With their set prices and rows and rows of delicious foods just begging to be enjoyed, buffets tend to attract customers who both love food and want to stretch their dollars as much as they can. This is often a deadly combination, and poor buffet workers are forced to deal with some pretty rotten people and disgusting scenes.
The following buffet workers describe architectural feats on plates, bathroom horror scenes, and customers wreaking havoc when forced to curtail their gluttonous missions. You’ll be glad you don’t work at a buffet!
45. The Word “Shame” Isn’t In Their Vocabulary
Golden Corral employee here. Once this very big lady apparently had a bathroom emergency and couldn’t make it there on time. She started filling her pants on the way to the bathroom and it kept falling through her shorts on the floor… in front of the bars and everything and everyone. After going to the bathroom, she proceeded to go back to her table and keep on eating.
Another time, a lady came in with two small kids. Said she wouldn’t pay for two kids because they wouldn’t be eating. We were curious where the kids went at one point and found she was feeding them under the table like dogs.
44. She Can’t Get Up
My biggest story was at an all you can eat Chinese place. A rather rotund customer arrived and wedged herself into a booth. Besides being a grade-A brat to begin with, she had the gall to request the waitstaff bring her food since she didn’t want to get up from the table and I guess to funnel food into her arteries. I was bussing tables and watching from afar, so I didn’t get directly involved. What ensued with utter karma for her being a crappy person to the staff and acting like she owned the place.
When she was finished eating, she could not physically get up or get out of her booth due to her being so stuffed, large in general, and wedged in. I was told by her waiter that the look in her eyes when she had to deprecatingly ask for help was priceless. The manager eventually had to call the fire department to come to remove the table from the floor to get her out. All the while, she continued complaining and was a terrible customer. Didn’t leave a tip either because of “poor service” or something. I didn’t care too much because it’s a funny memory that gets me through the week to this day
43. The Genius And The Creative
At Golden Corral, I once saw a family come in: mom, dad, one kid, and one baby. The mom got a high chair on wheels, then left the baby in a car seat at the table. She pushed the high chair to the buffet and proceeded to stack plates on it like her own personal table on wheels. She never put the baby in the high chair.
I also saw a fat dude smear ranch dressing from his wrist to elbow then as he ate he brushed the food along the dressing before putting it into his mouth. But…why?…
42. Fart Attack
I once witnessed a man eat four plates of food piled high (I’m talking Southern food, so it was all fried foods), claim he was having a heart attack and clutch his chest, then let the biggest, most foul-smelling fart I have ever experienced.
After he laughed about it, he continued to go back and eat two more plates of entrees, and a plate of desserts. I swear it smelled like a hippopotamus took a dump on a skunk.
41. Saving Some For Everyone Else
I used to be a waiter at one of those Vegas buffets. Usually, when you got those massive groups of tourists, you know there would be trouble. The ginger beef was very popular and I saw a man from those tour groups take two spoonfuls from the big pot and put it on a plate. He then left the plate behind and just took the pot.
But my favorite was an old lady putting a plate full of chicken wings in her purse (probably to bring back home or something)… no bags nothing, just bare chicken wings directly in there.
40. Incredible Engineering Skills
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, with 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.”
39. Hey, Mr. Pickles!
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” 250-lb 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 in 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 refuse service to 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.
38. Spell G-R-O-S-S
I watched a lady get a to-go box and fill up the top and bottom of the box until the styrofoam was about to collapse when she dropped an eggroll on the ground. She then proceeded to pick it up with her toes (she was wearing flip flops) and place it into her box.
I also saw a guy about 18 years old at the ice cream counter, didn’t have time to react and puked in the ice cream cans and on the floor. He looked at it, said nothing, and just walked away back to his table.
37. Even The Decorations
A few years ago, I was working as a server/busser at an all you can eat seafood buffet. One night, a guy and his wife came in and stayed for over five hours. The husband ate so much that the kitchen couldn’t keep up. He was taking the entire warming trays from the buffet table to his table. A WHOLE tray at a time of fried shrimp! Then cod fillets. Then crab legs. Then fried oysters. You name it. He ate an entire tray. When the closing time eventually came, the guy wouldn’t leave! He just kept eating more and more. When we wouldn’t bring out any more food, he began to panic, and twice he actually grabbed some of the plastic lobsters we used to decorate the buffet and tried to eat them. Me and a few other employees actually had to physically remove him from the restaurant at that point!
On top of all that weirdness, his poor wife did not eat a single thing that night because apparently she didn’t like fish, and literally everything in the restaurant had fish in it, even the bread. The guy ended up suing the restaurant owner for false advertising. Despite his inept legal counsel, he settled out of court with an agreement that he could eat as much as he wanted at any time, for free. All he had to do was eat it on display in the front window as a sort of advertisement/freakshow for the restaurant.
36. Human Greed At Its Worst
We have this huge buffet with a separate dessert buffet that is presented with fireworks and dry ice and people walking around the restaurant with bells every weekend night. This one time we had a hotel guest who kinda resembled Jabba the Hutt in size. She had a walker and used it to sit on if she was tired of walking. Now I usually assume these people just have a disease or disorder which causes them to not be able to lose any weight. This woman was different. She started with four eggs, munched down two plates of fries, ate three steaks, six pancakes and downed seven cokes with that. (YES, I counted). I couldn’t keep track of it all, but it was at least eight plates of food.
She then proceeded to wait for the dessert to be set up. It usually starts at 7 and we use “do not cross” tape as a fun prop for the kiddos. She was there sitting on her walker at 6:45. Once the fireworks and ice were removed, she went ALL IN. This woman was taking full cakes to her table, dipping EVERYTHING in our chocolate fountain and literally PUSHING kids out of her way to get to some sweets first. I saw her just grabbing stuff with her bare hands (we have these tong thingies for everything) and putting her hands in the fountain. It made me physically sick to watch, man.
35. When Pizza Is Life
At one point, I worked for a pizza place that used to have a day buffet I would make pizzas for. One time, two huge dudes come at 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. Each one takes an entire pizza again and walks back to continue eating. They proceeded to do this over and over, grabbing an entire pizza each for themselves for the entire three hours we were offering the buffet. It was one hell of a day.
34. They Ate The Bones!
I worked at a sports bar that had free wings served buffet style for ladies on Wednesday nights. There was a group of four obese ladies that came in one time and cleaned out all of the trays.
I bussed their table when they left, and only the cartilage “nubs” from the drumsticks were left on the plates. They ate the bones. I guess it’s a waste of food not to eat the bones.
33. How Shellfish!
I work at a Chinese buffet restaurant, and the most “memorable” customers I had was a man and wife. They come up to the seafood section and take every piece of snow crab in the tray.
They overloaded three plates forming a twisted mountain of crab legs, claws, and carapace bits over eight inches tall. Nothing else, just every crab bit in the house. Then they sat down in silence, staring at each other, and feasting. I mean how shellfish can you be?!
32. Eat. Puke. Repeat.
My friend ran a Golden Corral in Omaha and he told me this older gentleman, a skinny guy, ate like five plates and my friend kept noticing him running to the bathroom over the course of the five hours he was there.
Eventually, he followed him into the bathroom and heard him vomiting in a stall. He was bingeing and purging his meal over and over again. He was asked to leave while in the stall. The guy left so fast as he seemed very embarrassed. Left a gross mess as well on the ground and back of the toilet.
31. Pumpkin Pie Bandit
I watched a woman come in, go right to the dessert section, and pick up four plates of pumpkin pie. Then, as soon as more plates of pie are set out, she gets up, before she’s even finished eating the four slices she’s already grabbed, cuts right in front of a kid about to grab a slice, and picks up four more plates.
I should mention she didn’t even finish them all. There were like two and 3/4 slices of pie on her table when she left. I’ll never understand the rush to claim food at buffets. There will be more anyways, like what the heck?
30. He Literally Pooped Himself To Death
I used to work in an all you can eat buffet, and I would usually be the one who cleans up after people once closing hours pass. Essentially I was the de facto janitor of the place. This one time I had to clean the bathrooms after the place closed. No problems in the female bathroom, but when I went into the male restroom, the image was burned into my retina instantly. An old man was lying on the floor, face down in a puddle of muck. Not just any sewage muck, but opaque, black muck. It had the color of motor oil. Smelled awful too, like a mix of fecal matter and rotting durian. It certainly didn’t help that the liquid wasn’t just smeared all over the floor, but spread across the walls too. There were freaking handprints across the wall, presumably when the geezer was trying to stand himself up. I peered into the toilet, more of that brown liquid, along with chunks of corny poop. There’s also this fluid in your digestive system called chyme. It’s basically the thing right before food turns into poop, the pulpy acidic liquid with partially digested food in it. I could see scraps of chicken breast and sauce mixed in there with the pulpy chyme.
As for the old guy? Well, turns out, he didn’t merely faint. He actually died. I was in a room with a fresh, decomposing corpse in the stages of Algor mortis. He had his pants off. Presumably, he pooped himself to death, but I don’t know. The guy emptied himself like one of those cement mixers you’d see in a cartoon, except you just replace the cement with a liquid that embodies death itself. Needless to say, I, like him, emptied my digestive contents, just from the opposite end that he did. After that, I quit. Screw that place, man.
29. This Is Why You Should Wear Bra
I’m not a worker. That being said, I was at a KFC in Bartonville, Illinois. They have a small buffet with the essentials of KFC: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, coleslaw, and a few other things I’m sure no one has ever touched. I’ve already sat down to eat, watching this older lady (about 60) walk up to the buffet. If you know anything about this area (309), you know the quality of people we are dealing with.
This older lady walks up and grabs a piece of chicken in the very back part of the buffet, without a bra, and her right boob falls out. Now her shirt wasn’t exactly what I would call age-appropriate, but there it is hanging out of the bottom. I can not stop staring. She doesn’t wipe it off; I wasn’t even sure if she knew what happened. Her right boob drags through the mashed potatoes. I have to investigate. I have to see what the damage was. There is a valley dug out by the tip of her bosom! I had to leave.
28. Just A 5-Gallon Bucket
I worked in the mess halls at a Christian campground during the summers in my teen years. We would get different groups ranging from 10 to over 1,500 people in size. So naturally, we would prepare food in accordance with the size of the group(s). However, this one particular event happened that I cannot let go of unspoken. It still haunts me to this day five years later.
I watched a 350+ lb fellow bring a 5-gallon bucket into the buffet line. I thought nothing of it until I watched him pour an entire tray of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, ALL of the gravy and rolls into this thing. I was actually frozen in time watching this happen. He was the last one to go through the line. So it wasn’t as if guests went hungry. The best part is he just walked back to his room with his Jim Baker Bucket as if it were just a normal Sunday.
27. A Smelly Explosion
Working at a Pizza Hut years ago, and there was a buffet every lunchtime. An older woman was in line to fill up her plate and ended up having explosive diarrhea. She was wearing a skirt, so it literally just fell to the floor and was everywhere all around the buffet island. We were so embarrassed for her. Poor lady.
It stunk so bad throughout the restaurant, I thought we would shut everything down, so we could properly clean it up and sanitize the area… Nope! My boss literally mopped it up and told everyone it was a backed-up pipe in the dishwasher area. I couldn’t even! Needless to say, I didn’t eat at work that day.
26. He Wasn’t Kidding Though
We serve take-out, and someone came to get his order. He looked at the buffet and asked me, “Do you think I could grab something to eat real quick?” while smiling. We often get this asked as a joke, so naturally, I play their game and answered: “Yes of course!”
The guy literally walked over there, took an entire egg from our salad bar, ate it in one bite, then came back to pay his take-out…I had no idea what to say, and he just left like that.
25. The Sweating Lasagna Guy
I was working wedding functions and there was a pretty big guy and was sweating as he sat down. It was painful and ever so slightly terrifying to watch this behemoth wobble up to the buffet with a plate in each hand, eyes scouring the food, looking for his next victim. This man ate us out of lasagna. That doesn’t sound like much; however, it was a 700-person function with the equivalent of a pickup truck’s worth of lasagna in the back. I watched him eat a plate, although it was less “eat” than “inhale.” Sweating profusely the whole time, this greasy, smelly sweat that several other wedding-goers commented on. His wife watched nonchalantly as if his destruction of the lasagna was an everyday thing.
The staff were contemplating throwing him out when IT happened: the man soiled himself, at the table. He gave no indication that he even noticed that he had messed himself. The assistant manager broke down crying whilst four security members attempted to carry this man out whilst he protested. One of the security members had a bad time, however, as the vigorous movement of the human jello ball upset his stomach and the poor bouncer got covered head to toe in second-hand lasagna. That was the worst display of greed and gluttony I’ve ever seen.
24. I See What You Did There
I used to manage a KFC with a buffet. On Tuesdays, we had senior citizen discounts, so we would have livers and gizzards on the buffet. Typically, they went pretty well but not insanely fast. One day, we just couldn’t keep the gizzard pan full, which made no sense. There were only maybe six people in the dining room, so unless they were big-time gizzard eaters, one full pan should have lasted a while. I had the buffet worker put a fresh pan out and then watched as a woman walked up and filled a plate with an overflowing pile of gizzards. No big deal if she’s actually eating that.
As I kept watching, though, I saw her take the plate and dump all the gizzards in her purse. I went to her table to confront her and said that the all you can eat buffet does not allow for takeout. She screamed at me and said I was accusing her of lying and stealing. I pointed out that her purse was wide open and I could see the quart-size Ziploc bag filled with gizzards. I grabbed the bag and threw them out while she screamed about never coming back and calling the manager (me) and calling the Better Business Bureau. Surprisingly, I never saw her again.
23. The Gross Offender
I used to work at Whole Foods, and a woman came in with her small dog and put it in the child part of her cart. She goes to the buffet section, and as she’s looking, she starts to take small bits with her hands and gives it to her dog to sample. She continues letting the dog lick her hand clean of various foods and puts it back in to grab more from the open tray. Then she decides what she wants to eat and goes to get a box to fill it, but the dog started whining because she stopped feeding it, so she picked it up and straight put it on the counter to eat out of the tray like a bowl.
It happened relatively quickly and no staff saw it, but a customer came up front and told us a woman had a dog too close to the food and we said, “OK, we’ll check” because service animals were common. Then we check the security camera later and realize the sheer level of “what the heck” going on all at once. All of the food was rotated out, and the lady’s picture went on our “gross offender” wall.
22. Chocolatey Dirty
I worked at a buffet for about four years, so I feel like this is my time to shine. 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 non-food 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. Next thing I know, she manages to stick most of her cast under the fountain so that the thing is basically coated with chocolate. Instead of trying to alert a staff member so the fountain could be closed down, sanitized, etc., she proceeded to casually walk back to her table and eat her dessert. I can’t even keep track of the number of times we had to close down the chocolate fountain to replace the chocolate that had been contaminated because some idiot thought it would be funny to stick their hand or face into it.
This place was also the only establishment that I have ever had to work where the carpets were professionally deep cleaned almost weekly because people would gorge themselves and then vomit on the floors. We also had many customers who would basically poop on walls of the stall rather than in the toilet so the bathrooms were almost always a nightmare to clean. Many people paid other employees to clean up vomit and other bodily fluids if they didn’t have the stomach for it.
21. He Passed Out Because…
Not me, but one of my best mates told me this one. Basically, he worked at a typical buffet restaurant. Some monstrously huge man comes in and stacks his plate sky high. My friend estimates it would’ve weighed eight pounds. So, the fat dude tucks in hard and cleans it up. Goes back and does it again. He does this three or four times before he goes to the bathroom. He comes back and gets right back to business, just eating pound and pounds of food (spaghetti, chicken, fries, etc). Again, he goes to the bathroom and again, he comes back and eats some more.
After his fourth bathroom trip, he doesn’t come out. It’s been like 15 minutes, and the staff is wondering what’s happened to this dude. They go in to check and find him passed out in the cubicle. The restaurant immediately calls an ambulance. Turns out he’d been eating, vomiting and then eating again. This time around, though, he’d dehydrated himself to the point of passing out because he’d spewed out all the fluids in his body. Basically, he wasn’t drinking anything with his meals so he could eat more food. An eating disorder of truly first-world proportions.
20. Chicken Crime Scene
I saw Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, and Big John Studd eat at a chicken place across from Selland Arena in Fresno in the 80s. Roddy Piper was with them, too, but he had a simple dinner platter and water.
The big eater was Andre. He ordered 10 whole chickens, five orders of potato wedges, five orders of coleslaw and five pitchers of beer, for himself. The others had similar, but slightly smaller orders. When they were done their table looked like a chicken crime scene.
19. A Happy Ending For Belly Shirt Guy
Seven years of pizza buffet experience. I’ve seen salad bowls full of ranch. I’ve seen huge gluttonous Southern Baptist preachers with a stack of pizza because they’re too fat and lazy to make that many trips.
We had a regular who came in two times a week and would stack a whole pizza on each plate per trip on top of unlimited pasta. We called him “belly shirt guy” because his gut hung down below his shirt. Great turn around for him, though because he started eating salads every trip. By the time I left, the man has lost a good 75 lbs and actually looked healthy.
18. Let The Pancake Eating Contest Begin
Every year right after Christmas my work (IHOP) has All You Can Eat Pancakes. Normally people order it, get the first full (five) stack and barely take a bite out of the next round (two). But last year I was working an overnight Saturday shift and I had a group of eight teenagers come in. They wanted to see how many they could eat. They made it to 100 pancakes. One kid alone ate 23 (and then puked them up in the parking lot). They made me take a picture of them with all the plates stacked up.
It then became a local legend. Groups of teenagers kept coming in and trying to beat them. I think one group may have eaten 100 and a half. The cooks weren’t very happy about it and I only made like $13 as my tip that night but it was pretty fun to watch them scarf down the pancakes. And they were so proud of themselves too.
17. Gluttony At Its Finest
I was working wedding functions, and they had a buffet dinner and then later on a buffet late snack set. This guy showed me the depths of gluttony. He was a tall skinny dude in his early 20s, I assume a college student from the shabby suit and greed that he showed.
Come dinner time, he must have been determined to get his money’s worth and went up a total of 18 times and each time came back with a full plate of meat and potatoes; there was determination in his eyes as he wolfed it all down, and as his parents watched in disappointment as their son ate more than the rest of the table combined. I, however, was impressed at what he did. At least he wouldn’t need to eat ramen for a while.
16. You’re Banned!
I wouldn’t say it was disgusting at all. At this buffet, they used smaller sized dishes. I think they read a study that said that smaller the plate, the less wasted food, and so people would just eat a little bit less. But old Butch here didn’t care for the smaller plates. No, he kept stacking the food higher and higher on it. One time he targeted meatballs. He waited until a fresh pan was brought out, and then he went to work. The meatballs he stacked like a little tower, getting higher and higher as they pushed slightly towards the middle. He had about a foot in height of meatballs. It could have been the 8th wonder of the world. Another time he had snuck in his own plate. One that was larger than the others just so that he could fit more on it without having to make more trips. At the end of it, he asked our staff to wash it and bring it back to him. We had to tell him he couldn’t bring his own plate anymore due to potential food safety violations. Instead, he tried bringing larger paper plates instead that could be thrown out when they were done.
Eventually, he was banned, because the store was losing a bit of money off of him. They put his picture up in the back on a “Do not serve” wall. Well, eventually the store was sold to someone else. We removed all the other photos but his. And I put a label on it that said, “Hero.” The new manager was a bit of a jerk, so me and another guy said that he had saved another customer’s life from choking on it. Which may have been possible if someone didn’t chew before swallowing one of those meatballs. The rest of the old staff agreed with it, just so the man could eat into the profits of the new owners.
15. Scraping Leftovers Onto The Floor
A few years ago, I worked at an all-you-can-eat country buffet in South Carolina. I was a busboy. One day, I went to a table. It was a mess, as per usual. It looked to be a large family/group of families of around 12 people or so.
The thing that stuck it in my memory is that whenever they had finished with what they were going to eat, they would scrape their plate and use it again. Scrape their plates… onto the floor next to their chairs. So, next to each chair, there was a 6- to 18-inch pile of chicken bones, crab legs, mashed potatoes, remnants of backed potatoes, etc.
14. Is It So Much… Butter?
I worked at a brunch buffet. There was this one guy who got nothing but a plate of pancakes and a bowl of butter. We are talking about a cereal-size bowl full of butter.
He had a spoon in one hand and a fork in the other. He would take a piece of pancake and put it in his mouth and then take a hefty spoonful of butter and put it in his mouth. This was for six diner-size pancakes and every bite accompanied a spoonful of butter.
13. They Literally Flipped Everything
My parents owned an all-you-can-eat buffet, and I was there every day of my life from 4 to 14. My favorite horror story is when a couple came in to eat (obviously). They loved the crab legs and every time my mom put some out, they took them ALL. Also, just a reminder, crab legs are expensive! Forget the other customers, they just took them and ate them 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. 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 (I’m 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.
12. “Cheating The System”
So, I worked at a Brazilian churrascaria, which is one of those places where you sit at a table and servers come by with various roasted meats on a stick and then carve off portions for you. The genius of the churrascaria is the massive salad bar that you get before the meat comes along, which fills you up, so you don’t eat too much expensive meat. But we had this one family (mom, dad, six kids) that had figured out “the system” (their exact words) and would just sit at their table waiting for the meat. Everyone hated them because they would always ask for more portions than you were supposed to give at a single time, and would always smirk and say, “Yeah, we know the system. We know what you guys are doing. Just give us the meat.” And then they’d proceed to eat an absolutely epic amount of meat.
They particularly targeted the more expensive cuts like picanha and tenderloin and avoided the less expensive stuff like chicken. The managers had an ongoing war with them, but – infuriatingly – never kicked them out. So yeah, a family of eight, eating nothing but hundreds of dollars worth of char-grilled meats every few days. I wonder how their house smelled.
11. Cream Puff Monster
I noticed the plump couple near us each obtained a heaping plate of cream puffs. I mean ALL of the puffs. Both 12″ plates neatly stacked as if to be served at… an all you can eat buffet… Now, no normal person could eat all this, especially after an assumed three main courses, but these winners had a plan.
They proceeded to suck the cream from each puff, discarding the carrier pastry on another plate, each crumpled and squeezed like old toothpaste. Of course, you would hide the evidence right? Nope. Left their table looking like competitive eating took place. As an artful centerpiece, the once-neat stack was now a disgusting pile of cream-less puffs overflowing from a single plate.
10. Soy Soda?
At a Chinese buffet a few months back. This big dude was at a booth with his mom (and he was probably middle-aged or older). Green hair, tank top. You can imagine his smell. I look over and see him with his half-full glass of fountain pop (something orange, I think Fanta), and he proceeds to take the soy sauce bottle and start pouring it into the pop. And not just a drizzle, which would have been odd enough, but he fills up the rest of that cup and stirs it up with his chopstick.
What I thought may have just a weird way to waste the restaurant’s resources before leaving turned out to be his next meal. He sat there and drank that whole dang thing. It was the weirdest thing I ever saw at a buffet.
9. A Cheesy Family
I managed a buffet in a casino in Reno for a few months. I 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-themed night). What the heck, 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, the 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 a brat 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 “never return” list.
8. The Milk Lady
I worked at a Sunday buffet in high school (late 90s); it was $7 a person. I could tell you some stories. We essentially charged them, brought drinks, then bussed the table. My favorite was the massive lady who would come in by herself, ask for four glasses of milk, and wave you down whenever she finished one for a refill. She would eat about five plates of our macaroni and cheese (probably the worst thing on the buffet), at some point slam all four glasses of milk, then proceed to puke milk, cheese, and noodles all over the bathroom. She would then sit and drink milk and eat macaroni for another hour or two, then leave a hand full of change for the tip. We all drew straws whenever she came in for who got to clean up the mess.
One day, she came in and I only gave her one milk; she said she wanted four, and I assured her I would bring another one when she was finished with the first. She insisted that “The rules say I get as much milk as I want!” There were no posted rules. I refused and ended up getting written up for not being hospitable. From that point on I would just drop a gallon of milk on her table every time she came in (which she usually finished), but refused to clean up the puke mess. Whenever my boss tried to get me to do it in her passive-aggressive way, I’d say, “Maybe we shouldn’t offer unlimited milk refills if people are just going to puke it all over the bathroom every week.”
7. A Bunch Of Entitled People
I worked at an Old Country Buffet. They have a carving station, which I was NEVER trained on. They threw me on a busy weekend night and just gave me a rough estimate of how thick the meat should be (the thickness of a dime –what the heck. Lol). They never gave me safety gloves to keep me from cutting myself. Just made me put on latex gloves and handed me these giant knives. There’s a bunch of entitled old people waiting for their slices of meat, and I freaking knick myself with one of the damn knives. I go to set the knives down to try and take care of the issue because I’m not about to screw all this crap all the way up.
I immediately start getting yelled at by the customers and my boss nearby for trying to leave the carving station. No excuses allowed. So, I finish serving meat to these people with a bleeding finger and a cut open glove also using the same knife that knicked me. Didn’t feel bad at all, honestly. Buffet customers are some of the most entitled people I’ve ever met. The nicest customers I ever got were the busses of Asian tourists. They were always so sweet.
6. He Literally Wanted Everything In His Sandwich
Not technically buffet, but I feel he kind of violated the rules to make it a buffet… Local eccentric walks in. I can’t remember what sandwich he ordered, but the crucial part was that he wanted everything on it. Now maybe that’s not absurd, you think. Who doesn’t like a bevy of veggies on their sandwich for free, right? But this guy literally wanted everything. Every cheese, all of three or four kinds of peppers, guac, salsa, and every single sauce: ranch, mayo, oil and vinegar, BBQ sauce; literally everything on display went into his sandwich. It just became a pool of sloppy liquid bathing floating vegetables in a soggy bread shell. The sandwich “artist” (as they go by) could not even close or wrap the sandwich up.
The guy proceeds to take it to his booth, where he didn’t eat it like any normal person would eat a sandwich (why would he? It’s not even a sandwich anymore), but he scooped out all the drippy innards in his hands and globbed in all in his mouth and was thoroughly licking his fingers clean in between each hearty scoop of ranch/mayo/BBQ/pickle/pepper/onion fistful.
5. Just A Bite Or Two
I have numerous stories of having to clean up after these animals. Food on the floor, spit, puke, mud, sewage, whatever filth you can imagine. People also frequently just go on the floor of your restrooms, not in the toilet or even on the toilet.
What pisses me off as well is there would be parties of four or more that would just waste tons of food. Make full plates, take a bite or two, put them aside and sample something else. Then probably get on the web and talk about how much our restaurant sucks. Plates, upon plates, full of soiled food that would now be wasted. So much food goes to waste, it is morally disgusting.
4. No One Can Stop Her
I used to work at CiCi’s Pizza. It’s an all you can eat pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert buffet for $5 and some change. You can imagine the kind of people that eat there.
Basically, every customer would charge up to the buffet when we put out more pizza and try to pile on as many slices as they can so that no one else gets any. One lady even tried to take the whole pan of cinnamon rolls to her table. My manager told her she couldn’t do that, but she did it anyway.
3. The Salad Bar Twins
In my high school years, I worked for a place that had an unlimited salad bar. Each night like clockwork, these two older skinny women would come in and pig out on salad. After 15 minutes, they’d go to the ladies’ room and barf it all up. Then they’d go load up at the salad bar again. This rinse-repeat cycle would go on six or seven times. We called them the “Salad Bar Twins.”
Eventually, the manager got tired of them freaking out the other patrons and asked them not to come back. From buddies that worked at other local restaurants, I found out that they went to all the establishments that offered an all-you-can-eat option. They had different nicknames at each place: the “Bulimia Brats,” “Puke Patrol,” “Hurler Hags,” etc. I guess it wasn’t gluttony as much as mental illness.
2. It Wasn’t An Accident; You Know That
I was a cook for a grocery co-op. We had a breakfast and lunch buffet every day. We had one regular who would come in take a bowl (bowls were for grits and oatmeal at a set price, regular food went in a box and was priced by weight) and put his breakfast food, potatoes, eggs, and biscuits and covered it with a thin layer of grits. After a few days of watching him do this, I confronted him at the register and told the cashier to weigh his cup and charge him that. He was not very stoked, but he had realized he had been found out. The very next morning, he came in and made a beeline for the coffee (not out of the ordinary for 7 am), and he grabbed a box. I thought I had struck a chord with him and he learned a lesson. Nope, he dumps his whole cup of coffee in the fresh-off-the-grill pan of scrambled eggs. Somehow he convinced the store manager that it “was just an accident.”
About a week goes by before he makes his return, I see him grab a 12-oz cup and start squeezing honey into it like it was cool. I walked right over and grabbed that cup out of his hand and walked it into my manager’s office and told him to see who had done it. He was subsequently banned from the store, trespassed by the police, and had his co-op ownership fees returned. He ran into me and my girlfriend at a local restaurant on the 4th of July. As he was walking in, I look up and we make eye contact and I kind of loudly said, “Yo, that’s the freaking jerk with the coffee!” He turned around, got in his car, and left. Screw that guy, and screw that job.
1. Biggest Grin, Biggest Poop Disaster
When I was 15, I worked as a busboy at an all you can eat buffet. While working one afternoon, with hardly anyone in the restaurant, this family of four, all morbidly obese and looking like they have not showered for a week, come in and proceed to stuff their faces, as one would expect. As a busboy, one of our jobs was to check washrooms every hour. Just as I am walking to check the men’s washroom, one of the sons from this family is leaving the washroom with the BIGGEST grin I have ever seen on his pudgy face (still haunts me 14 years later). Upon seeing this, I immediately have a bad feeling about what I am about to witness.
Sure enough, the first stall I check has a MASSIVE amount of explosive diarrhea splattered all over the toilet tank, the wall, and the floor. There is literally poop everywhere but the toilet bowl! It looks like someone let off an explosive weapon made of poop on the toilet seat. I grab some tongs and paper towels and tried to clean it up, but there is just too much poop, so I go to my manager to show him. He’s a bit of a hard butt, but one look at this mess and he closes the stall and tells me that I don’t get paid enough to clean this up and that the night janitor will clean it up. I still feel really, really bad for the guy that had to clean it up…