6 Ways Buffet Restaurants Save Money While Tricking You Into Thinking it’s a Great Deal

Buffets are popping up everywhere in Cebu City. Prices range from P750 to P2,000 per person.

Some offer hard-to-resist offers such as free entry during your birth month (how ‘bout that?!). Of course, who wouldn’t love that? Pay a flat price and eat all you want – it’s such a great deal. Or so you think. I can eat my weight in pata, sashimi, beef, you declare. I’m definitely getting my money’s worth. But are you really? Here are 6 tactics buffet restaurants employ to get you to eat less than you actually can.

They use different utensil sizes for different types of food.

Ever noticed the different utensil sizes available? Cheaper food such as carbs will have large scoops, while different meats, seafood and dessert will have smaller tongs instead. Why is this? In a word: psychology. A large scoop makes you take more, so you end up filling up on rice and noodles which cost the restaurant less. And speaking of sizes…

They provide smaller plates and bowls so that you serve yourself less.

Ever wondered why a buffet restaurant has different sized plates? Here you go. After all, you can’t fit 5 scoops of food into a bowl that only holds 3 scoops. Sometimes they’ll provide you with big plates – with really thick lip! And we subconsciously avoid piling food onto the lip because we know it isn’t supposed to go there. But what’s stopping you, really? Which brings us to…

Good manners save the restaurants money.

You’ll notice restaurants put out smaller amounts of premium items at a time – they’re banking on buffet goers having restraint and good manners. If there are only five oysters left, for example, you could take all five for yourself or you could take two (for now) and leave the rest for the next person in line. Whether or not you’re willing to throw graciousness out of the window for the extra food is something only you can decide.

You get huge drink cups.

Yes, we’re back to sizes! Because we all know size matters. Soft drinks are cheap, very cheap. And they take up so much stomach space, especially if the drinks are carbonated. This tactic fills up buffet patrons very quickly, which in turn stops us from eating as much as we could have. Solution? Take sips, don’t gulp, and go get more food.

They simply make you pay more.

Yep – sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Studies have shown that the more you pay for a buffet, the higher your satisfaction is even if the food is the same as a cheaper buffet. So don’t fall for the marketing hype. 

Finally, they make you do the work for them.

I mean, come on. You choose your food, do your own plating, and bring your food back to your table yourself. How much manpower are you saving the buffet restaurant right there? A lot, that’s how much.

Don’t say we got good info never share! Now you know. So unbutton that top button on your jeans and really get your money’s worth.