One does not simply enter a buffet restaurant and binge without a plan. As one bold “all you can eat” enthusiast reveals, getting the most out of a buffet can require a great deal of skill and methodology.
In an article for Vice, Oobah Butler shared how he “beat the system” by employing four cons he devised himself. He went to four London restaurants and tested his individual tactics on each of them, leading to hilariously satisfying results.
His first stop was Nando’s in Brixton where he used a receipt from a meal he had the day before which included a bottomless drink. Bringing an empty bottle, he walked straight up to the establishment’s soda machine and got his fill.
“I stop nervously to take a sip of out of my two liter bottle. No cold hand on the shoulder, no rushing manager, not even a glance: Nobody gives a shit,” he wrote.
“So I carry on for a few minutes, sipping and filling until eventually leaving absolutely gobsmacked (literally, my teeth are aching).”
After hydrating himself with enough beverage, Butler marked his “bottomless drink” con as a success.
Day two of his mission landed him at at a Chinese buffet in Camberwell. With a new plan of eating all of his entire day’s meals in the eatery, he brought along his laptop so he could work in between.
The place was packed with customers and he blended easily into the crowd by filling up his plate. As planned, he stayed for lunch and dinner as people came and went, even falling asleep at one point before dinner.
“The place empties and fills again, hours pass, Years & Years play on the sound system, and still none of the staff say a word to me,” he recalled.
Butler chalked up another success after enjoying three full meals for just $10.
For his third outing, Butler, in full business attire and with a briefcase in hand, went to an establishment serving several types of pizza and pasta. Told he could not bring home any of the food, he went on to sneak out a case full of pizza slices.
“Like an Andy Dufresne captivated by greed instead of freedom, with every plate I took from the buffet, I’d eat one and covertly slip three or four into my foil-lined case,” he wrote.
Spending just $11 for a caseload of pizza was another victory for Butler.
His last con was also his most daring one: with his friend Gavin Sparks dressed and made up to look like him as an accomplice, he went to Jimmy’s in Wimbledon to do the old “switcheroo.” He detailed the plan for his biggest ruse:
“Sparks strolls into Jimmy’s at 5:55 PM, he orders a buffet and a Cobra beer. After enjoying their worldwide scope of world class cuisine until his appetite is quenched and drinking exactly half of the beer, he will send a text to me. I will then ring him.”
After his friend pretended to answer the call and managed to escape the staffers’ sight, he traded places with Sparks and continued the order with his own fill.
“Taking his seat at the same table on the left-hand side of the restaurant, I will take a sip of Cobra and fill my boots. At precisely 6:56 PM, I will ask for the bill and pay for exactly one buffet and one beer,” he wrote.
While he didn’t exactly reveal if the plan went without a hitch, there is a fair chance that the duo pulled it off as evidenced by the photos he shared after.
After gaining a total of 5 lbs exploiting all-you-can-eat restaurants, he figured that there was indeed no limit on what one can achieve if enough effort is put into it.
“All You Can Eat is liberty and love; it may well be the most open-minded, independent, and emancipating culture that exists in 21st-century Britain,“ he concluded.