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Have you been to any buffet? Did you like it? That’s not a very good question, I mean who doesn’t love a buffet?

There are usually two kinds of people, one who goes to a buffet and eats the normal amount, and other one (with me included) who doesn’t eat anything from the start of the day because obviously it’s an ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT BUFFET! The name says it all.

Does it ever occur to you that how does restaurants benefit from the buffets and why do individuals opt for one when they can’t eat equivalent to what they paid?

Restaurants follow the concept of diminishing marginal utility which says that our utility or satisfaction decreases as we keep on consuming more. Assuming that a customer eats 3 plates of food, for one he will pay Rs.100 for the next one he will pay Rs. 55 and for the last one he will pay Rs.5, afterwards his utility derived from the food will be zero and hence he wouldn’t pay more. Restaurants considers all these costs and always keep the cost of buffet a little above these. There are always two kinds of consumers, one who will eats way less than what they paid and one who eats well but still not equivalent to the price of a buffet. Restaurants benefit from the former so much that it compensates the latter.

Why do people like buffets when the benefits derived is so much less than the cost paid?Maybe because it offers plethora of choices and who doesn’t like variety in food?

Do you think you will feel differently for buffets serving the same kind of food but charging different amount, say one charges Rs.1000 and the other charges Rs.1500?
Most of you must be thinking that you will feel the same since the food served is no different.

That’s not what we found!

Studies shows that people found the food to be more tastier when it costed Rs.1500 than when it costed Rs.1000 because we assess the taste of food with it’s price.Studies also shows that people tend to eat more when they are offered a buffet costing more and vice versa.

It is usually seen that people try to eat more at buffets to cover their costs but we should know one thing that the cost paid at buffet is a sunk cost (you can know more about the concept from my previous article- There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch ) and that it no longer matters, so don’t stress over eating more rather try to eat different things which you wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

Did you know that restaurants have their own way of keeping you away from the expensive food?
The cheapest and most-filling items are placed at the start with huge spoons, the expensive items are usually kept down the line with a smaller spoon. Plus, you are never offered full-sized dinner plates or large soup bowls but you will always find huge glasses for water/cold drinks.I never knew people put so much thought behind something as simple as buffets.


Recommendation: Pirates of Grill , I visited this place a few months ago, not a very fancy place but the food was good. You can give it a try 🙂