Every commercial kitchen has a lot of secrets, especially a system as popular as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Just like anything in the world, it has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you should only go to the places that you can trust.

We at Enlighten are sure that we shouldn’t completely stop going to all-you-can-eat buffets, but it’s definitely something that we have to be more careful with. And at the end of the article, there is a bonus that will tell you about what some restaurant guests are ready to do to eat more food.

One meal can be used to make another.

  • Usually a good bit of the food gets repurposed, like say the fish dish on Monday will become fish pie or fish soup on Tuesday. Some buffet restaurants will then throw out the food that can’t be repurposed. Terry Lo / Reddit

  • My buddy who worked at a buffet told me they used to make salad croutons out of the half-eaten pieces of bread that people left on their plates. filthy_lucre / Reddit

Unserekleinemaus / PIxabayOlichel / PIxabayChocolate fountains are not safe in terms of hygiene.

Unserekleinemaus / Pixabay

  • The buffet I worked at had a chocolate fountain and half of my time on the clock was spent trying to keep customers from sticking their fingers and other nonfood items into the fountain. I distinctly remember one woman with a cast on her arm who came up and started to dip some strawberries into the fountain. The next thing I know, she manages to stick most of her cast under the fountain so that the thing was basically coated with chocolate. Cursedknightartorias / Reddit

  • I was done eating and going for dessert and while I was approaching the chocolate fountain I was interested in trying, I watched a kid sneeze directly into it. No attempt to cover his mouth and his parents didn’t seem to care either. I was no longer interested in trying the chocolate fountain after that. Indoorsman7 / Reddit

Some visitors try foods from the bowls.

Baguggi / Pixabay

  • Once, I went to this buffet that served a lunch special which included a huge variety of soups and salads. So, I got a plate and started assembling a salad when I caught a glimpse of an older Asian lady sipping on soups directly from the main pots, she sampled using the main ladle as well. So, she sampled all the soups, and the ones she didn’t like she poured back in the pots and walked away like it was something she had done before. AmyAriztan / Reddit

  • A college friend worked at a Chinese buffet. He said that they caught a regular dipping his pizza in the wonton soup bowl (like, in the queue and not at his table) and eating it. Bite, dip, bite, dip, bite, dip. After the fourth time in a month that he did this, management finally kicked him out. ndkjr70 / Reddit

  • The kid who was about 6 or 7 wanted some gummi bears. So he went to the dessert bar, grabbed the serving spoon of gummi bears, and started eating off it like the bears were cereal, double-dipping several times. The parents were laughing and told him to stop, so he spit a mouthful of gummi bears out back onto the spoon and put them back. Elephant_Kisses2 / Reddit

There might be something else on the plates, not just food.

Northamerica1000 / Wikimedia

  • I cannot tell you how many times there has been a hair in the mac and cheese and if a customer complained about it, we would take the mac and cheese to the back, retrieve the hair, wait about 5 minutes, and then put the old stuff back out. ©_GottaCatchEmAll_ / Reddit

  • I remember eating at a buffet with my sister one time when we looked up, contemplating going to get more food, and we saw one of the employees hitting flies with one of those tennis racket bug zapper things… Over the food… We immediately stopped eating, paid, and left. We never went back. A few months later the place closed and has been abandoned for about 6 or 7 years.© cassievalor / Reddit

Perishable foods are not always treated properly.

Unserekleinemaus/ Pixabay

  • Worked at an Indian buffet. Their food safety standards were… Substandard. A lot of things were unacceptable, but what stands out is a large bucket of yogurt that sat out “aging” for several days and was served at the buffet each day. Ever since that job, I can’t really stomach Indian food. mgvertigo101 / Reddit

  • I didn’t have a job and I really needed money. So I took a cook position without really knowing what I was getting into. We served lots of fried chicken. And then I was told that it was bought from people selling foods that were going to go bad very soon. The food was cheap and terrible. getyrock1200 / Reddit

Food and dishes sometimes end up on the floor.

Dasoo / Pixabay

  • I’ve seen people drop serving utensils on the floor, and then stick them back into the food. I’ve literally grabbed tongs out of a child’s hand before they could do it. I’m not replacing a whole pan of chicken if I don’t have to. Atra_Lux / Reddit

  • A guy I worked with grabbed a frozen ham, threw it on the floor, and used it as a step stool as it sat in grey dirty scummy dishwater. It was served later that evening during the Saturday dinner rush. Angryt0ast666 / Reddit

What the description says is not always true.