Food
How All-You-Can-Eat Buffest Really Make Their Money
Aha, there's some sneaky tricks in here I wouldn't have thought of.
Ma Fatima Garcia
08.11.21

Do you love eating at all-you-can-eat buffets?

Whether you are with your friends or family, eating at all-you-can-eat restaurants seems like a wise idea. You just pay a certain amount, and you can eat until you’re full.

Aside from that, you would be able to choose from a wide range of food choices, from appetizers, main course to our all-time favorite desserts. You don’t even have to have a hard time choosing which one you can get because you can taste all of them if you can.

Pexels/Connor Danylenko
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Pexels/Connor Danylenko

No wonder all-you-can-eat-buffets are everywhere! These establishments serve dozens of food choices and welcome people who eat until they’re full and satisfied.

Have you ever asked yourself how these AYCE restaurants make money?

Good question! We are here to explain how AYCE buffets earn their profit. Before we reveal the nine secrets of all-you-can-eat-buffets, you have to know that most of these business tactics rely on psychology – here’s why.

Pixabay/PublickDomainPictures
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Pixabay/PublickDomainPictures

1.Flexible menu

Buffets have a flexible menu scheme. This means that they can choose to serve beverages and foods that are cheap and have easily available ingredients. The customers won’t think that the restaurant is opting for cheaper options. It will just look like the restaurant is good at preparing a wide range of food choices.

2. Bulk is cheaper

When you cook for a buffet, it means that you will need to buy your ingredients in bulk.

If you buy in bulk, the total cost of your ingredients would be cheaper, and you get the best deals from your suppliers.

Pixabay/Hans
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Pixabay/Hans

3. They go for seasonal food items

Now, another great business tactic that AYCE buffets use is they know what ingredients are in season. For example, their management has a strategic plan of what recipes they would choose when summer vegetables are in season.

This way, they get more supply at less cost, thus earning them more profit.

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Pexels/Olga Lioncat

4. Most buffets use smaller plates and utensils

It’s one of the things that go unnoticed when it comes to buffets. You may not realize it, but AYCE buffets often use half-sized plates and utensils.

There are two reasons for this.

First, it limits how much food you put on your plate because some people put too much food that they can’t finish. You can always go back for more, and it prevents food waste.

Second, using smaller plates and utensils tricks your mind into thinking that you are already full because you have already finished what’s on your plate. Ultimately, it can lead you to eat less than expected.

Pexels/Klaus Nielsen
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Pexels/Klaus Nielsen

5. The filling menu consists of starches and vegetables

Most buffet restaurants think of a strategic way of choosing their menu for the day.

Remember, in a business, even the smallest details count.

Most buffets would fill their food choices with starchy choices such as mashed potatoes, potato salads, different fried rice recipes, different types of pasta recipes, and so on.

While there are expensive meats and seafood choices, you’d see that they are only served in smaller portions.

Pixabay/Guvo59
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Pixabay/Guvo59

6. Strategically placed menu

When you enter a buffet hall, you will notice that most of the food that you will first see consists of pasta, rice, vegetables, bread, and potatoes.

With all the varieties of food in one aisle, you’re most likely to feel full before you even go to the yummy meat and seafood section.

You may also notice that when it comes to expensive foods, designated restaurant staff will be there to assist you with your serving. This is where we often see a line in waiting.

Nobody wants to wait; that’s why most customers often just skip this line or choose other food.

Pexels/Vidal Balielo Jr.
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Pexels/Vidal Balielo Jr.

7. Lots of choices

Another psychological technique of buffet restaurants is that they give their customers many choices.

Our minds get too excited about this idea. This will make us want to try out as many dishes as possible. You will first stay in one to three areas and fill your plate with whatever is there.

Soon, you’ll realize that you are already full and won’t have the energy to go over the other tables.

Pexels/Naim Benjelloun
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Pexels/Naim Benjelloun

8. No left-overs or pay full price

Some buffets would have one golden rule – no leftovers.

If you do, then you have to pay for the remaining food. It may be a simple rule, but believe it or not, people still fail to consume all the food that they put on their plates.

It’s also a good way to remind yourself not to get too much food that you can’t finish. This will, of course, go to waste and that’s not something we want to do.

Pexels/thiszun
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Pexels/thiszun

9. Drinks not included

While it’s a jackpot if your AYCE restaurant offers unlimited drinks as well, some restaurants don’t. You actually have to pay for the drink’s full price.

Some restaurants have expensive drinks, but others just ask you to pay an extra amount for your soda, juice, or wine. We all know that the more you eat, the thirstier you get.

Pexels/Igor Ovsyannykov
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Pexels/Igor Ovsyannykov

Overall, eating at a buffet is a memorable experience. From the different meal choices to the unlimited servings that you can get – eating at a buffet will surely give you a full tummy and a happy smile.

However, we still have to remember that we should keep our composure when we’re at a buffet. Get only what you can eat and go back for more. Don’t put too much food on your plate and end up having leftovers.

Learn more about how these all-you-can-eat buffets really make their money in the video below!

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By Ma Fatima Garcia
hi@sbly.com
Ma Fatima Garcia is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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