The appeal of a buffet restaurant is the all-you-can-eat dining arrangement. Most won’t have menus, but many will divide their food offerings into different types, such as seafood or vegetarian, or by their country of origin. For instance, food may be divided into Chinese, Italian, Mexican, and Indian cuisine. Some buffets are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering appropriate specialties for each meal. Their popularity is derived from delivering a large assortment of food, often at a price comparable or even lower than a restaurant with table service. Here are some terms associated with buffet restaurants.
Farmers Market – Originally, this was a place where farmers would deliver fresh meat and produce to the consumer market. Today, a farmer’s market may also refer to any outdoor assemblage of wholesale food vendors.
Smorgasbord – A Swedish word often used interchangeably with buffet, that describes a Scandinavian meal served buffet style.
Chuck Wagon – A western-themed buffet that serves BBQ meats and steakhouse items.
Day-Part – A restaurant industry term that refers to the menu offered for each meal. The cost of a buffet and the items offered may vary by meal.
Theme Night – Some buffets will encourage repeat business by providing different categories of food on different nights. Some popular themes include steakhouse specialties, healthy choices and seafood selections.
Table Turns – A measurement of how many times each table is used to serve a new customer. Since buffets generally charge a lower price for an all-you-can-eat experience, it is important for them to maximize the profits generated from each table by turning them as often as possible.
Buffet restaurants often have extensive menus that give customers a wide range of choices to choose from. Their kitchens might focus on certain types of food, such as pizza, breakfast items, BBQ, sushi, or gourmet foods. Buffet restaurants often focus on foods from specific parts of the world. They might, for instance, have Korean, Chinese, Thai, Italian, or Japanese cuisines.
Most buffet restaurants do not have extensive table service. Servers might provide beverages and basic assistance, but they are rarely responsible for bringing food from the kitchen to the table. Instead, customers are responsible for getting their own servings from the buffet line.
Many buffets have all you can eat options that allow people to fill up on their favorite foods inexpensively. They should still have wide menu options that consist of foods such as barbecue and desserts. The low prices and all you can eat policy attracts large numbers of customers that want inexpensive lunch and dinner options. They might also offer all you can eat coupons that attract more customers to quality seafood at low prices.
If you are hosting an event, then you might want to look for a buffet restaurant that offers catering services. Buffet restaurants might already have the equipment needed to keep food warm during dinner and lunch services at your event. Their menu options can include anything from seafood to Korean barbecue. This makes them a good catering option for those who do not want to cook the food themselves. In many cases, the restaurant can also provide servers that assist people attending the event.