If you’re hungry, should you frequent the all-you-can-eat buffets?

How do you get your money’s worth at the all you can eat buffet? Should I worry about getting my money’s worth? Is it healthful?


Years ago, I was more likely to frequent these types of buffets – especially when I was younger (with a higher metabolism) and lived in Wisconsin’s Dairyland and cared little about my expanding belt. In fact, wasn’t that the purpose of a belt, to get your money’s worth by using all the holes?


I’m not culinary snob or could ever work for the Michelin Guide but frankly, the food for the most part is adequate. If it’s good, perhaps it’s loaded with sugar, salt or butter. That’s not what attracts the masses. You don’t go “gaga” over the quality although you may be “wowed” by the portion sizes and size of much of the clientele.


Today, for many of the inexpensive all you can eat restaurants, you may pay between $8.95 or $12.95 and it’s open season – especially on your internal organs.


When I used to go, I often felt I had to “get my money’s worth.” The enjoyment wasn’t so much tasting and savoring the food – rather, it was seeing how much you could eat and how many times you could grab something off the ice cream station or meat aisle. Sometimes, veterans of this establishment had nothing better to do so they would eat more slowly so they were ensured to get their money’s worth. Perhaps they were taught well by their mothers to chew food 28 times before ingesting.


Just for grins, it would be fascinating to track the dietary amounts among all the food you consume. You could place it in a spreadsheet amount to really dissect what you’re eating and the amount. Would that perspective sway anyone’s opinion about this type of restaurant? While you’re at it, why not ask each of the customers if they regularly use a pedometer when they walk?


Subsequent to this feeding frenzy, I don’t ever remember being able to do anything productive the rest of the day. You were spent, not necessarily in a financial one (because you feel you got your money’s worth) but the stress you put on your digestive system. It was quite like Thanksgiving – sans the turkey (and tryptophan). Sometimes, it might take 3 to 5 hours before I felt like doing any physical activity. The price you paid for 35 minutes of gluttony. Was it worth it then? Would it be worth it today?


I’ll be honest, I rarely feel relaxed or at all social in this type of establishment. There’s a buzz about the place – to get it while the getting is good. It wasn’t about socializing and enjoying the company of others, or taking each course slowly, for most people, it was how much good stuff you could cram down into your digestive area.


This type of eating establishment reminds me of a hangover. You swear you’ll never drink again with all of your pain but before long, the hangover is a distant memory. With the all-you-can-eat, you may quickly forget about how stuffed and lethargic you felt and quickly get back into the game.