21 Horror Stories That Will Make You Think Twice About Going To A Buffet Again
Suddenly, I'm not hungry anymore.
Recently, Reddit user u/Tristanmemes123 asked other users, "All-you-can-eat-buffet workers, what are your horror stories?"
Both employees and customers starting sharing the appalling things they witnessed, and now I don't think I'll ever go to a buffet again. Here are the best responses:
1. This kid who licked the serving spoon from the mac 'n' cheese.
"I was once at a buffet waiting patiently to get some mac 'n' cheese. The kid in front of me piled his plate high and then started tapping the serving spoon onto his plate to get all the cheese on it. Once he did, he licked the spoon clean and put it back."
2. This customer who put their lips on the ice cream dispenser.
"We were waiting in line for the soft serve machine. The woman in front of us got to the machine and awkwardly jerked the handle around in an attempt to get the ice cream out. She struggled and so her next logical step, of course, was to wrap her lips around the spout, form a seal on it with her mouth, and start trying to suck it right out of the tap."
3. This woman who threw up all over the table then demanded more food.
"I had this family come in and I get called over to the table because the mom had thrown up on her plate and table. She called me back over and started yelling at me and so did her husband. Apparently she wanted to keep eating after throwing up, which I thought was really gross, but I moved them to another table so they could. When they were leaving, they made a huge scene and demanded their money back. I called security and they stormed out while pulling pictures off the wall and shattering them on the floor."
4. This buffet that falsely advertised the meat they served.
"The buffet where I live got shut down for serving coyote meat and labeling it as other meats."
5. These customers who sneezed in the food.
"I worked in a buffet restaurant for a few weeks a while back. It was fairly common to see people do disgusting things like sneeze in the food."
6. This woman who wrapped a string of cheese around her finger and flung it back onto the pasta tray.
"I was standing behind a woman who was getting lasagna. When she lifted the serving utensil, a lot of cheese hung from it. I witnessed her lift her pasta, twirl all the excess cheese that was connected around her index finger, clip it off with her thumb nail, and then fling it back into the serving pasta."
7. This busboy who had to dumpster dive for a customer's retainer.
"I cleaned out this table after a family left. About 15 minutes later, they came back and the mom started yelling at me because her daughter's retainers were in the napkins that I threw away. I literally had to dig through a huge trash can full of a sludge of food and drinks for 15 minutes. But fortunately, I found them."
8. This customer who drank the leftover grease from a plate.
"I tried to pick up a dirty plate off a table that had a big pool of hibachi sauce and grease on it. The customer stopped me and said, 'Thats the best part.' Then they proceeded to drink the sauce like it was the leftover milk from a bowl of cereal."
9. This customer who dipped their pizza into the public container of wonton soup.
"A college friend of mine worked at a Chinese buffet. He said they caught a regular dipping his pizza in the wonton soup bowl in the queue and eating it.
10. This guy who ate so much that he shat himself.
"This gentlemen came in and went to town on a sky high plate of pizza. Well, his body didn't appreciate being stuffed like that and he waddled fast to the bathroom. Next thing I know, I'm being told he had liquid shit trailing behind him to the bathroom. I was informed by my boss about the incident and I told him I was just heading out for a break. I was not about to clean that up."
11. This family who dumped their leftovers on the floor.
"I was a busboy. Whenever this family finished what they were eating, they would scrape their plate and use it again. But they'd scrape their plates onto the floor next to their chairs. So next to each chair, there was like a six inch pile of chicken bones, crab legs, mashed potatoes, and remnants of baked potatoes."
12. This customer who used their shirt to carry chicken.
"I saw someone use their shirt as a bag and fill it with barbecue chicken wings."
13. These kids who put their hands in the chocolate fountain.
"I'm walking to the chocolate fountain and three little girls step in front of me, and all three of them just go hands deep in the fountain. The family was the first table by the fountain and all they did was laugh about how cute it was."
14. This woman who puked all over the table and tipped $1.
"A middle-aged woman puked on her table and blamed it on giving herself the wrong insulin dose and eating four mountains of food. She profusely apologized and tipped me $1."
15. This guy who dropped pizza on the floor and put it back.
"I saw one guy literally drop a slice of pizza on the floor, and after awkwardly looking around, he put it right back."
16. This kid who was massaging the jello.
"I went to a buffet and the kid in front of me had his hands in the yellow jello and massaged it. Then his mom came by and snatched him away but didn't say anything while a guy came and made himself a bowl of jello. 10-year-old me was too appalled to say anything."
17. This person who ate a chicken wing and then put the bone back in the serving tray.
"My mom and I went with her friend to a local Chinese food buffet to pick up food. When we got there I noticed my mom's friend doing something fucking disgusting. He was eating a chicken wing right in front of the buffet line while hiding his face behind his takeout container. Then he took the chicken bone and put it back in the buffet tray. My mom was like, 'What the fuck are you doing!?' and he said, 'Don't worry, I do this all the time! They never notice!'"
18. This guy who spat soup back into the ladle.
"My wife and I went out for a lunch date. I saw a man over by the soups take the serving ladle for one of the weekly specials and take a big slurp from it. Apparently he didn't like it and spat it back out into the ladle, and put the ladle back in the soup."
19. This cook who was cutting veggies while shitting.
"We had a Chinese buffet shut down for a health code violation. The violation was that an employee was cutting veggies while taking a shit. To this day I wonder if that means he brought a bucket into the kitchen or veggies into the bathroom. I honestly don't know which is worse."
20. This guy who was grabbing food with his bare hands.
"This guy was waiting for a fresh batch of Mongolian beef while hanging out in front of the fried food. While waiting, he would grab the spring rolls with his bare hands and eat them as he waited."
21. These friends who got food poisoning from a buffet.
"A friend and I got a nasty case of food poisoning from an all-you-can-eat-buffet. She ended up in ICU and I spent five days expelling everything I had eaten over the course of my lifetime. It was an awful experience."
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.