The Buffet restaurant is nowhere near as common in the UK as it is in the USA, and to some families in the USA eating out at buffet restaurants has become a way of life.
There are few places to eat out in the UK that serve British food in a buffet style, and this is probably a combination of the fact that the cost of eating out is higher than in the USA, and also that the cost of providing the food at a reasonable price makes it nonviable.
Some restaurants in the UK that offer a buffet style service do this on the basis that the customer only gets ONE plate, rather than the “All You Can Eat” style which practically all American buffet restaurants offer.
The Pub Carvery (see HERE for an explanation) is another form of buffet meal in the UK, but almost always these permit you to go up as many times as you want for vegetables, but you can only get meat the first time round.
There are several types of restaurant in the UK that do offer “All You Can Eat” buffet meals, and these are becoming more popular in recent years. These are the Indian and Chinese restaurants, who have found that especially at lunchtimes, or on a Sunday, offering a buffet meal has greatly increased their custom.
Some of these do not offer a typical buffet service however, but present the customer with a limited menu, from which they can choose items which will be freshly cooked for them and brought to the table, rather than the customer being required to go up to a food area, and to choose from a variety of dishes, some of which might have had food sitting in them for some time.
Those restaurants that do cook the food to order from a buffet menu tend also to be very strict on food wastage, wince this affects their profits. They state up front that if the customer over orders and wastes a lot of food, that they will be charged for the wastage. This is a good idea, since the amount of food wasted in some buffet restaurants is criminal, plus it affects the profits of the dining establishment. There is nothing to stop a customer from ordering a few dishes, and then ordering more if they need, rather than placing one huge order, and then leaving half of it.
One thing that makes dining out in the UK as compared to the USA is that aside from the Pub chains
Of one thing we can be certain, since the introduction of American style fast food restaurants into the UK in the late 1970’s, and the ever increasing number of options for take away food and buffet food in the UK, the average size and weight has increased dramatically, to the extent that this is now a serious health concern in the UK.
This will not however stem the desire of the British public to eat out at buffet restaurants, a desire that has arisen in many cases from visiting the USA and experiencing the delights of the many buffet restaurants over there.
Personal experience and opinion.
Cultural Differences Between the UK and the USA
About The Author:
Tony Payne is a self confessed foodaholic, and returned to his native England in the summer of 2009, having spent the previous 15 years living in the USA. He considers himself well qualified to write about many of the cultural differences that exist between the UK and the USA, particularly in the area of food and dining out.