Food & Drink

The new format of buffets in a post-covid north america: miniature composed dishes and table side delivery

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The new format of buffets in a post-covid north america: miniature composed dishes and table side delivery

July 13, 2020

When Caesars Palace’s Bacchanal Buffet — the very name of which evokes legendary excess — reopens late next month, it won’t be the gorgefest of yore.

Thanks to COVID-19, gone are the days when buffet guests needed to watch out for double-dippers or kids smacking their hands into the tiramisu. Guests dipping into buffet trays will be replaced by individual serving vessels and dishes brought by servers.

“Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation, anticipated to be complete in late August. When complete — besides a spectacular, new modern design by Aoyagi Tetsuo of Muku Design, Tokyo — the buffet will offer more miniature composed dishes than ever before and all-new table-side delivery of popular and innovative items like lobster bisque, Cajun seafood boil, foie gras PB&J and cheeseburger bao buns, to name a few.”

https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertain ... t-2073348/
Last edited by oicthat2013 on Jul 17th, 2020 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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wonder if mandarin buffet and canadian casino buffets will follow the same format. this new format by the las vegas buffet seems similar to what the hong kong style dim sum places do, with people pushing carts containing plates of food
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oicthat2013 wrote: wonder if mandarin buffet and canadian casino buffets will follow the same format. this new format by the las vegas buffet seems similar to what the hong kong style dim sum places do, with people pushing carts containing plates of food
That will most likely be the new format other than cafeteria-style serving from behind protected counters.
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oicthat2013 wrote: wonder if mandarin buffet and canadian casino buffets will follow the same format. this new format by the las vegas buffet seems similar to what the hong kong style dim sum places do, with people pushing carts containing plates of food
Modelling after the Brazilian AYCE format might still work for some traditional buffet restaurants.
Have a pre set salad & soup portion. Then have various different people come around with various types of food (meat)...again and again and again until a card is flipped over from green to red.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
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One of the cruise ships we were on actually had a somewhat contactless buffet concept. Basically everything was behind plexiglass and the server would add whatever you wanted to your plate. Passengers were not able to touch the serving utensils or the food. I understood right away what they were doing and why they were doing it. It seemed like a pretty good solution. You could have whatever you want and as much as you want but they will serve it to you.
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choclover wrote: One of the cruise ships we were on actually had a somewhat contactless buffet concept. Basically everything was behind plexiglass and the server would add whatever you wanted to your plate. Passengers were not able to touch the serving utensils or the food. I understood right away what they were doing and why they were doing it. It seemed like a pretty good solution. You could have whatever you want and as much as you want but they will serve it to you.
Mandarin was already doing this with their meat. They would slice it themselves and put it on your plate, but it may be too costly to have someone at every section serving you food.
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Looks like when Caesar reopens their buffet, there will be way less selection of foods you can select, and you will receive smaller "taster" portions per order. Hopefully they will revert back when everyone is vaccinated, and dont get too infatuated with charging the same or higher prices for giving customers less.
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playnicee1 wrote: Mandarin was already doing this with their meat. They would slice it themselves and put it on your plate, but it may be too costly to have someone at every section serving you food.
I think that was more of a budgeting thing that buffet joints had been doing, keeping the more expensive roasts like prime rib, holiday turkey, crab legs, lobster, steaks, etc. in the control of a staff member to only give a few pcs. by default at at time to a person unless the person asked for more. In order to prevent one person cleaning out a whole lot in one go if they had allowed such items to be openly out for people to grab themselves.
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Strafe1 wrote: I think that was more of a budgeting thing that buffet joints had been doing, keeping the more expensive roasts like prime rib, holiday turkey, crab legs, lobster, steaks, etc. in the control of a staff member to only give a few pcs. by default at at time to a person unless the person asked for more.
This is exactly it.

Although some things that are cheap (ie Turkey) are kinda more for "show". Plus they're notoriously hard to carve for most people, so unless they want to pan turkey that's been cut up the only real way to do it is to carve to order.
I've been to a buffet with a self serve whole turkey. It's a nightmare to deal with since the first guy usually just lops off most of the breast and all you get are scraps. It's great for me since I can just flip the bird, carve out the thigh and the tail, and go to town.
If I was serving the turkey though, carve in the back, arrange on stuffing in a hotel pan, and out the door/into the warmer.
In order to prevent one person cleaning out a whole lot in one go if they had allowed such items to be openly out for people to grab themselves.
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I'm actually 100% shocked that buffets are allowed to open here in BC.
The only "rule" is that you have to use hand sanitizer before going up, but most people ignore that.

I was already a touch conscious person before this, but now I don't eat anything with my hands.
Everything gets stabbed and eaten off a fork. I even pay attention to what side of the napkin I'm using.

Will this help if some genius coughs into the entire tray? No.
Am I still avoiding the ice cream due to some crotch goblin jamming their sticky fingers into the entire barrel and then licking it off? Yes.
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Self serve carving your own turkey at a buffet is a recipe for disaster. With many of those people who look and smell like they haven't had a bath in ages and all of those careless unfit parents who let their little devils on a rampage. Yuck.
death_hawk wrote: I've been to a buffet with a self serve whole turkey. It's a nightmare to deal with since the first guy usually just lops off most of the breast and all you get are scraps. It's great for me since I can just flip the bird
That's what everybody should do to that first douchebag who decides to not leave anything for anyone else.

death_hawk wrote: I'm actually 100% shocked that buffets are allowed to open here in BC.
The only "rule" is that you have to use hand sanitizer before going up, but most people ignore that.

I was already a touch conscious person before this, but now I don't eat anything with my hands.
Everything gets stabbed and eaten off a fork. I even pay attention to what side of the napkin I'm using.

Will this help if some genius coughs into the entire tray? No.
Am I still avoiding the ice cream due to some crotch goblin jamming their sticky fingers into the entire barrel and then licking it off? Yes.

Just as much of a recipe for disaster. What the hell are they thinking out there?

Pretty hypocritical for a province who is going around claiming to take a stand for the health of its people with the 7% tax they tacked on drinks linking to obesity, diabetes and they just go ahead and feel it's okay to give the green light to something like reopening buffets when this thing is not going anywhere.

I'm the same way pre-Covid as a germaphobe. Would never go touching things like elevator buttons, door handles, public washroom taps with bare hands. Whether can do it with elbows, paper towel, a cloth shopping bag as a cover over own hands, or the good trick of putting your hand in your pocket and maneuvering from the inside out to grab those things. Just gross with how some people conduct themselves out there. It was something I had the proactiveness to have such awareness on to protect myself from all those germ infested things that are main targets of so many of those kinds of people.

I'm glad to know there are more aware people like yourself like me out there on such serious matters that so many people have tended to not even give the light of day to even considering before this virus broke out everywhere.
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Strafe1 wrote: Self serve carving your own turkey at a buffet is a recipe for disaster. With many of those people who look and smell like they haven't had a bath in ages and all of those careless unfit parents who let their little devils on a rampage. Yuck.
One reason I like casino buffets. They're typically adults only so at least you get to eliminate 1/2 that argument.
Although I'm not sure it's better since you get more smelly people.

Source: Worked in a casino.

That's what everybody should do to that first douchebag who decides to not leave anything for anyone else.
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That's usually me running away with the entire pan of crab legs.


Just as much of a recipe for disaster. What the hell are they thinking out there?

Pretty hypocritical for a province who is going around claiming to take a stand for the health of its people with the 7% tax they tacked on drinks linking to obesity, diabetes and they just go ahead and feel it's okay to give the green light to something like reopening buffets when this thing is not going anywhere.
Despite me being happy about it (I like buffets) I'm 100% shocked too.
To be fair, I'm assuming the "opening plan" was to include the use of hand sanitizer before you touch anything, but the problem is that people are idiots.
It wasn't clearly communicated to us either upon seating. Or it may have been and i tuned it out.

I'm the same way pre-Covid as a germaphobe. Would never go touching things like elevator buttons, door handles, public washroom taps with bare hands. Whether can do it with elbows, paper towel, a cloth shopping bag as a cover over own hands, or the good trick of putting your hand in your pocket and maneuvering from the inside out to grab those things.
From working in the casino I learned this real quick. So I already rarely touched my face, touched "stuff", etc. Anything I could consciously not touch I wouldn't.
I kind of like it now since I look less crazy because I wouldn't touch anything. Not that I cared what other people thought but you get the idea.
Just gross with how some people conduct themselves out there. It was something I had the proactiveness to have such awareness on to protect myself from all those germ infested things that are main targets of so many of those kinds of people.

It's funny despite literally being in the middle of a pandemic how unclean people are. I still see people touching things.
I have a couple friends that came with me to the buffet and they're eating with their hands and not using sani. I'm like WTF. The number of other people doing that too... ew.
Then there's the opposite side of the coin with "magical glove" people. As long as I'm wearing this glove, I'm 100% immune to everything. It's MAGIC!



I'm glad to know there are more aware people like yourself like me out there on such serious matters that so many people have tended to not even give the light of day to even considering before this virus broke out everywhere.
That's the hilarious(ly sad) part. We still look nuts.
There's people literally rioting right now because they have to wear a mask.
That's also why I learned not to give a shit about what others think because they're probably an idiot.
It's easier to assume that and then "reimage" themselves than to assume they're not and then have to relabel them later as an idiot.
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One of the local buffets here during the first phase of opening did the "sampler" plates but it wasn't the same.
Because of the concerns over food wastage, they were SEVERELY limiting portions. You could order as many times as you wanted, but only a certain number of things per category.

Normally I'd just get a plate full of Tandoori chicken but they only allowed me to order 1 "portion" which was like 4 pieces at a time. This was family style too so you'd get 4 "pieces" (which are small to begin with) for a table of 4.
The hilarious thing was the desserts though. It was a limit of 1 per order. Not 1 of each item. One item. You could order as many as you want, but you'd have to order each tiny little cake/ice cream scoop/gulab jamun individually.
Plus as with most ethnic menus it was only the name of the dish so I had to google what it was before ordering.
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death_hawk wrote: One of the local buffets here during the first phase of opening did the "sampler" plates but it wasn't the same.
Because of the concerns over food wastage, they were SEVERELY limiting portions. You could order as many times as you wanted, but only a certain number of things per category.

Normally I'd just get a plate full of Tandoori chicken but they only allowed me to order 1 "portion" which was like 4 pieces at a time. This was family style too so you'd get 4 "pieces" (which are small to begin with) for a table of 4.
The hilarious thing was the desserts though. It was a limit of 1 per order. Not 1 of each item. One item. You could order as many as you want, but you'd have to order each tiny little cake/ice cream scoop/gulab jamun individually.
Plus as with most ethnic menus it was only the name of the dish so I had to google what it was before ordering.
That's a pretty dumb set-up, even for an Indian buffet; to which I've had quite my fair share of awful experiences dining at many. But this just asinine. 4 meager pcs. for a party of 4 at a time? Then just 1 pc. of specific sweet be brought at a time? All they are doing is overloading the burden on their staff to have to take on that much extra load. All the pointless back and forth trips for them doesn't make things more productive for the workplace. Would hate to work or dine at a place with such dumb policies. I know food wastage should be controlled and is a common practice at some Chinese and Indian buffet places. One Indian one I used to go to before it closed down a few years ago charged a wastage fee per plate with food left on it.
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Strafe1 wrote: That's a pretty dumb set-up, even for an Indian buffet; to which I've had quite my fair share of awful experiences dining at many. But this just asinine. 4 meager pcs. for a party of 4 at a time? Then just 1 pc. of specific sweet be brought at a time? All they are doing is overloading the burden on their staff to have to take on that much extra load.
Exactly.
Some things were per person (ie the dessert) but other things like curries were family style.
Proportionally speaking it was off too. I'd get a bowl of curry I'd eat myself (which I did) and a basket of Naan enough for our table and the next one over.
All the pointless back and forth trips for them doesn't make things more productive for the workplace. Would hate to work or dine at a place with such dumb policies. I know food wastage should be controlled and is a common practice at some Chinese and Indian buffet places.
My favorite was a hot pot place.
I ate $20 (their cost) of beef, but they'd only give me literally one cocktail napkin as a napkin.
allmywat.jpg

One Indian one I used to go to before it closed down a few years ago charged a wastage fee per plate with food left on it.
Most AYCE places have a policy like this and this place was no different. It was something like $5 per plate or something.

It's a tough balance because if you don't advertise this and someone does significantly wastes food, you can't charge them.
But you also look cheap if you do post it.

Wasted food is a HUGE issue too, especially when it's AYCE.
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death_hawk wrote: Exactly.
Some things were per person (ie the dessert) but other things like curries were family style.
Proportionally speaking it was off too. I'd get a bowl of curry I'd eat myself (which I did) and a basket of Naan enough for our table and the next one over.

My favorite was a hot pot place.
I ate $20 (their cost) of beef, but they'd only give me literally one cocktail napkin as a napkin.
allmywat.jpg



Most AYCE places have a policy like this and this place was no different. It was something like $5 per plate or something.

It's a tough balance because if you don't advertise this and someone does significantly wastes food, you can't charge them.
But you also look cheap if you do post it.

Wasted food is a HUGE issue too, especially when it's AYCE.
Oh the distribution of naan is my major pet peeve at Indian buffets. You sit down. They ask you what kind of naan you want, you tell them. They go to have it get done. By the time they bring it out you're already looking to get something else after it taking so long for the naan and they bring it out when you are in the middle of eating something else. Ugh.

Yeah, I've seen at most Chinese, Hakka places they only have one napkin to carry through whole meal which can get quite spicy and messy during the course.

I know the food wastage topic has been covered in the past in other threads, though the buffets on the cruise liners and pretty much all major fast food chains are the worst offenders of it on how much they allow being thrown out afterwards. We know their reasons, though still. Shouldn't the governments be going after them with "food wastage fees"?.....HmmmElectric Light BulbConfused Face :rolleyes:
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death_hawk wrote: I'm actually 100% shocked that buffets are allowed to open here in BC.
The only "rule" is that you have to use hand sanitizer before going up, but most people ignore that.

I was already a touch conscious person before this, but now I don't eat anything with my hands.
Everything gets stabbed and eaten off a fork. I even pay attention to what side of the napkin I'm using.

Will this help if some genius coughs into the entire tray? No.
Am I still avoiding the ice cream due to some crotch goblin jamming their sticky fingers into the entire barrel and then licking it off? Yes.
I had no idea buffets were open in BC either. Out of curiosity which buffets have you been to.
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Strafe1 wrote: Yeah, I've seen at most Chinese, Hakka places they only have one napkin to carry through whole meal which can get quite spicy and messy during the course.
Especially at an AYCE place. Like wat. You're giving me all the food I can cram but you're cheap on a napkin?
I know the food wastage topic has been covered in the past in other threads, though the buffets on the cruise liners and pretty much all major fast food chains are the worst offenders of it on how much they allow being thrown out afterwards. We know their reasons, though still. Shouldn't the governments be going after them with "food wastage fees"?.....HmmmElectric Light BulbConfused Face :rolleyes:
Cruises would be awful. Apparently on one of the documentaries I watched most guests gorge themselves early on but taper off in the end. What doesn't change is their perception of how much they can eat so they end up wasting more later on in the cruise.
Fast food is tough too. Gotta have enough on hand to be fast, but if someone doesn't show up to eat it, you're kind of SOL.
This is why Wendy's and chili is genius. Take something you're gonna toss and "recycle" it.

choclover wrote: I had no idea buffets were open in BC either. Out of curiosity which buffets have you been to.
I've only been to Tandoori Flame since our casinos are still closed. There's not too many beyond that (and other Indian) joints that are open.
I think Uncle Willys is still closed for renovation.
To be fair... there's not too many full time buffets in Vancouver to begin with.
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death_hawk wrote: Especially at an AYCE place. Like wat. You're giving me all the food I can cram but you're cheap on a napkin?

Cruises would be awful. Apparently on one of the documentaries I watched most guests gorge themselves early on but taper off in the end. What doesn't change is their perception of how much they can eat so they end up wasting more later on in the cruise.
Fast food is tough too. Gotta have enough on hand to be fast, but if someone doesn't show up to eat it, you're kind of SOL.
This is why Wendy's and chili is genius. Take something you're gonna toss and "recycle" it.



I've only been to Tandoori Flame since our casinos are still closed. There's not too many beyond that (and other Indian) joints that are open.
I think Uncle Willys is still closed for renovation.
To be fair... there's not too many full time buffets in Vancouver to begin with.

Yup. They certainly lose points on expecting a good tip by practices like skimping out on toiletries like napkins, not clearing the previous dirty dishes nor replenishing your glass of water when it's near empty and you are just in agony of thirst. All these malpractices I have experienced at quite a number of buffet places.

Some at a point there were a couple of stacks of at least 3 plates each for me and my accompanying party piled onto the front side of our table and we were practically done with the main courses and on our way to dessert as the waitress was completely oblivious to any of that showing. The same with not getting water adequately topped up when really needing it from eating all those deep fried items loaded with sodium that just intensify dire thirst prompted upon then.

Chili gets a pass and is one of those dishes that are an exception like soups, casseroles, pasta which only get better in flavour after the first day on.

I went to the Tandoori Flame out in Mississauga a couple of years back with my dad after hearing all the "raving" reviews from others and from their ads on the radio, calling themselves North America's largest Indian buffet chain.

Was a total disappointment. Store-bought gol guppas (or pani puris) at their snacks counter. You could literally see the plastic containers full of them on the shelves behind the counter. For real?

Pre-baked naans cut into quarters and placed in a steaming tray. Same with pre-cut up tiny seekh kababs sitting in an adjacent steaming tray. Bland curries and biryani. Tasteless. Generic desserts, quite a few of which were clearly supplied out of tin cans or other pre-packaged.

They even had stone baked pizza for an Indian buffet chain. They had actually inherited the hearth oven from the previous occupant which was Tucker's Marketplace I believe. So they figured, might as well make use of it and make pizzas to add to our Indian buffet menu. Ridiculous.

Way over-priced and upon receiving the bill with taxes, drinks and adequate tip included; the shameless waitress had the nerve to ask us if the whole $60 we gave was fine for everything. Like seriously? How well do you think you served us by thinking you deserve all of that remaining balance as a tip?

I don't recommend really much south Asian eateries from such poor business practices they are notorious to show. The few decent ones I did come across ending up burning out from the tolls of trying to run such an establishment.

Tandoori Flame is highly over-rated, over-hyped and a waste of money and time spent to going only to end up with mediocre dining experience.
Last edited by Strafe1 on Jul 20th, 2020 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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