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All-You-Can-Eat or All-You-Can-Waste?

Was forwarded an interesting article on an all-you-can-eat experience in Des Moines.

Dershem joined her boyfriend, Jason Trotter, and her children, Madison, 7, and Carter, 5, at the Dragon House Saturday for the $5.95 all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. It was their favorite spot, and the Des Moines woman and her children had dined there frequently since the children were babies. She said her group was one plate into the experience when a restaurant employee approached.

“They told us we are not welcome there anymore. We waste too much food,” said Dershem, 28. “But the buffet is all you can eat. And you know kids. They won’t always eat everything and they want something else.”

Manager Kent Cao confirmed that Dershem was told not to come back if she continued to waste food. A waitress and cashier watched the group on past occasions and were concerned.

“They just take one bite and throw it away,” said cashier Lin Huyen. “They take four egg rolls and crab ragoon, take one bite of egg roll and throw the whole plate. That is wasting food.”

Managers at two other buffet restaurants, Old Country Buffet in Des Moines and Buffet City in Clive, said they have never warned customers about how much they take

I feel bad if I can’t finish all the food that I’ve gotten. I love to gorge at these restaurants, but I do limit the amount that I get to what I know I can finish. Of course, if there is something on my plate that I don’t like, I’m not going to continue eating it. I’m of the opinion that you taste many pieces of food, find the ones you like, and pile it on the next trip to the buffet line.

Where you do stand at all-you-can-eat places?

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4 thoughts on “All-You-Can-Eat or All-You-Can-Waste?

  1. I think people should not let their kids pick out their food. Parents are really good at judging how much their kids can eat. If your kid can eat enough to justify paying $6 for a meal, then bravo. But most kids can’t. Most kids pick at their food or eat a little bit. Pouring food on their plates just because it’s a good deal for you isn’t smart.

    Second: You don’t waste good food on kids. Make your kid a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, cut up an apple, and pour a glass of milk. If you make delicious food a reward and a special occaision, you won’t have them whining over food that isn’t the best tasting, especially when times are hard and you have to save every dollar. I remember the first time I had chinese I absolutley loved it. I was about 12.

    Third: If you make your food at home, you can learn how to cook and teach your children the same, becoming closer together through activity, you’ll allow them to learn that home cooked food can taste better, cost less, and be more rewarding. Taking to your kids from the time they are little to buffetts just teaches them that it’s okay to blow your money on restaurants and fast food.

    and a side note: what kind of chinese restaurant does all-you-can-eat? wtf. it must have been the shittiest chinese ever.

  2. I like to think that you have your child try everything. If they like it, fine, if not, they don’t have to eat it. Sometimes, the best food is something they may not like the look of. Also, most all you can eat places have a child’s buffet, with smaller plates and smaller prices. Also, you should choose how much and what you child(ren) can have. If it was there choice all of the time, they’d eat just ice cream and cookies. As you should know, this isn’t the best diet for them. Also, as a note to daniel’s “side note”, not all cheap chinese is “crappy” chinese. :)

    My $0.02

  3. In Singapore, I saw signs at buffet restaurants saying “$5 fee for wasted food” (probably put more elegantly). If we had that here, people might think twice about the food they’re wasting.

    After reading the article, the mother’s response annoyed me. “You know kids” just means she isn’t taking any responsibility for their actions.

    I’m like you at the buffets – I personally can’t waste food. I will take a little bit of everything [vegetarian] to try it, and only if I really can’t palate it will I not finish it. (It has to be really bad at that point.)

  4. David Cormier says:

    “I like to think that you have your child try everything. If they like it, fine, if not, they don’t have to eat it. Sometimes, the best food is something they may not like the look of.”

    Chris, I agree … but they dont have to try it all on the same meal. With millions, if not billions, of people dying for malnutrition worldwide, parents should also teach not to waste. It start with food, and can apply to so many things. Over consumption is a bad habit you dont want your children to have.

    “All you can eat Buffet” should be banned because it encourage over eating leading to obesity problems. But since its a “free country”, I think those restaurants should impose a $5.00 fee for wasted food, and the money should go to Unicef. In fact, I’d charge $5.00 penalty on the spot for obese people entering those restaurants …

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