to be served and enjoy the company of whomever I am with. I don’t want to wander around trying to find something that looks good when from my experience, most of it isn’t (point #1). This wandering is particularly awful with children. Between collecting your food, their food and taking them to the bathroom, a buffet is as relaxing as a bumper car ride.
4. Food waste!
The waste is grotesque at a buffet. People take too much food (point #2). When their choices don’t taste as good as they hoped (point #1), people leave their plate half full, then start again with a new plate.
I don’t have data to compare the waste between buffet restaurants and regular restaurants but I do know that waste from cruise ships (which are full of buffets) are one of the highest per capita incidences of food waste. On cruise ships, food waste estimates range between 0.25 kg and 5 kg per person per day*. In 2014, an estimated 21.7 million people were cruise line guests**. Using 1 kg per day as a conservative benchmark and 7 days as the average holiday, cruises create an estimated 151,900 tonnes of food waste per year.
If you are curious about the effects this waste has on the environment, check out a few articles:
- David Suzuki Foundation: Cruise Ship Industry needs better waste control standards
- Cruise Industry Website: Cruise Forward