Is there a limit to "All you can eat"?

Would restaurant staff ever step in and say, “Look buddy, I know its all you can eat, but you’re taking the piss”?

I’ve been to a few all you can eat places, notably Pizza Hut’s All you can Eat lunchtime Buffet. I always go out of my way to be a glutton; I guess when you can keep going up and filling your plate, the Itinerant in my comes to the fore. As Buffets like these are usually fairly cheap to buy in to, how do restaurants make their money? All you need is a group of overeaters to seriously dent the days profits, I would imagine. Another such place round here offers all you can fit on your plate, and you can buy big or small plates and pile as much on as you like. One thing on offer is Chicken Drumsticks, and I estimated that you could pile your plate with around thirty. Can I legally do this? What if restaurant staff complain? Legally, can I tell them to bite me?

Basically, what would happen in a real life legal situation akin to that Simpsons episode where Homer was thrown out of the seafood place?

The parents of a a friend of mine in school ran a local restaurant and he told me that every fall they invited the local high-school football team to their restaurant for a free dinner. They used the amount eaten by the players to gauge how to price their “all you can eat” buffet (and incidentally got lots of advertising as boosters for the team).

Basically they know that some people will eat a large amount of food but that most won’t; they assume that on average they will break even.

Also, most all you can eat places sometimes have a sign that says something like “we reserve the right to charge extra for waste”. So, if you get your plate of 30 drumsticks and eat all of them, no problem. But, take 30 and only eat 5, leaving the rest to be thrown away, they may charge you for them.

What would happen if you ate the 5 drumsticks and put the other 25 in a doggy bag for later?

Every all-you-can-eat place I have been to state “no doggy bags” or “no take out”.

To go along with what tanstaafl said, there is a all-you-can-eat sushi place here. For every piece you don’t eat, they actually charge you $2 or something like that. I am not sure how good they are at supervising it because I went with some friends a couple of years back and we all got a little too much to eat. We were stuffing it in napkins and taking trips to the bathroom to throw it away.

And about some people eating a lot and most not eating a lot. That is true. I don’t go to these joints to gourge. I actually enjoy the variety of food that I can sample, and also need not worry about someone in the family not finding something that they like.

At my local chinese all-you-can eat, you’ll be charged $5.99 (lunch) or $6.99 (dinner) a pound for them, same as filling a box to go.

After the fairly recent “All you can waste” issue (woman was kicked out of a buffet for letting her kids waste too much food - it was all over the news and the Dope), our local restaurant changed from their former policy of a $50 surcharge for “excessive wasting of food” to charging their to-go rate for “excessive waste”. It’s still not specific what excessive means, but it’s clear someone in management has been thinking about the issue.

And, of course, lots of places in college towns have a time limit - 90 minutes or so, and then you’re outta here. This prevents college kids from camping out all day to snack and study.

But as far as excessive consumption, I think you’d be hard-pressed to make that one stick. It is, after all, all-you-can-eat. You can refuse service to them next time (as long as you’re not doing so because of a protected class, like race or gender), but you just have to suck it up for the current visit.

What do restaurants do when a bulemic customer alternates between the all-you-can-eat-buffet and the bathroom? I once was in this situation with someone else doing the snarf-and-barf and I was mortified.

Who better to comment on this issue?! :smiley:

Or, they can give you your $9.99 back and tell you to get out and never come back. I’m sure they’re not concerned with offending the excessive eater.

I cannot be the only one with the John Pinette Chinese Buffet routine running through his head now…

“You go home! You here four hour! You scare my wife!”

Generall most would stand by their offer. Just don’t cheat and stuff your pockets or some such substerfuge.
They stand by their offers lest they offend or generate bad publicity.

When I took groups from work to lucnh the rule was take to or order whatever you wanted but you must eat all of it on the premises.
The alternative was no more free lunches.
One man finished a 24 oz. steak and wanted another but time was running out.
Next time he ordered two and finished them down to the bone and a few scraps of fat.

I have eaten in two all-you-can-eat sushi places. One in NY (1st ave in he 40s, IIRC) had a sign that you had to eat all the rice. You had to sit at the bar. But the sushi guy made all I asked for, even salmon and tuna. The other one in Montreal just slowed the service to a crawl. We would order a half dozen tuna, say, and fifteen minutes later they would have “forgotten”. Eventually, they brought it, but after an hour I paid the bill (no tip) and left in total disgust. I think it ended up more expensive than if I had paid by the piece and I have never been back.

I remember Bill Veeck (he owned the Cleveland Indians baseball team for some years) saying that a promo in bad faith was worse than no promo. This restaurant never learned that lesson.

There are a number of Indian buffets around town and they really would allow you to keep coming back. I don’t usually eat that much as it is too heavy.

There is a place AYCE place here that charges and extra $5 above the normal AYCE price for sashimi. My best friend and I do sushi there all the time. IF you tried to order tons of sushi and only eat the meat they just charge for sashimi and call it a day.

We have never had a value problem here, we each go through 6-8 items each even with their fairly generous portions. comes out about 15% less than our next favorite sushi haunt.

One trick the waitstaff would do at a Chinese buffet near my parent’s house was fairly clever. There would be certain people that would go in and gorge on the crab legs. I’m talking that when the crab legs would be brought out, the whole group would be ready and waiting. They would take all (or most) of them that had been placed out and go to town. Rinse, repeat, etc. It was irritating to the rest of us that just wanted a normal amount to enjoy with our meals.

After a while the waitstaff would stop clearing away the plates piled with shells at that table, leaving an embarrassingly large amount of “debris” for the other customers to laugh about. Sometimes it worked, other times (unfortunately) not.

If you have a healthy appetite then hey, more power to you. Just please share with the rest of us!

You are not…I have that and the Simpsons episode alternating in my head.

You aren’t.
if anyone hasn’t heard this, I strongly suggest you get this CD.
Very funny and answers the question, What happens if you overeat at the buffet

I heard somewhere (great cite, I know. But I’m hoping someone who lives there or has been there can possibly confirm or deny this) that all-you-can-eat type joints in Japan will specifically put up “No Sumo Wrestlers” signs.

I’ve never seen a no sumo wrestler sign. It is very common in japan for all you can eat places the have time limits applied. Like you can go to an all you can eat in 20 minutes place.

[Monty Python]And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint.[/MP]

There’s a place here that has fairly decent BBQ ribs and chicken, but getting all you want can be a challenge. It usually deteriorates into trading glares and sulky looks with the waitstaff, who, after bringing heaping platters the first go-around, reduce the amounts to a few scraps on the next plates. I’ve heard people in heated exchanges with waitstaff the two times I’ve been there, but I suspect it’s management policies driving things.

My family are very large people, not just overweight, but big. Anyways, we all went to this all-you-can-eat seafood dump one time and were asked to leave after about an hour. They said that they needed to “make room for other guests”. hahaha Naturally it almost caused a fight with my uncles and the manager because seafood isn’t cheap and the buffet cost like 20 bucks for each person.

Management backed down and we continued to eat the place under.