• With a few tricks, restaurants still manage to turn a profit — despite offering endless food.
  • The obvious saver is on staff. Restaurants save because they don't need full staff because you're getting your own food and bringing it to the table.
  • Among the other strategies they use are putting cheap food at the front of the line, small plates, larger cups and cheaper food.

With just a few tricks, like using smaller plates, putting cheap items towards the front, and using drinks to off-set other costs, all-you-can-eat restaurants are able to accomplish the same goal as any other restaurant. Get people in the door.

The way buffets work is each person pays the same fixed price for access to a line of self-serve dishes.

The obvious saver is on staff. Restaurants save because they don't need full staff because you're getting your own food and bringing it to the table.

Photo Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Some other strategies are:

  • Put cheaper, or more filling carbs towards the beginning of the line.
  • Provide smaller than average plates
  • Offer really big soft-drink cups, so you can fill up on soda.

Because of the tight profit margins, the food quality isn't as great as it probably should have been or could have been. 

Everyone has their favourite, South Africa’s EatOut picked out these restaurants as some of the country’s most popular spots for a generous buffet helping.

Johannesburg

Carnivore Restaurant (Muldersdrift)

Chief’s Boma Restaurant (Fourways)

Pretoria

Die Plek (Montanta)

Geet (Brooklyn)

Durban

Bamboo Sushi Lounge (Umhlanga Rocks)

Jeera (Marine Parade)

Cape Town

Active Sushi (De Waterkant)

Azure at The Twelve Apostles (Camps Bay)

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