Buffet Nightmare: Servers Reveal Their Tummy-Turning Buffet Horror Stories

By Liezel L December 13, 2022

Usually, when people talk about buffets, they joke that there should be no holding back. After all, it’s a buffet. You can’t waste all that food, right? Just because people go wild on the food doesn’t mean they should also forget their manners. In fact, it’s more important to mind table manners in this situation since plenty of other people are queuing up for the food.

Unfortunately, some people just don’t understand that concept. The worst of the worst even bring their slobbery to the venue without a hint of embarrassment. And we’re not talking about just sneezing on food; oh no. We’re talking about much worse. Here are some buffet horror stories that will make you think twice about going to one.

The Trail Of Shame

The best part about buffets is that you can eat so many of your favorite foods, and no one will judge you. You have to get your money’s worth, after all. All you have to do is keep the food inside your body until you get home.

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Sadly, it seems that this man overestimated the capacity of his body. While his taste buds might’ve appreciated the mountain of pizza, his tummy certainly didn’t. He didn’t even get to the bathroom before doing his business and left a trail of evidence of his blunder.

When You Just Gotta Get That Ice Cream Fix

We get that some people want to be independent and get the job done themselves, but when it comes to machines not working correctly at a buffet, we think it’s best to leave it to the professionals at all times and not be like this woman.

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We don’t know if she simply couldn’t hold off on her ice cream craving or she wasn’t thinking things through, but nobody needed to see her little mouth-to-mouth with the spout of the ice cream machine. That is just traumatizing.

Sparkly Clean

A lot of parents would tell their kids to make sure to clean up their plates at dinner because a lot of children around the world are starving. As it seems, the customer in this story took that lesson a little too seriously.

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We all know that too much grease is terrible for our health—drinking it would certainly not be healthy. Hopefully, the customer doesn’t get a heart attack from slurping all that grease. It certainly wouldn’t be the restaurant’s fault for making it so delicious, right?

Please Fondon’t

Kids are curious little creatures, and a lot of them will touch anything they are curious about. That doesn’t mean they should be allowed to go around a buffet sticking their grubby, little hands on anything that grabs their attention.

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The kids aren’t even at fault here. It’s the adults who were watching them go through with their plans. They should have reprimanded the kids and taught them proper buffet etiquette instead of laughing. Then again, maybe they didn’t have any manners themselves.

Fewer Dishes And The Consequences

If you’re part of the kitchen staff at a buffet, a family kindly reusing their plates might be good news since that means fewer dishes to wash, right? But what if that family thinks that the garbage bin is on the floor?

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That would have probably ruined everyone’s day at the buffet and even some of the customer’s appetites. Seeing all those leftovers on the floor doesn’t exactly make the food look appealing. How could a whole family be such complete slobs?

Taste Test

Although a buffet has plenty of food options to choose from, not every item will taste spectacular. It’s a buffet, not a Michelin restaurant. You just have to choose what you like. But how will you know what you’ll like? This man has one unique way of finding out.

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The problem is that his method is entirely disgusting—a real health hazard. Hopefully, someone noticed and threw that entire bowl of soup out because who wants to be getting soup cooties? We hope someone teaches that man proper taste-testing etiquette.

Just Like Home

Admit it. You’ve been guilty of licking the spoon clean at least once, especially if the food was delicious. However, that’s at home where, as disgusting as it is, it can be passed off since you’re with family or you live alone.

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As it seems, the kid in this situation felt right at home at that buffet, and his first instinct was to lick that spoon clean. Someone should have snatched that spoon away from him before he could put it back. He’s not the only one who would’ve liked some of that mac n’ cheese.

There’s No Stopping The Food Lovin’

Some people are even embarrassed to fart near the person they’re dating. Imagine farting in a room full of strangers in the middle of your meal. That would make anybody wish the earth would swallow them whole—but not this man.

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This man probably had very high self-esteem or didn’t care much about anybody else’s opinions. What’s clear is he has a lot of gall. And to think that he kept eating as if nothing had happened. Well, at least the kitchen staff knew their food was that good.

Another One Bites The Dust

A lot of us go by the 3-second rule. If the food hasn’t been on the floor for more than three seconds, it is safe to pick up and eat. That rule, however, depends on many things. For example, how many people can see you and how dirty the floor is. 

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As it seems, this guy was also living by that rule. Unfortunately, with how many people are stomping around the restaurant all day, it’s guaranteed that those floors were not clean. The fact that he even had time to look around meant it was way past three seconds. Gross.

Lesson Learned: Never Mess With The Chocolate

Aren’t chocolate fountains just delightful? They’re a dream come true for chocolate lovers. Unfortunately, nobody likes a spiked chocolate fountain. Nothing belongs in a chocolate fountain but plain old melted chocolate. Some people, like this guy, are pretty sensitive about that.

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If you’d been waiting a long time for that moment to scoop up some of that sweet chocolate, you’d get frustrated if you weren’t able to get it. The situation with this man just escalated too quickly. Oh, the things we do for chocolate.

Oh, Jell-No!

Kids are adorable, but people should really keep them and their grubby little mitts away from food at a buffet. Nobody likes food massaged by a kid, okay? They can massage their own food all they like but not others’ food.

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Sadly, this poor person got to witness this sacrilegious act being committed by another kid. It must have left them traumatized. Who wouldn’t be, especially when the mother didn’t even say or do anything about it? We would never eat jello again.

Gotta Be Smart

Buffets can serve up some really great food, but unfortunately, takeout is seldom an option. You have to enjoy all the food on the spot. That does not mean the “no takeout” rule stops people from taking food home anyway. 

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Those must have been some pretty good chicken wings for this person to be unable to leave without them. We’re not sure how he was even allowed to stuff his shirt with them, though. He couldn’t have gotten away with it without anybody noticing.

Parenting Don’ts 101

At home, many pet owners sometimes feed their dogs morsels of their own food while the pets wait under the table. That’s normal for pooches but never for kids. Kids belong at the table, but apparently, this mom doesn’t think so.

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Yes, we get it; kids don’t eat much, so paying the total buffet price for them can seem like a waste but come on, feeding them under the table? This woman seems to be a better pet owner than a mom.

A Whole New Way Of Convenience

Most people have their own styles and methods for going about a buffet. Some tackle the meats first and then the carbs, while others take a bite out of everything before returning for the favorites. This man here has a method you’ll never see anywhere else.

image courtesy of @shanedawson/ Twitter

What could have been so difficult about simply moving the sauce plate closer to him? His hand would not even have to wander too far away from his plate. Or does he just like the extra saltiness his sweaty skin provides?  

Mystery Meats

Times are tough, and sometimes, resources may be scarce for buffet restaurants—especially sought-after resources like meat. However, that doesn’t mean these restaurants should go about feeding their customers something they would probably never eat. That’s betrayal in its purest form!

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This restaurant did just that and committed to the mystery meat menu. The only problem is that it was a surprise that their customers did not appreciate. Sadly, it might have only been when they started getting sick that they realized it wasn’t chicken that they were eating.

A Side Of Snot

The scary thing about buffets is that the food is almost always surrounded by a bunch of strangers. And you won’t be sure if they’re sick or if they know proper buffet etiquette. It’s worse if it’s the latter, though.

image courtesy of Lisa F. Young/ Shutterstock

Take this server’s story, for instance. It’s common sense for people to cover their mouths or turn away from others when sneezing, but apparently, people don’t do that around buffets. So, every other person in the room gets a side of snot with their food.

Picking A Bone 

Many people love buffets because they get much more bang for their buck, especially if they’re good eaters. For a little bit more than the price of one meal at other places, they could stuff themselves full without a cent of regret.

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As it seems, some people still don’t think that’s enough, like this wing-eating guy. He is already doing something he shouldn’t. The least he could do was discreetly put his bones in the bin and not contaminate other people’s food.

Just On A Roll

Waiting around tons of food when you’re hungry is not ideal because you’d be tempted to just pick up whatever’s there and start munching. As it seems, this guy was too hungry to care about the embarrassment and did precisely that.

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To make the wait more bearable, he just started munching on spring rolls. The problem is that he was just picking them up with his bare hands. Who knows where those hands have been? Hopefully, he washed them first before lining up.

Post-Feast Nap

Taking a nap after devouring a feast is one of the best things ever. You just feel so relaxed and so satisfied that you get the best sleep of your life. But while most of us take the napping part home, this person’s dad does it right on the spot. 

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We get that he must have been feeling so sleepy after all that food but why the floor? That doesn’t seem comfy or sanitary. And why only at Chinese buffets? Is there something more special about their setting? Maybe you should try it to find out.

Pizza Fanatics

Just imagine having to cook up meal after meal the entire day to make sure there is always food to put on trays for hungry people at a buffet. That has got to be exhausting, right? Now, imagine doing it almost nonstop without a single break.

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This poor guy must have felt so exasperated as each new batch of pizza disappeared. On the upside, though, he can take it as a compliment that his pizzas were so good that these guys just gobbled it all up.

For The Love Of Pie

Pie is delicious, and there are such wide varieties to choose from. We understand why people love them so much. What we don’t get is what makes them so special that the woman in this story just has to have every single slice.

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She’s not even finished with the pies she already has before she goes and takes another slice. The worst part is that she’s just wasting the pie. That makes her just plain greedy and selfish. Hopefully, she gets a taste of her own medicine, or should we say a piece of her own pie?

The Thrill of the Hunt

What is it with moms and Tupperware or freezer bags? Seriously, they always seem to have these items on hand wherever they go, and apparently, some moms have their Tupperware ready at buffets. And it’s not even because of lack of food at home; oh no.

image courtesy of Garetsworkshop/ Shutterstock

Apparently, some moms, like this person’s mom, pack food for takeaways in their own personal bags just for the thrill of it. What’s thrilling about it? We have no freaking idea. It’s not like they’ll end up in jail over it or get in a life-or-death situation.

For The Sake Of Food

Usually, when people throw up, they won’t want any more food going into their stomachs for fear of throwing it up again or just being plain grossed out by themselves. But for the woman in this story, such nonsense does not exist.

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She even asked for a new table just so she could keep eating away from her barf. While that is still forgivable, their rudeness is not. They should’ve been thankful they were given another table when they’ve probably ruined the appetites of the other people there.

Nothing’s Keeping Those Steaks Away

If a place is serving a buffet, they should already expect people to be going overboard on eating their favorites. They’re getting their money’s worth, after all. You can’t just stop a customer from eating their favorite dish because you think it’s too much.

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Fortunately for the kid in this story, he and his dad won the argument with the guy behind the grill. As it seems, nothing is going to keep all those steaks away from this guy. After all, he’s a growing boy. He needs the meat.

Dippy Dip, Dip Dip

Dips are a great way to elevate any snack. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as double dipping, and that grosses a lot of people out. What’s grosser is when someone does that on a platter made for everybody and not just one person.

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This man must have felt so at home to have the nerve to do that. Regardless, that is not acceptable. Hopefully, once they caught him, he was told to stop and maybe given a good long lecture on why that is such a gross thing to do at a buffet.

Mom Things

Juggling caring for a child while taking care of the home is not an easy thing to do. So, most moms figure out more efficient ways to go about their lives, even though they aren’t usually conventional ways. As it seems, this mom here is doing the same thing.

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What she figured out is actually pretty smart. That way, she won’t have to go back and forth with all those plates and can concentrate on feeding her kids. We’re pretty sure not everyone approves, but hey, if it works, why not?

A Weekly Feast

People can get obsessed with buffets, and that’s understandable. You get all that food for a fraction of the cost. However, we have never heard of someone going to a buffet every single day. Apparently, though, those people do exist.

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This person, for instance, has a weekly schedule of buffets to go to. If we were the owners of the buffet, we’d love to have repeat customers; however, repeatedly running us out of stock might cross the line. So, we understand why they might have banned him.

Slush Dive

We know that working in the service industry is hard. You have to do almost everything just to keep customers happy. Unfortunately, for this person, they had to do one of the worst things ever just to keep their buffet customer happy.

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In this case, we think it’s completely the customer’s fault. Obviously, that retainer is going to be thrown away when it’s wrapped in a tissue. No server would unwrap every rolled-up ball of tissue just to check what’s inside. They’re not paid enough for that.

Happy Ending

When food is one of the biggest loves of your life, it can be hard to know your limits. Even when people tell you that you should watch what you eat, you might not listen. Sadly, this doesn’t end well for many.

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Thankfully, for this guy, he managed to turn his health around by the time the server who told the story left the establishment—just by replacing a few pizza slices with salad. That takes dedication, and the man deserves a pat on the back for his accomplishment.

Smells a Little Fishy

With the costs of ingredients right now, we understand when food establishments cut back on their ingredients or even cut back on portions. We get it; running a food business is pricey. However, keeping food until it goes bad is a step too far.

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When food goes bad, that becomes a health hazard. As it seems this establishment is willing to risk it but haven’t they thought of the lawsuit that could very well follow if a customer gets sent to the hospital because of their food? Guess not.

Hand Cutter

Little kids getting their grubs all up in the buffet food is a tad understandable. They’re kids, after all. They might not have been taught etiquette yet. However, grown women? Oh, that is not going to fly under the radar.

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Buffets put out serving spoons for a reason, but maybe this woman missed that memo. Then again, maybe she wasn’t taught as a child that handling public food with her hands isn’t the way to do it. It’s not too late. Someone, please slap her with that etiquette lesson.


The lives of buffet staff are hard enough. The least we could do as customers are to leave them a table that’s tidy enough and easy enough to clean. Unfortunately, there are people who are real pieces of work when it comes to being mean to servers.

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They do everything they can to make their jobs harder than it already is. We can assume that they’re not very good tippers, either. Hopefully, they get a taste of their own medicine and learn a real lesson about human decency.

A Little Crabby

It’s easy to understand that when people go to a buffet, they’re allowed to eat as much of something as they want. It’s a buffet, of course. However, proper decency would also say not to finish off every last drop of food available. 

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Unfortunately, this couple didn’t have that decency. We think they’re the type of people who’ll keep eating and eating in a food shortage situation, even if they know there are others also waiting for food around them. That’s just sad.

Just Plain Stingy

It’s common sense, right? You only put what you can eat on your plate at a buffet. Just because it’s a buffet doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to stuff your tummy. Apparently, some people either don’t know this or completely ignore it. 

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These people are not only greedy in taking food, but they also become super stingy when it comes to paying the price of not finishing the food off. Maybe they should have thought about that before they started piling their plates.

When Food Threatens Life

Since a lot of people eat at buffets, it’s easy to assume that nothing bad could happen to you, right? Wrong! There are plenty of things that can go wrong at any buffet. Just take a look at these friends who had to face hospital time after a buffet trip. 

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The fact is, buffets are always surrounded by tons of people. With the shenanigans many of them pull, you can expect that the food might have something that shouldn’t be there. Plus, you don’t really know what goes on in the kitchen.

Not Paid Enough For This

In buffets, the staff often gets the short end of the stick. They have to deal with all kinds of nasty customers, and the worst part is that they’re not always justly compensated for the work they do. Just take a look at this woman and her insulin situation. 

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Living with an illness that requires insulin, she should have already known what she was getting into upon entering the buffet. And she should have already taken precautions against it. Instead, she just said “YOLO” at the expense of other people.

Beat The System

Instead of just eating and eating to your heart’s content, you could actually use your huge appetite to earn you more favors than just a full belly. Take a look at this guy who basically earned hundreds of dollars just from eating too much at a casino buffet. 

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Of course, you might not always have the same luck he did, but hey, it’s pretty cool, right? The guy won $100 for nothing. He just did something he loved—eating. If only we could all do that and be as lucky as him. 

Cutting Too Many Corners

We understand cutting corners, but when it comes to food, just how many corners can you cut before someone dies of food poisoning while dining at your business? Apparently, some buffet owners go a pretty long way just to get the most out of their resources. 

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It’s plain disgusting. The worst part is that most people won’t realize it because the food will just be masked with seasonings, spices, and all that jazz. Only insiders will know, and now that they’ve let the secret out, you’ll have to be a little more cautious next time.

Stack It To The Sky

While some people are just greedy, some people are also lazy, and that makes for the worst combination. In their eagerness to get all their food in one swipe, accidents like this one can happen, and it’s not going to be pleasant for everyone involved.

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This is why people should learn about patience and contentment. It’s not like someone will swipe down and take away all the food if they don’t get it on the first serving. These kinds of people should really learn to chill.

No Hikes For Tonight

As a lot of people say, meat is life. And if you’ve been living off of noodles for days while trekking miles through the woods, it’s understandable why you’d gorge yourself on any meat you find. That’s what happened to this hiker and his friend.

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They didn’t realize how much they’d missed meat until they stuffed themselves silly with it. Surprisingly, the people at the restaurant were just so used to it that they didn’t think anything of it. Apparently, a lot of hikers go meat crazy at their establishment.

Getting The Break Out Of The Potty

Buffets are busy places, especially when many people are gobbling down food. So, the kitchen staff has to work extra hard to make sure that fresh food keeps leaving the kitchen. That doesn’t mean they can’t take proper breaks, though.

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Unfortunately, it seems that this employee took his commitment to the job a little too seriously. Even in his supposed break in the toilet, he was still working. We can’t imagine how he managed it, and we don’t want to. It’s just plain disgusting.

Ruining Crab Legs

Usually, people get sick of food they eat over and over again. Some might even actively avoid this food for months or years. However, who knew you could get sick of something just by watching someone eat too much of it?

image courtesy of Scajunnation/ ig
image courtesy of Scajunnation/ ig

This poor server will never look at crab legs the same way ever again because of what this family did. We know crab is delicious, but they’re terrifying with the way they devour those creatures. They could probably cause crabs to become extinct!