Staff at Emperors Palace, home to Rosetta’s Bistro - pic supplied

Love it or hate it, at some point you’re going to be at a buffet and will need to negotiate the servings and the etiquette.

Everyone has a different favourite section at a buffet, whether it’s the ‘salad valley’, the carvery, the dessert table or the cheeseboard, and there are no rules saying that you must start with one and end with another…however confused your taste buds might get!

The team at Emperors Palace, home to Rosetta’s Bistro has shared a few tips and hints so that you get the best out of your next buffet.

  • Begin smart

Start out by taking a stroll around the buffet to see what’s on offer, so that you can plan what you’re going to take, and what you may leave for another time. 

There’s always a plethora of food on offer, and all of it looks amazing – but you could perhaps have the traditional deconstructed village Greek salad with traditional Kalamata olives and soft Danish feta at any restaurant, while the Pizza’s, Mozambican seafood rice, short order grill items or tasty breyani could be a house specialty.

  • Be considerate

Always use the serving utensils in each dish to serve your portion. 

Using your fingers is unhygienic – for you and everyone else – and using the utensils from another dish may cause problems for other diners who have food allergies.

  • Patience is important

Queues are an inevitable part of a buffet, but there are staff on hand to replenish the dishes should they empty – so there’s no need to push or crowd the people in front of you to get to a dish quickly. 

By the same token, keep the line moving. Holding everyone else up while you struggle to choose what to take is going to waste everyone’s time. 

If you’re not sure what you want, rather come back a little later once you’ve considered what’s available.

The buffet at Rosetta’s Bistro - pic supplied

  • Don’t be too eager

Only take what you can eat. Overloading your plate will just lead to wastage, and some restaurants collaborate with local charities to give unused food to the needy. 

Food can only be donated if it hasn’t been served on a plate – so while nobody’s expected to go hungry at a buffet, think of where the leftovers may go before you waste.

  • It’s relaxed dining

It’s not necessary to wait for everyone to be seated before you start eating – the informal nature of a buffet means that this rule is relaxed – not least because waiting for everyone to be seated after queuing for food would see your hot food getting cold.

  • Before you leave

Remember to tip the staff. While they’re not as visibly active as staff at an a la carte restaurant, they’re still making sure that food is served, drinks are offered, and tables kept clean.

Asking for takeaways is a no-no, even if it’s for the leftovers on your plate. While buffets really do mean that you can eat all you want, they don’t mean that you can eat all you want of their food when you’re back home too!

 Tips and advice is courtesy of the team from Emperors Palace, home to Rosetta’s Bistro