THE story of two customers barred from an all-you-can-eat establishment raises a few social and economic questions and issues.
The owner of the Gobi Mongolian restaurant in Brighton was dismayed at the sight of two large rugby club chaps munching their way through five mountainous helpings of seafood and meat at the stir-fry counter and asked them to desist, leave, and never return.
The first lesson is caveat venditor, or let seller beware. If you offer an array of unlimited meats and seafood for only £12 a head, be sure two big blokes will turn up and eat all your profits. Like the case of my chum who single-handedly brought about the closure of the Danish Food Centre restaurant in Glasgow. I won't mention his name because he is a professional man and the pupils in his maths class in a school in Cardonald might ask questions. Our man would visit the Danish place and eat the gammon steaks as quickly as the chef could put them out on the buffet. The chef pointed out (to no avail) that customers were expected to eat salads as well.
All-you-can-eat joints are a bad thing because t hey encourage gluttony. (But not sloth since you have to fetch your own food.)
There is waste since much of the food ends up in the bin. The Government may have to step in with penalties for people who leave too much on their plates. There may have to be technology to make sure customers do not exceed the daily calorie intake.
I use all-you-can-eat places but only rarely, and usually in Barcelona where the food is fresh and cooked by ace Chinese chefs in front of your very eyes. And it costs only about £10.
I try not have more than six portions of prawns and lobster. It is not an edifying dining experience as you watch people trying to eat their own weight in food while so much of the world goes hungry.
The owners of the Gobi in Brighton said it was not just the serial consumption of huge amounts that led to the ban. There were accusations of bad manners. Causing a bit of a scrum at the food counter. Indulging in that unpardonable sin of going the wrong way down the buffet queue.
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