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flo's avatar

What do restaurants mean by "All You Can Eat"?

Asked by flo (12974points) February 16th, 2016

What it means seems obvious but I guess not everyone finds it obvious. Does it mean that you can start eating at opening time, keep eating till closing time, and if you’re still not full come back the next day? Someone is suing the restaurant, by claiming: “It says all you can eat and I can eat more and more and more, I’m not full yet.”* See the second and 3rd and the 3rd from the bottom results.
I’m giving the search result link because I don’t know these sites.

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Generally, it means you can keep going back to the buffet as long as you keep eating all you take, and as long as it is continuous. If you stop eating, it means you are done.

Buffet restaurants will ask you to leave if you’re just sitting there for a period of time “eating v e r y s l o w l y….”.

Seek's avatar

I believe my husband is directly responsible for our local Asian fusion buffet making crab legs an upcharge item instead of part of the buffet.

Srsly that dude can put away some seafood.

jca's avatar

@flo: It doesn’t mean you can come back the next day and eat.

jca's avatar

As far as suing the restaurant, you can sue for anything but that doesn’t mean you’ll win, and it may also mean that if your suit doesn’t have a decent chance of winning, the lawyer might want you to pay something up front. In the case of the “All you can eat” patron wanting to be able to sit for 10 hours or come back the next day and eat, my guess is that if it went before the Court, the judge would rule that it’s got to be within reason, and if someone is going to sit all day, that’s not reasonable.

Strauss's avatar

It usually means all you can eat at one sitting without sharing.

Back in the seventies, I had a friend who was 5’6”, 300 lbs. He loved to eat. One of our favorite things to do together was to get stoned and then search Chicagoland for all-you-can-eat places. We once found this smorgasbord place that featured many of John’s favorite foods. We each made several trips through the buffet; after John’s sixth trip, the manager came to our table. He asked how we were enjoying the food. We told him we were enjoying it immensely. He then said, ” Go back through the buffet as many more times as you want; we’ll pick up your tab…but don’t ever come back again!

Cruiser's avatar

Usually means you will get really slow service where they try to fill you up with drinks and bread while you wait another 45 minutes for your second helping and it will only go slower from there on out.

msh's avatar

My two friends were asked not to come back to a buffet like above. They went back and asked if they might be allowed to return if they promised to eat only three plates-worth. Two trips only. (It’s really good food.) So far they have kept their word. The owner watches them like a hawk, however.

chelle21689's avatar

Most buffets are gross and I can’t eat more than one plate lol unless it’s one of the nicer ones then I’ll definitely take my time LOL! You should go and test it out…

LostInParadise's avatar

All you can eat restaurants are able to make a profit because there is a limit to what a person can eat in one sitting. If a person was entitled to come back the next day or the day after that, the restaurant would be forced to close.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
AshlynM's avatar

I understand all you can eat to mean you can go back as many times as you want from opening until closing. I’ve never heard of anyone going back the next day to to continue all you can eat.

flo's avatar

@jca For sure it can’t mean you can come back the next day, that was my point in the detail.

That’s a funny story @Yetanotheruser.

Anyway I think it means “per sitting”, like luch time 12–3Pm or something, and supper 5–9 pm or something. I can’t imagine it could mean from opening to closing, if they don’t close between the meals.

Thank you all.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

They will get rid of you if you eat more than they consider enough. When we were dating my husband would always eat until we were asked to leave. We would go to Red Lobster on Tuesday (I think it was) for all you can eat crab claws. He was a bottomless pit back then. You had to ask for more and eventually, every time, they would tell him “no more.”

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