An all-you-can-eat buffet always feels like a challenge. Sure, for some it’s just an economical way to feed the whole family, making sure all matters of taste can be satisfied. As a kid, I always loved a buffet because I could get a salad with all the fixings and also a giant plate of french fries with several dipping sauces, which I still consider a perfect meal to this day. But for others, it’s an opportunity to test the limits of both the human body and the buffet’s management. All-you-can-eat, you say? We’ll see about that.
Well, CNN reports that one man found that limit at an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet in China. A food live-streamer known simply as Mr. Kang says he was banned from Handadi Seafood BBQ Buffet for eating too much. Mr. Kang claimed this to be discrimination against people with large appetites saying, “I can eat a lot—is that a fault?”
How much is a lot, exactly? In this case, it was 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) of pork trotters (pig’s feet) in one sitting and around 4 kg (8.8 lbs) of prawns in another. The owner of the restaurant says this behavior is costing him big time—a few hundred yuan with every visit from Mr. Kang. “Even when he drinks soy milk, he can drink 20 or 30 bottles,” the owner tells BBC. “When he eats the pork trotters, he consumes the whole tray of them. And for prawns, usually people use tongs to pick them up, he uses a tray to take them all.”
It’s not just Mr. Kang who is no longer allowed in the restaurant—Handadi Seafood BBQ Buffet is banning all live-streamers. It’s a move that is in line with a larger mandate in China to control an ongoing food shortage, one that could ban all eating influencer videos in the country.
It begs the question: if a food shortage is the issue, why keep all-you-can-eat institutions around at all? Not to mention the questionable hygiene problems that are magnified in a post-pandemic world. If these restaurants go the way of the dodo, we can find another home for the indoor koi fish, we promise.