What is your strategy for approaching a buffet?

I just took my mum out for an early Christmas celebration at a Japanese buffet, and notice the varying style of how people tackle the food. Some piled their plates high with just the expensive seafood. I like to go for a variety, so I sample a bit of everything. Others have black-hole for stomachs, apparently.

What’s your approach to a buffet?

Generally, I don’t have any particular approach. Given the quality of the buffets around here, I am more likely to run, screaming, in the opposite direction.

Your poll asks too many unrelated questions.

Buffets make money out of me. I eat my “normal” amount and am then done.

One time I was there for four hour. Four hour!
The owner told me I go now.

I try to avoid buffets. I’d rather eat a little bit of something that’s GOOD, rather than eat what’s offered at most buffets. As I’ve gotten older, my appetite has decreased, and I don’t like eating until it hurts. Most buffets around here offer food that’s mediocre at best, and usually downright crappy.

I’ve been spoiled, though, I lived in Las Vegas for a while, and the casinos there all had great buffets. They offered buffets to keep the gamblers inside the casino, and while they probably didn’t want to hemmorhage money, I got the impression that they were not as focused on making a profit as a stand-alone restaurant would.

Whenever I’m at the Chinese buffet near me*, I go for starter food for one ‘course’ (like ribs, duck pancakes etc) first, then mains (would that be entree items to you 'Merkins?) stuff like rice, noodles and chips (thick cut fries, not potato-chips) with whatever dishes I fancy, mostly different chicken dishes for at least two courses, leaving room for a sweet course.
I don’t ‘fast’ before going but I’ll probably skip lunch.
One thing I ponder on on buffet etiquette - at a buffet with a large queue (where people are mostly queuing to get a plate), if you’re going up a second time and still have your plate in hand, do you still have to queue, or go straight to the food?
*which is ‘takeaway’ quality or better, I’d say. Definitely better than my Chinese cooking in any case.

I tend to over eat when I go to buffets but normally that is because I get where I would normally stop half way through a plate so I’ll finish.

As far as my strategy I like to try all of the main dishes that look good on the first trip and then just get the ones I like on future trips. I don’t eat and off the appetizers or deserts and typically avoid all of the filler foods (rice, noodles, salads)

I used to overeat at a buffet. But now it’s a little bit of everything, and I watch my calorie intake very carefully. We went to a buffet on Sunday, and I left satisfied.

I also found out that I don’t like banana pudding anymore. :frowning:

Eat till I’m full, no more. But that’s what I always do. I physically can’t eat after I’m hungry–the idea makes me nauseous.

Cavalry charge, followed by infantry. No prisoners.

When I go to my local Chinese buffet on $5.99 night, (or even moreso when I happen to go on their regular-priced night,) I immediately get a plate of sweet and sour chicken if it is fresh. They are higher quality than most Chinese buffets although not takeout quality, and when the sweet and sour sits around for awhile it becomes less appetizing.

After that I get a plate of Mongolian Buffet, and then see if there has been a fresh dropping of sweet and sour if the stuff there before wasn’t fresh.

I eat my normal amount but try bits and pieces of things I’ve never tried before.

My general strategy is two plates of regular food and one of dessert.

I detest people who take mountains of food on their plates like they can’t go back.

Small amounts at a time of what I want. I don’t want to try most of the stuff. I don’t want the stuff cold or all slopped together. I’d rather make 3 trips for the same thing than one large amount. I have no trouble eating a desert first in the middle and at the end. I don’t stuff my self normally, but have on occasions with exception food which is rare. For the most part I hate buffets and will avoid them, because I’m not into eating mass quantities of mediocre food.

You shouldn’t take a “used” plate back up to the buffet. Get a clean plate.

I just can’t do buffets. I’ve found this out the hard way. Nothing turns my stomach* quicker than eating at a table where the other people have their plates piled high with a mixture of food, and are shovelling it in.

I guess I value presentation. And a bit of decorum and class when it comes to dining. Scoffing a big pile of mush, and I just can’t do it.

*Well, I suppose drinking warm salty water would, but we’re talking about buffets.

My strategy tends to be pick the stuff I like, and enough for a bite or two of anything I want to try. If I like it, I’ll go back for more and max out at two plates. Sometimes I start with soup or salad, sometimes not, and almost always finish with a small bit of dessert.

Been awhile since I’ve been to a buffet. Maybe one of these days I’ll go to the one by work again, that one is pretty good.

We closed! We dry cleaner now!

I go for the meats and pig out. The KFC loses money when I buy the buffet.

I limit myself to one plate, and maybe a bowl of soup. I pay the price of the buffet for the variety, not the amount.