WHEN the menu says ‘all-you-can-eat’, is it really true? One Brazilian man put the concept to the test after taking the dining offer literally and as a result, finding himself thrown out of a restaurant.



It's the type of restaurant where you pay a set fee and you can, technically, consume as much food as you wish. Usually, AYCE involves a buffet so you can go back and forth as many times as you wish.


It’s a historic dining option?

It dates back more than 70 years to the bustling resorts of Las Vegas in the United States, with AYCE said to have been invented by Canadian entertainment manager, Herb McDonald. He launched the ‘Buckaroo Buffet’ in the 1940s in the Las Vegas Strip’s first full service resort, El Rancho Vegas, with a flyer declaring that for $1, a diner could eat “every possible variety of hot and cold entrees to appease the howling coyote in your innards”.


It set a trend?

The model was quickly replicated across Vegas and beyond.


So what happened in Brazil?

With restaurants trying to draw in customers post-lockdowns, Hungry architectural designer Joao Carlos Apolonio - who says he has a big appetite due to burning calories on the building sites he works on - was lured by an AYCE deal and took to social media to recount his experience in a local restaurant in Sao Paulo where he paid $19.90 Brazilian dollars for an AYCE experience.


He was thrown out?

In a video that quickly went viral on TikTok, Apolonio explained that after tucking into 15 bowls of pasta, he decided he wasn’t quite full and and asked for four more plates of lasagna and four more plates of gnocchi - despite eating eight slices of bread for breakfast. But he claimed staff showed him the door, saying: “They just kicked me out of a restaurant. The guy said they won’t serve me anymore.”


And when it went viral?

The restaurant invited Apolonio back, presumably for publicity, but Apolonio proved he really could eat all they had to offer by consuming 35 meals in total, saying: “This is the result of letting me eat whatever I want.”


It’s not the first time this has happened?

German triathlete Jarosla Bobrowski, 33, was banned from an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant in Landshut, Germany, in 2018 after eating what management considered to be too much sushi. Having paid 16 Euros for his meal, and eating 100 plates from the revolving carousel, when he paid his bill, he said staff told him he was banned. Bobrowski said at the time that he was on a special diet in which he fasted for 20 hours a time and in the remaining four hours, he made “a big hole on the sushi carousel”.


And in the US?

An angry 6ft 6in 350lb customer picketed a family-run AYCE fish restaurant with a sign saying "false advertising" after he was told to leave the Wisconsin eatery when he devoured 12 pieces of fried fish.