All-you-can-eat. No four words in the English language strike more fear in the hearts and minds of restaurant workers all over the country. If you have ever wondered just how savage people can get, just take a trip to a place that offers one. Shame, decency, and decorum all take a distant backseat to gluttony and brutishness. It is truly a site to behold. These stories, taken straight from the people that witness the worst of the savagery will stun and disgust you, the best possible way! Belly up to the bar, we're serving food by the tray! Content has been edited for clarity.
"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. True story."
"I saw someone take an entire steam tray to their table! It was a family of 4 (all big), the Dad grabs two serving spoons, gets under the tray at opposite corners and takes it to the table. Some kind of garlic shrimp noodles. They eat all of the shrimp out of it AND HE TAKES THE THING BACK! He was also talking on his cell phone the entire time they were there. Nobody said anything to his sorry butt.
I've kinda been guilty myself, a Chinese buffet that my brother and sister always wanted to go to, the only thing I could eat was plain fried rice and vegetable spring rolls. I ate so many spring rolls, a lady came out and was making more at a table directly in my view and talking to herself in Chinese and giving me dirty looks. I'm sure cursing me. In my mind, I had to eat at least 30 'to break even.'"
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"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 buffer and proceeded to stack plates on it like her own personal table on wheels.
She never put the baby in the high chair."
"I worked at Ponderosa. Disgusting displays of gluttony was expected there, so it is hard to pin point one specific incident. That said, I'm reminded of how surprised I was that there were a lot of regulars who knew the staff and managers on a personal level despite 'Pondo.'
This one lady came in three times a week. Tuesday, when kids ate free, Friday when we had our seafood buffet, and one of the other more normal days. On Tuesday, she'd bring her grandson with her and they'd destroy plate after plate together. They'd stay for hours. The kid would often do his homework at the table as he knocked back entire plates of fried wings.
As you might expect from eating almost nothing but fried food three days a week, this lady was enormous. She had a motorized scooter that I never saw her get out of. This was a problem, since many of her favorite things were out of her reach because of it. If the tongs or spoons were in range of her grasp, she struggled, but still managed to get what she wanted. If they were out of range though, she'd twist and contort in her chair trying to reach it. Think John Candy in a Cirque du Soleil show, trying to grab a rope midair. Best case scenario is that she'd have her grandson with her and he could help her, otherwise she'd ask the buffet cooks for help, which no one wanted to do. We used to hang back in the feed prep/dishes area and watch her approach the buffet like we were watching some gruesome episode of Planet Earth. I specifically recall watching her trying to grab packets of butter from the food prep area with a handful of my co-workers, all avoiding going out there because we just didn't want to help her.
After I graduated high school, I went away to college but returned to 'Pondo' to work for the summer after my freshman year. The lady was nowhere to be found, but I'll be honest, I didn't even notice it at first. One day, I saw her grandson up at the buffet line rocking a plate of ranch and wings, but not her. I mentioned to my boss that I noticed the lady was missing, even though her grandson was still coming by.
'She passed away a couple months ago. Her grandson comes in now on his own once a week and does homework.'"
"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."
"About 6 years ago, several friends and I decided to have an eating contest at this Chinese restaurant. When I say I am friends with some huge guys, we're talking every single one of them is 300-400lbs, and there's 5 of them with me.
As soon as we walk in, the host kind of shudders nervously, because he knows that whatever he's about to witness, none of it can be good. He still seats us, albeit reluctantly, and asks the manager to keep an eye on our table.
What happens is exactly as expected. Plate after plate gets devoured and stacked within minutes. I even make a respectable showing of 7 plates, but it's a paltry sum in comparison to my friends. Most notably, these two brothers put away something like 14 plates a piece. People in the restaurant are marveling and staring at the combined stacks, as we had asked the waiter not to take any of them away til we finished with them all. In the end, there was something like 68 plates stacked.
Everyone manages to hold it all down, too. As we're sitting there, all waiting on the other one to get sick and vomit, no one does. Finally, we're like, 'Well, let's get out of here and go into a food coma then.' and we agree. 3 of them decide they need to pee really badly first. We all head into the bathroom, laughing and commenting of the sheer grossness of what just unfolded.
The first and most noticeable thing is that one of the stalls is totally clogged up with poop and toilet paper. Someone did some serious work on that toilet. Our one friend heads to the secondary stall, while the others head to the urinals. After he finishes peeing, one of the brothers heads over to wash his hands... but slips on this huge pile of hand soap accumulated near the sink, and flops right on his back. The comedy of this reaction is overpowering. Everyone bursts into a fit of laughter. Even better, because of how slicked the floor is, he just keeps sliding back down every time he tries to stand up. It's like watching a turtle that can't flip itself back over. Cue the nastiness.
His brother gets into such a hysterical laughing fit that he starts projectile vomiting. He pukes into the sink, and directly onto his floor-bound brother. The brother on the floor, between being puked on and the ungodly disgusting smell, starts puking horizontally along the floor. Between the two of them, they must puke up several gallons and pounds of food. Our friend who is on the toilet, can't even see what's happening, but he can hear it. He proceeds to start vomiting in the stall into his own pants while he's still taking a dump. My friend and I, utterly appalled by what we're witnessing, run to get an employee.
As the employee runs back with us, his eyes are in absolute horror. There's vomit everywhere. Between the brother vomiting horizontally on the floor, and the one vomiting into the sink and the mirror and the walls, the bathroom looks like a war zone. The guy in the bathroom can't stand up because his pants are literally filled with chunky vomit, so he's trapped in there. The abject horror on the attendant's face is indescribable, and I cannot imagine how he felt. His reaction, when he saw the one brother on the floor, covered in vomit and hand soap? He vomited along the wall and the trash can.
The employee went to the front desk, grabbed a sign, and put up the 'Out of Order' sign on the front door to the bathroom, and then wrote up another sign for the front door saying 'Sorry, our men's restrooms are temporarily out of order!' When it was all said and done, it looked like the Exorcist has vomited along the entire floor, most of the walls, the mirrors, into the sinks, and around the urinals. It was, to this day, the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.
The kicker: There was a totally random guy in the last stall who had never said a single thing, who just sat there for the entire ordeal in absolute silence. After the employee put up the sign, he walked out of the stall, looked at us, and said 'EFF all of you people,' and just left.
I haven't been back to an all-you-can-eat establishment that wasn't a Brazilian steakhouse since this day because of the horrible memories I have associated with them."
"I've been working in a Chinese buffet for six years, here's my top:
-Kid putting chocolate pudding in his plate, licked the big spoon used for pouring it (the one used by everybody), and put it back in the pudding...I saw him and had to change everything.
-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. Looked at it, said nothing, and just walked away back to his table.
-Dudes coming in around 6 pm, they ate full plates in like 20 minutes, and puked everything under their table. We had to move every client out of this big section (capacity of about 60 places) because the smell was so bad. I was the one that had to put a mask on to clean everything.
-Extremely fat guy brought a big bag of candies (kind of smarties), took it out of his pocket, put a ton of them on his desserts, and put the candy bag back in his pocket. I was his waiter and I think he told me about four times that we should have these candies in the buffet so he wouldn't have to bring his own.
-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.
-A regular client asking me where was the coffee flavored cake (we have a rotation for desserts, so that cake wasn't there that day). I told him and he asked me if I could get some for him in the back store. After he insisted like 3x, I finally gave up and grabbed a piece in the fridge and gave it to him.
-We charge the drink ($2.50) but it's all you can drink. We see plenty of people drinking about 10 full glasses of Pepsi and they complain when I bring the bill and we charge them 2 and a half bucks for it. Some even insisted to talk to my manager.
-We serve take-outs, 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."
"I was working wedding functions, they had a buffet dinner, then later on a buffet late snack set. Two guys did something that day that showed me the depths of gluttony.
Guy number one 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, 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.
The second guy, however, was a bit different. He 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."
"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 a water.
The big eater was Andre. He ordered 10 whole chickens, five orders of potato wedges, five orders of coleslaw and five pitchers, for himself.
The others had similar, but slightly smaller orders. When they were done their table looked like a chicken crime scene."
"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."
"Worked at a sports bar that had free wings served buffet style for ladies on Wednesday nights.
There was a group of four 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."
"Was a chef at a place that did this, there was a guy who came in by himself and would put away like a scary amount of meat and curry, like so much that we couldn't understand how a human could physically eat that much and not rupture.
One of the servers found out after surreptitiously following him to the bathroom that every few plates he was using the toilet as some kind of modern equivalent of the Roman vomitarium. Now, anyone who's worked at a buffet will tell you, people throwing up isn't uncommon as they're eating far more than they should, and are often wasted or hungover. But this guy was methodical, and like clockwork would eat, throw up, repeat over the course of up to half a day.
God knows how much damage he did to his system, he was semi regular the entire time I worked there. The weird thing is he was pretty thin."
"I worked at a Sunday buffet in high school (late 90's), 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.'"
"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."
"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."
"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 pancake and every bite accompanied a spoonful of butter."
"So I worked at one called King's Buffet, it's kinda like the Mandarin if anyone knows that restaurant.
Anyway, I was the one who bussed tables and I would regularly go to the kitchen to put dishes away so I got to see the chaos. It was disgusting, they had chicken balls in a giant containers, the chicken wings always turned out pink, and they kept sweet and sour sauce in a giant buckets. We have had a bunch of insects like ants and cockroaches. But the worst thing happened when I walked in one day. They had a huge roast and they were preparing it before putting it in to cook. They dropped it by accident just as the manager walked in. He looked at it for a good 30 seconds before telling someone to pick it up and get it prepared. I saw so much gross stuff, it was ridiculous... But I still ate the food like a complete idiot."
"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 ticks me off as well is there would be parties of 4 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."