Buffet Dining Etiquette

It’s easy to get carried away when there are long tables filled with delectable food in front of you. But it’s crucial to remember that at buffets, a few etiquette rules also apply. So the next time you go dine in a Bellagio buffet, keep these tips in mind and you’ll keep your dignity intact.

1. Put people first.

By this we’re not saying you offer to let everyone cut in line. Rather, your primary goal should be to enjoy the company of people first instead of only being interested in how much food you’ll be able to eat.

2. Don’t overload your plate.

It’s a buffet so of course, people’s plates are going to be filled with food. But it doesn’t mean you should load it up with pounds of chicken, pork chops and BBQ ribs. Show a little restraint and respect for others who would also like to partake in the best dishes on the buffet spread.

3. Have some respect for other’s space.

There’s usually a line in the buffet and even if it’s tempting to reach out and grab a piece of dinner roll, the right way is to wait for the line to move. Also, don’t hold up the line and don’t crowd other diners who are also in line. You should allow them enough space to choose food items from the spread.

4. Don’t carry two plates.

So you don’t want to waste time going back and forth to the food area, and decided you should just bring two plates instead. Wrong. It will only make you look greedy.

5. Don’t cut in line.

Stay in an orderly line even if you’re just going to get a piece of chicken.

6. Grazing is a no-no.

You may be tempted to just taste a bit of the food on your plate while you’re in line but don’t do it. Feast on your food with your eyes and taste it only when you’re seated at your table.

7. Don’t use the serving utensil for one dish in another.

If the dish does not have any serving utensil, call the attention of the buffet staff. Don’t cross-contaminate food which can be especially dangerous for people who have food allergies.

8. If possible,

Wait for your dining companions to return to the table before you start eating. This is optional but it definitely shows respect.

9. Use a different plate for dessert.

Don’t try to fit in that chocolate truffle cake on your plate of meat and salad.

10.  Don’t take home food.

This one doesn’t need any explanation.

11. Tip your server.

Be generous to the restaurant server carrying your drinks and clearing your plates.

12. Grab a new plate every time you go to the buffet spread.

The fork you dipped back and forth on your previous plate could get contaminated with germs and this could spread to the serving spoon.

13. If you have kids, be sure to accompany them when they get food.

They may touch some food on the spread, taste it and put it back. It happens.

14. If there’s food you’re not familiar with, ask.

It’s better to find out what it is and decide if you want it on your plate or not.

Buffets should be a great place to eat good food and enjoy the company of others. Follow these tips so that you don’t offend or annoy anyone.

Buffet Service Etiquette


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