20 Times Humans Proved Their Awful Side At A Buffet-Spread

Published 1 year ago

When going for a buffet, some people plan ahead by not eating anything at all so they have more room to stuff themselves silly. But what’s the worst thing buffet workers have seen during these public meal gatherings where people are allowed free rein at low-cost? One morbidly curious Redditor asked the question online and the responses were almost horrifying yet wildly entertaining. 

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Image source: Leigh_Lemon, Andria

Obligatory “not a buffet worker”, just a witness. We were waiting in line for the soft serve machine at Golden Corral. The woman in front of us gets up to the machine and awkwardly jerks the handle around in an attempt to get at the sweet, sweet ice cream within. She’s pushing, pulling, twisting, doing literally everything but turning it to the right (which would have dispensed the ice cream).

She’s really perplexed by this. So she takes the next logical step, of course, which is to wrap her lips around the spout, form a seal on it with her mouth and start trying to suck it right out of the tap. One of the workers sees this and looks on in disgust before he unplugs the machine. On the way out, we see that he put an out of order sign on it, so thankfully they didn’t keep serving it after that whole incident.


Not a “Horror” story, just funny.

I worked at Wendy’s when they had salad bars. You could get a single-serving bowl (They used to serve eat-in chili in Styrofoam bowls, and the Large doubled as a chili bowl), or “All you can eat” platters. (The Taco Salad bottom plate.)

On a slow afternoon, this guy came in and got a single serving bowl. After a few minutes, our manager motioned to me and the sandwich guy to discreetly take a look at the salad he was making.

The guy had filled the bowl with salad, then made a ring of overlapping cucumber slices to extend the lip of the bowl upwards. He filled that with salad, then added another ring. It took several minutes to build this thing, but by the time he’d finished, he had a tower of salad well over a foot tall, wth multiple rings of cucumber slices containing it.

That salad was an engineering marvel. He carefully carried it back to his table, sat down, then looked up guiltily as our manager walked out to him.

The manager handed him a “free item” coupon, and said, “That is the most impressive salad I have ever seen. Your next one is on me.”

Image source: Jef_Wheaton


Image source: chilibreez, Debbie Tea

Not an employee, but I witnessed a marvelous thing.

Sitting in a small town Chinese buffet. Three big dudes, not obese but farm built big, come in. These guys proceed to just.. clean house. Plate after plate after plate. They weren’t wasteful; they ate everything they took. They were very polite to the staff and other customers.

But I bet each man ate a dozen plates, each stacked high. The cooks were working to keep up.

My family and I found ourselves watching this marvelous feat of eating unfold in awe.

When they approached the counter to pay, all this eating unfolding in only 45 minutes or so, the manager greeted them at the counter. In his broken English he simply said “You men. You no pay.. but you no come back.”

The guys gave each other and the manager a “yeah fair enough” look and left.


Image source: RoxyFurious

Watched a man at the ponderosa walk up to the buffet without a plate, untuck his t-shirt, pull the hem up to form a basket, reach into the steam tray of chicken wings with his bare hand, and just load up on hot wings in his makeshift shirtbucket. The woman in the kitchen was like “please sir, could you use a plate? Or just tongs?”

Guy scoffed and looked at her like she’d asked him to don a tuxedo.


Image source: darkagl1, cottonbro studio

Not an employee or a customer, but we had a Chinese buffet shut down for a health code violation, which was employee was cutting veggies while taking a s**t. To this day I still wonder if that means dude brought a bucket into the kitchen or veggies into the sh**ter and I honestly don’t know which is worse.


Image source: lovelyyyrose1993, Medina Catering

Went as a customer to a golden corral. Im walking to the chocolate fountain and 3 little girls step in front of me, and all 3 of them just go hands deep in the fountain. The family was the first table by the fountain and all they did was laugh about how cute it was..
Employees turned it off immediately.


Image source: EmmyTheSweet, Chris

Not a worker – but I went to HomeTown Buffet and the kid in front of me was slightly shorter than the buffet bar but had his hands in the jello – just massaging it. Then his mom came by and snatched him away but didn’t say anything while a guy came and made himself a bowl of jello. 10 yr-old me was too appalled to say anything. I haven’t eaten jello since then….


Image source: allhailkircules, Vancouver Bites!

I was once at an Old Country Buffet, waiting patiently to get some Mac & Cheese. The kid in front of me plied his plate high, and then started tapping the serving spoon to get all of the chessy goodness free from the confines of the spoon. Once he was satisfied with his handiwork, he licked the spoon clean. I didn’t have any Mac & Cheese, and haven’t been back since


Not an employee, but I was standing behind a woman at Hometown Buffet. She was getting some lasagna or something, basically a really cheesy pasta that when you lift the serving utensil, a lot of cheese hangs on. I witnessed her lift her pasta, twirl all the excess cheese that was connected around her index finger (and there was a lot), clip it off with her thumb nail, and then fling it back into the pasta.

I knew I shouldn’t have been at Hometown Buffet in the first place, but this solidified my stance to never go back.

Image source: TACObracommander


Image source: Saberus_Terras, Mike Mozart

I was a customer, not a worker.

My wife and I went to a Sweet Tomatoes for a lunch date, unlimited salad and soup was always good. One time, I saw a man over by the soups take the serving ladle for one of the weekly specials and take a big slurp from it. Then apparently he didn’t like it and spat it back out into the ladle, and put the ladle back in the soup. WTF, dude?

I got up immediately and told the nearest staff what I’d seen, and they got right on getting that nearly full pot of soup out of there. I didn’t have any more soup that visit, the what-ifs were too damn strong. Which is a shame, because I love their chunky chicken noodle.


I didn’t work at an All You can eat, but my sister did.

The buffet itself was on the first floor, so you had to take either the stairs or the elevator to your seat.

Once there was a lady who was carrying a tray with a whole lot of stuff on it down. Glasses, plates and a whole lot more of junk. My sister asked the lady if she needed any assistance, to which the lady replied ‘You assume because I’m fat, I need help?’ My sister didn’t react. A few seconds later the lady fell down the stairs. There was blood and food everywhere

Image source: InfiniteLap


Not a worker but..

I was at a Chinese buffet with a Hot Pot option that you had to pay extra for. There was a separate section with the stuff for that which was raw. This guy loaded up his plate with all this raw stuff and was eating it, including dangerous raw stuff like shrimp. I think he may have been slightly intellectually disabled. The Chinese staff had to come over and inform him that he was eating the wrong things and try to explain it to him. He got really embarrassed and said that he did not understand how it worked. Between the Chinese staff with their limited English and this poor guy who was not capable of really understanding what he had done wrong, it was one of those awkward moments in a life that you cannot forget no matter how much you try.

Image source: imk


Picked up some fish and chips recently. Saw they had “all you can eat” on Wednesdays.

So I asked “What is the most that someone….”

“18 pieces of fish and 3 plates (she held up this huge platter) of fries……every….single…..Wednesday.”

“So he eats that exact order every week?”

“Yes, and he goes to a different ‘all you can eat’ every day of the week. He got banned from the Chinese place down the road.”

Image source: Odogogod


A woman came in with two of her kids, and had a pretty regular meal. You pay when you leave at our place, and she decided to sneak out with her younger daughter before paying, leaving her underage son alone at the table. We caught on pretty quick and sent someone after her, who found her in her car in the parking garage, waiting for her son to come as well. She refused to come back in and pay, so we had to keep her son ‘hostage’ until the police came to handle the situation. What some people will do to their kids, i swear.

Forgot to mention we also found out from her son that she stole one of the managers’ keycards and they would regularly come into the hotel and use the card to go swimming in the top floor pool. Smart, I’ll give her that, but still.

Image source: Valkrine10


Image source: blooberries1, David Pursehouse

My parents owned an all you can eat buffet and I was there every day of my life from 4-14. My favorite horror story is when a couple came in to eat (obviously). They loveeed the crab legs and every time my mom put some out, they took it ALL. Also, just a reminder, crab legs are expensive! Forget the other customers, they just took it and ate it all. So they’re there for maybe 2 hours now and it’s getting dark. They’ve eaten through at least a week’s stock of crab legs and my mom finally decides it’s enough. She stops putting it out in the buffet and brings individual plates to the customers who wanted it but couldn’t get any due to this couple.

~~Understandably,~~ the couple is angry. They literally flipped the chairs at their table, flipped their plates, bowls, cups, etc and completely trashed their area. Food was all over the floor, table, chairs. Sticky soda was dripping into the carpet. They left in a hurry, but someone caught their license plate. We called the cops and I think they said they charged them with something? I can’t remember the aftermath details clearly, because I was probably 8 or 9 years old (20 now). I just remember looking at the mess and feeling really angry that my sister and I had to clean it up with our mom. It was a family run business, so we didn’t have much help.

Anyways, that’s my horror story. The end.


Image source: crazyfoot369, Diego Marín

I worked at a pizza buffet for 2 years during college. I have a number of stories, but the one that I will always remember is the guy who got super upset that we wouldn’t make more dessert pizza when we were half an hour past closing time.

This guy comes in with his presumed wife and 2 children around 8:30. We close at 9. Nothing out of the ordinary happens until 9 rolls around when it was still commonplace for people to be finishing up and eating what pizza was still left. I was doing the dishes and taking the empty dishes back from the buffet and I see this guy, arms crossed and staring at me as I take the empty dessert pizza dish. He says something to the effect of “when’s the next one coming out, I never got any” I let him know that we close at 9 and we can’t really make anything past then because the oven gets shut off. Luckily the manager overheard this and stepped in to back me up and I quickly scamper off to the back to continue the dishes. He seemed pissed, but it wasn’t unheard of, as being a cheap pizza buffet, you don’t exactly bring in the most affluent of folks. About 5 min later, as I’m finishing up the plates, the same manager comes barreling through the back door, out of breath. He grabs 2 of the long wooden pizza pushers and says come with me. I have no idea what’s going on, but I grab the pusher and follow him out the door. I learned later on, that he started flipping out, throwing the register and a fishbowl. He grabbed a broom and swung that around, hitting the girl behind the counter. As I exit from the back this guy is screaming and ranting unintelligibly. He was just asking for a fight. He walked up to the manager got all up in his face and kinda choke and pushed him back. He came at me next and I was really really close to taking a swing at his knees or something but the other manager had quickly gotten back up and he resumed harassing him. After about 2 min of tip-toeing around a brawl, and his wife presumably screaming for him to get back in the car, he eventually gets in and they drive off. I won’t forget the glossed-over look in his eyes as he came after me. Freaks me out to this day.


Image source: mysticbooka, Anna Shvets

At one point i worked for a pizza place that used to have a day buffet that I would make pizzas for. One time two huge dudes come in the moment we open for the buffet. The manager on duty dropped the first two pizzas down on the buffet, turned to grab the next two, turned back and both pizzas were gone. A few minutes later both dudes walk back up and each take an entire pizza again and walk back to continue eating. They proceeded to do this over and over, grabbing an entire pizza each for themselves for the entire 3 hours we were offering the buffet. Was one hell of a day.


Image source: cawatxcamt, Andrew Malone

Pickle Boy

There was this man who used to come into our restaurant who clearly wasn’t all there in the head. He was functional but very weird. As the months progressed, he got WAY weirder. He started wearing women’s underwear over his clothes, even going so far as to stuff his bra. Picture a 6’2” 250lb dude with a baby face wearing silky underpants and a lace bra *over* ratty jeans and a stained Hawaiian shirt; that’s our guy. He went from being able to hold a sort of normal conversation to just spouting conspiracy theory word salad. But the weirdest thing was his change of eating habits. He used to eat a variety of our soup/salad/baked potato options from our buffet, but as his mental health deteriorated, so did his desire for variety I guess. By the time his weirdness devolved to aggression and we had to 86 him, he was coming in for two things: pickles and ranch dressing. He’d pile as many pickle slices as he could onto his plate, then put so much ranch on them the dressing and pickle juice would be running all over the tray. He’d eat it all, and his face would be covered in ranch and pickle bits. Then he’d drink water straight from the pitcher he inevitably stole from the wait station, sliming it with pickle ranch slobber. Never a dull moment with that dude around!

Pickle Boy, wherever you are today, I really hope you got the help you so desperately needed but I was not sorry to see you go.

ETA: For those who are asking about the term 86, on this case it means we kicked him out permanently.


Image source: obeyyourbrain, Kyle Glenn

I had a co-worker that briefly managed a Ryan’s buffet. He said that it was fairly common for people to gorge themselves, then purge in the restroom and start eating again so that they could “get their money’s worth”.


Image source: release_the_hound, Alexandra Golovac

I managed a buffet in a casino in Reno for a few months. Had this family come in… mom, dad, two little kids. I get called over to the table because the mom had thrown up on her plate/table and wanted us to take it away and clean it up.

I asked if she was ok, and she said she always throws up when she eats cheese. She had gotten herself an enchilada (it was Mexican theme night). WTF lady, enchiladas pretty much always have cheese. I told her I would have to call janitorial because none of my staff was trained to handle biohazards. She “didn’t understand why I couldn’t just take it.” Janitorial came in and couldn’t clean up because she refused to move from the table. So janitorial left.

She calls me back over and starts yelling at me, dad starts yelling too. Apparently she wanted to keep eating after throwing up, which I thought was really gross. I had them sit at another table so they could all keep eating. Janitorial came back and cleaned the other table.

Finally they go to leave and decide to make a huge scene in front of the whole restaurant and demand their money back. I refuse. Dad gets in my face and starts shouting that I’m just a racist white b***h and his wife makes loads more money than I do. I call security and they storm out, pulling pictures off the wall and shattering them on the floor, and dad also picked up a vase and broke it. The two kids are running around and banging on the walls. Security finally shows up after they ran off, I have to do a report, and they were put on the 86 list. I f*****g hate people.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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all you can eat, buffet spreads, buffet workers, buffets, horror stories, work horror stories
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