22 All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Hacks That Will Make Your Stomach A Superstar


Not eating all day, waiting for the lull between lunch and dinner, only eating the fancy stuff — we all have our tricks for ensuring we get the most out of our buffet dining experiences. Still, a few more pointers never hurt. Here’s some of the best advice reddit had to offer on how to game the all-you-can-eat buffet.

(Pro-tip: might be better not to listen to #10. Just saying.)


1. Dash and Dine

“Pull the fire alarm, let the place empty out. Grab a bunch of grub and run”




2. Food Pyramid, Shmood Pyramid

“I’m a bit of a cheapskate, so I go for the more pricey things on the buffet that I enjoy, namely the proteins. I’m a bit of an ass about getting my money’s worth.”



3. Down to a Science

“Plate One: The Recon Plate, and also satisfies my desire for variety. I take a small portion of whatever looks good, try not to waste anything when eating, compare with the people I’m eating with what they thought was particularly good.

Plate Two: A smaller plate evaluating recommendations of others and getting anything I missed on Plate One.

Plates Three + (Pre-dessert): Plates of only the best. I only take what I’ll eat comfortably, so sometimes there is only a plate Three, I’ve gone as high as Five.

Dessert: Ignore Little Ice Cream Bowl, get Salad/Soup Bowl, put a portion of the best looking cobbler in there, top with soft-serve vanilla.

Been working on this for decades, refined the plan when working at a therapeutic high school for troubled kids. The preferred reward for good behavior was a buffet trip, so I got this stuff down to a science.”





4. Little Bitch Bowls Are For Little Bitches

“Those little bitch bowls they put by the ice cream? Yeah…don’t use those. Go over to the soup bar and grab one of the giant soup mug/bowls and use that instead.”



5. Tricky, Tricky

“Eat fast. We’ve all heard that when you get full, it takes about 20 minutes for the message to get to your brain, right? Once you start, you have about 20 minutes to eat as much as you can before you know you are full. By the time your brain thinks you are full… it is too late! Ha, you just outsmarted your brain!”



6. Style Points

“Always wear comfy pants with elastic  […] Call a cab/DD or try not to fall asleep when you’re driving home. Once home remove shirt, shoes, socks, turn on TV, recline chair and do not move for the next 6 hours.”





7. Red Alert

“I use the current terror level color codes to prioritize my eating: greens go first, then bananas, anything orange and lastly the red spicy foods.”




“I was a young kid when I first ate out at a buffet

Dad: OK guys have fun, eat as much as you can, I paid top dollar for this

Me: Takes bread and butter

Dad: What are you doing with bread and butter

Me: I’m hungry, aren’t I allowed to choose anything I want since this is a buffet

Dad: No this is a BUFFET, ALWAYS always always get seafood

…and to this day everytime I see a buffet or go into one I hear a voice in my head go ‘get the seafood..the seafood, SEAFOOOD'”



9. Thanks Grandma

“If it is at a wedding, or other potentially well catered event, and the food looks really good, but you don’t want to rush the line for fear of appearing uncouth, find Grandma. Take Grandma through the line helping her get a good plate, and helping yourself to a plate at the same time. You are now a hero, and you also got plenty of the best items.”





10. Well, that’s one way to do it

“Immediately pee on everything to assert your dominance, then take a little of every dish. To be fair, this is also my strategy for shopping for clothes.”



11. Two Simple Rules

“My family has two rules. Never drink alone and all events are open bar. Wedding? Open bar. Divorce party? Open bar. Funeral? Open bar.”



12. Good Men Don’t Need Rules

“Eat until they kick you out, or have to make new rules based on how you behaved at the buffet last time you were there.”





13. Here’s why you really don’t wanna be that guy

“Never be the first guy going for seconds. Wait patiently for the fat guy to break the ice then go for the kill.”



And reddit’s response:

“Instructions unclear, killed fat guy with ice-bucket”



“instructions unclear. Killed ice guy with fat bucket”



14. Timing Is Everything

“Timing is everything too. If they switch from the lunch menu and lunch pricing to the dinner menu and dinner price at 4PM, go in at 3:30. That gives you enough time to get your 1st plate from the lunch menu and subsequent plates will be fresh dinner selections at the lunch price.”



15. Remember to bring entertainment

“The buffet near my old house had a very out of the way back room that had both WiFi from the cafe next door, and power outlets.

I had a gaming laptop.

You can probably imagine where this is going…

Several times I went there and just slowly got different nibbles / drinks over the course of a few hours while either studying or playing games.

I’d asked the manager ahead of time if they minded, and he said that as long as I wasn’t taking up a table that they needed for incoming customers (It wasn’t at peak-hours) or wasting food, he didn’t have a problem with it.

I suppose that whether you eat your fill in 15 minutes or over the course of 3-4 hours, the cost to the restaurant is the same.”





16. Pace Yourself

“Take less of each dish than you think you want. If you like it, you can always get more; if not, you won’t be wasting space on your plate or in your stomach.”



17. The Art of War

“Here is a tip to remember while you are eating: be vigilant. Be ever aware of your surroundings and know when the premium items are going to come out. Plan your trips accordingly. Know your enemies and try to be one step ahead of them at all times. If you time it right, those crab legs will walk right onto your plate.”



18. About starving yourself beforehand …

“If you know you’re going at least a day in advance, eat a huge huge pasta dinner the night before to stretch your stomach. Then starve all day with just lettuce and water. Then pig out in the evening at said buffet.”





19. … and an amendment

“Amendment to your finale: Dont eat nothing either. Your stomach will have shrunk and you will fill up on the first two plates of food.”



20. Challenge Accepted

“All you can eat is not a suggestion, it’s a challenge.”



21. Srs Bsns

“This is not a sarcastic, funny or otherwise ‘not to be taken seriously’ comment.

Take the cost of the buffet, multiply that by three. So, for an example, we’ll say the buffet costs $12, all you can eat.

Your goal is now to eat $36 worth of food. Bread is cheap, fuck bread. Vegetables are cheap, fuck those, too.

You want to hit the roast beef, the teriyaki chicken, the slow roasted pork, beef fillets, mother fucking lobster; anything and everything that looks and tastes expensive.

Buffets hinge on the idea that you came there to eat a normal meal, with some meat and a shitton of starch and carbs and vegetables, leading you to fill up on the inexpensive stuff.

The higher your cost:benefit ratios, the better. Eating is serious business.”



22. “So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong”




PicThx matt.hintsa, skidder, jiruan, Alan Light, Doctor Canon, InterContinental Hong Kong

By Dominique Zamora

Dominique would be a foodie if she had money to pay for food. For now, she gets by just looking at food photography, which results in at least one more starving journalism student every time Instagram breaks down.

8 replies on “22 All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Hacks That Will Make Your Stomach A Superstar”

Right. Next time I’m at the buffet, I’ll pull the fire alarm.


I don’t really have a clever strategy when eating at buffets. I simply ignore the cheap, boring stuff that I’d rather not fill up on. Like bread or even salad. I can make salad at home. When I’m at a buffet, I don’t waste my time (or my stomach space) on these items.

As a regular buffet’er for many many years, I will tell you my tips to avoid wasting stomach space… Don’t eat food you can make at home, dont eat food you already know what it tastes like, dont eat food thats cheap ingredients or cheap food like salads! you can do that at home and its nothing exciting or unique and fruits too! unless you cant afford fruits…eat the most expensive foods there first and eat lots of it like seafood. When you start, only get 1 or a tiny taster amount on your plate, it will satisfy your brain and taste not get more until after you are done eating and sampling everything. dont drink soup, eat the food in the soup…soup liquids will fill you up fast and limit water intake also because of this.. pile up desserts! at restaurants they give you tiny ones for the price of 1 meal , they have lots of varieties and flavors so splurge on taste but just get 1 of each and like i said, if youre not full, get more! and that folks is how you do it! as my child does, if he gets full he goes empties himself entirely in the bathroom then goes to fill up on more food lol

Leave a Reply