John Matarese reports on the buffet's return to popularity
My Breakfast of Champions!
In this health conscious age, you would think that all-you-can-eat buffets would be a thing of the past. After all, we're all supposed to be watching our fat, carb and calorie intake. Then why is "all you can eat" suddenly everywhere? An Old Trend Makes a Comeback All you can eat? That's so 1960s, you say. Maybe not. TIME magazine says chain restaurants -- desperate for an edge on the competition -- are bringing back unlimited seconds in a major way. Olive Garden has resurrected its "Never Ending Pasta Bowl" for $9.95. At Red Lobster, "Endless Shrimp" is back temporarily for $14.99. If you love pancakes, iHop, Denny's, and Bob Evans are offering all-you-can-eat pancake deals at many of their restaurants (varying by franchise and location). And after your pancakes at Bob Evans, you can then move on to its Endless Farmhouse Lunch. Why Restaurants Love Buffets You might think all-you-can-eat is a money loser for restaurants. On the contrary. Forbes magazine explains that these are really huge money makers. It turns out the average person eats just $6 to $8 worth of food at a $10 buffet. Most of us don't gorge ourselves, and the simple math says that if most people ate 20 pancakes, restaurants wouldn't offer them. The Bottom Line Endless buffets are a great value if you like to eat a lot. But if you are watching your intake, your wallet and your waistline will thank you if you stick to the regular menu and order less. As always, don't waste your money. -------------------- Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co. "Like" John Matarese on Facebook Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)