All-you-can-eat Restaurant

Frying Dutchman

Golden Corral

An all-you-can-eat restaurant (AYCE) is a type of restaurant in which a fixed price is charged for entry, after which diners may consume as much food as they wish. All-you-can-eat establishments are frequently buffets.

The all-you-can-eat buffet has been ascribed to Herbert ‘Herb’ Cobb McDonald, a Las Vegas publicity and entertainment manager who introduced the idea in 1946.

In his 1965 novel ‘The Muses of Ruin,’ William Pearson wrote, of the buffet:

‘At midnight every self-respecting casino premières its buffet— the eighth wonder of the world, the one true art form this androgynous harlot of cities has delivered herself of… We marvel at the Great Pyramids, but they were built over decades; the midnight buffet is built daily. Crushed-ice castles and grottoes chill the shrimp and lobster. Sculptured aspic is scrolled with Paisley arabesques. They are, laid out with reverent artistry: hors d’oeuvres, relish, salads, and sauces; crab, herring oyster, sturgeon, octopus, and salmon; turkey, ham, roast beef, casseroles, fondues, and curries; cheeses, fruits, and pastries. How many times you go through the line is a private matter between you and your capacity, and then between your capacity and the chef’s evil eye.’

A 2011 study showed that the actual amount of food consumed increases with the price charged for the buffet. The all-you-can-eat business model is also prevalent in Korean barbecue, Brazilian churrasco, and Chinese hot pot.

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