Are endless buffets gone from restaurants forever?

Are endless buffets gone from restaurants forever?
(Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Those endless buffets have tempted everyone from Sunday brunches to Las Vegas extravagance to even Golden Corral. Will restaurants ever bring them back?

At some point in time, everyone has indulged at endless buffets. The idea of enjoying a plate of chicken, followed by dessert, followed by prime rib followed by the chocolate fountain has enticed even the biggest foodie. As some restaurants start to reopen with modifications, is one type of restaurant or one type of service going away forever?

One word that every restaurant has learned to leverage is pivot. While everyone would like to open their doors and welcome guests again, everyone understands that it needs to happen in a safe manner. From proper distancing to making their guests feel comfortable, it is more than just opening the doors and putting food on a table.

While many restaurants have found creative ways to adapt, some restaurant models may never return. The idea of those endless buffets may not be a way of serving food that makes people comfortable. Even with the biggest sneeze guard, many guests may not want to serve themselves from those communal plates.

If the endless buffets go away, is there an alternative that can happen or all those Golden Corral locations forever closed? According to some reports, Golden Corral is said to start adapting to family style meals. It seems that sharing a big communal plate with everyone at your table is an acceptable solution.

While family style meals could be a solution, the idea of the buffet smorgasbord seems to be shelved, at least for now. Instead of plate after plate of endless options and amounts of food, there is more portion control via the family style plate. In some ways, the smaller amounts of food may be good for the waistline. For the people who like the buffet value, they may feel that their money isn’t as well spent.

Can the endless buffets come back? The answer is unknown. Just like many questions that remain unanswered, everyone will have to wait and see.

Will you miss those endless buffets? Do you think that the buffet should ever come back?