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Food Buffet Etiquette Tips {Good To Know}

Buffet Etiquette

Buffet Etiquette
Post Last Modified – February 26, 2024 ¦

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Mind Your Manners In The Buffet Food Line

I came across an interesting article regarding minding your manners and interestingly on …

🌺 Food Buffet Etiquette 🌺

After reading the article, the first thing that came to mind was … Eat What You Take.

🛑 But wait! 🛑

There’s much more and that has nothing to do with {buffet manners}, according to leading etiquette experts. 
Much like my post here on …
✈ Airplane Travel Tips & Etiquette ✈
that I’ve listed at the bottom of this article. Believe it or not, one should use some proper manners when eating at a buffet restaurant.

First, check out this quick 📹 video on Buffet Etiquette Tips, from an actual Etiquette Expert.

 Buffet Etiquette Tips – YouTube Video

Whether you’re feasting at the buffet on a 🛳 Cruise Vacation, at an 🏨 All Inclusive Resort or at one of those fabulous buffets in the resort casinos in Las Vegas, apparently as our etiquette expert suggests, we all need to know a few rules on proper food etiquette.

Simple Buffet Etiquette Rules To Follow

LegendSea Hotel Breakfast Buffet

Here are few simple rules to follow, the next time you engorge yourself at a buffet.

The Etiquette experts first words of wisdom for 🛳 cruise passengers;

“There is enough food for a small country on every ship; getting food should not be a problem.”

In other words, be patient. Only take what you can eat and eat what you take.

Ten Basic Rules Of Buffet Etiquette

All Inclusive Buffets

Below, I have listed the {10 Most Basic Rules} that one should try to follow when at the buffet line.

I guess it really boils down to using a little; common sense, courtesy and of course, your manners! 🙂

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 1

Try to Keep Your Place in the Buffet Line

Food Buffet Restaurant

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

How many times have you experienced this while selecting food items, and some impatient individual just casually walks around you to the next dish as if you are invisible? 🤨

Well, experts say if someone is taking too long dishing out, then it is alright to ask if you may move along. By simply asking permission, is a polite and courteous gesture and should always be used at the buffet line.

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 2

Start At One End Of The Line And Work Your Way To The Other

Food Buffets

Did you know that buffets lines are supposed to go in one direction only? ❓ 

You’re always supposed to head in one direction only and if you don’t, well etiquette says it is equal to cutting in line.

Believe it or not, many people will become quite annoyed with those who go against the grain!

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 3

Keep an Eye on Your Kids

Children at Buffet
The rules suggest those with young children, must always escort them to the buffet. For those of us who do or had young children at one point, we all know they love to grab things! 🖐

👧 Kids will grab something, put it back, grab another, and put it back and so on. As well, kids are really not that good at dishing themselves out either. They tend to spill, break and pretty much cause ❤ heart palpitations for staff, as they pass thru the buffet line.

So the moral of the story is … Do Not let your young 🧒 children loose at the buffet!

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 4

Keep Your Hands Away from the Food

Buffet Serving Utensil

This is without a doubt my worst nightmare and pet peeve, at buffet tables. We all blame kids for this, but I think adults can even be worse. It’s like double dipping – keep your bare hands off the food!!

Never sample or move a food item without using the 🥄 spoons or 🍴 tongs provided. Yes folks, these

utensils are there for a reason! 

It is not only inconsiderate of others, but extremely unhealthy and a way of spreading germs and bacteria faster than you can say … 🤢 “ I’m Sick.” 🤢  🙁

This is one rule I don’t have any problems with, and I am sure most others wouldn’t either.

Update Banner

My wife and just returned from a wonderful all inclusive resort vacation in Mexico. I actually saw a man picking out and eating 🥓 strips of bacon 🥓 right from the tray with his fingers! Really people?

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 5

Leave the Tongs and Spoons Where They Should Be

Cooking Wooden Spoons

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

Now that we’re on the subject of 🍴 utensils, another section in the 📖 rule book, says to leave them where they should be. For example, never take a 🥄 spoon from the 🍝 pasta dish and carry it with you to the 🦐 shrimp salad!

Again, this can create a number of issues, especially for the many out there with serious food allergies and so forth. If a utensil is missing, be patient and ask one of the staff to replace it.  

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 6

Never Eat While Standing in Line

Food Buffet

Photo by Free Creative Stuff from Pexels

Nobody wants to see you stuff your face while standing in line at the buffet. There is plenty more where it came from and besides, that’s why they provide dining tables for guests as well.

Eating with your mouth open over the food at the buffet is just plain wrong, and you can easily pass on germs to others as well! 

So be considerate and wait until you are seated before digging in!

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 7

Try Not to Take More than You Can Eat

Buffet Food Hog

Buffet dining by its very nature, is gluttonous, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a glutton. Don’t load up your plate to make it look like 🏔 Mount Everest!

Just take a few items on your first pass through the line, then go back for seconds if you still want more.

Similarly, don’t take the last piece of something. Apparently, it’s rude to leave the people behind you with nothing. Instead, you should alert a server that the item needs to be replenished, and wait for the refill before serving yourself.

Etiquette says it’s the polite thing to do. 🙂

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 8

Grab a New Plate Each Visit to the Buffet Line

plate and silverware

Again, this is for everyone’s health. Germs can spread very quickly and easily from your 🍽 plate to the buffets utensils, and more.

I am happy to see that most top end buffets have staff right on top of this, and will remove your 🍽 old plates from your table quickly.

👣 Footnote 👣

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Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 9

Be Sure to Wash Your Hands

wash hands sign

This goes without saying, always 👐 wash your hands or use sanitizer before entering the buffet.

Today, most reputable resorts and major cruise lines do provide free hand sanitizer for everyone. It not only protects you from illness, but those around you as well.

We always carry small bottles of hand sanitizer with us when traveling and I am happy to say, none of us have been seriously ill while on vacation. 🪵 Knock on wood! 🙂

If you touch something the public always has contact with, then wash and sanitize before eating!

Buffet Etiquette – Rule # 10

Doggie Bags Are Not Included In Food Buffets

Restaurant Doggy Bag

Enjoy the buffet and eat all that you want without wasting. But please, do not embarrass yourself and those around you by grabbing food items and stuffing them away before walking out of a buffet.


These are all you can eat establishments, not all you can take! 

Final Thoughts Banner

So there you have it!

Now you know some general rules of etiquette the next time you may be enjoying that special; All Inclusive 🛳 Cruise Vacation, or staying at one of those wonderful 🏨 All Inclusive Resorts that have buffets.



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Use your manners and be considerate of others that are also enjoying the buffet. 

Food buffets offer excellent value for your hard earned dollar, but can be very costly for businesses.

Oasis Tulum Resort Chefs

So let’s not abuse them and run the risk of owners closing them down, just because of over abuse.

👣 Footnote 👣

🛟 Take An Exciting All Inclusive Cruise Vacation 🛟

If you like to book on your own, check out this very reputable online booking website
I like and use with excellent results …

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Online Exclusives – Find The Perfect Cruise

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😎 Safe and Healthy Travels! 😎

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All personal 📸 photographs on this post are the property of and are copyright protected.
🚫 Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. 🚫
✨   Did You Know …

“It Is An Etiquette Violation To Call For, Whistle or Signal For Your Server At A Restaurant.”

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A Blogger Since 2012, Robert has a {Passion for Travel}, having worked in the industry for over 35 years. He enjoys sharing special moments & tips on; Travel, Health & Wellness, Book Reviews and much more!

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