Having “eyes bigger than your belly” is a common affliction at self-service buffets, which may lead to over-indulgence and food waste. However, there are some buffet line tactics that can help mitigate waste and guide guests towards a balanced plate.
- Offer a variety of plate sizes to give guests options.
- Place vegetables and lighter salads at the beginning of the line so customers will fill their plates with healthier options first.
- Use smaller serving spoons and tongs.
- Place sauces and other condiments in pre-portioned ramekins (which also enhances a premium perception).
- Don’t pre-sauce salads and other items.
- Serve vegetables in larger, julienne cuts.
- Present meat in smaller pieces.
- Serve pre-portioned desserts.
Take a stance on sustainability!
A responsible buffet reminds people not to overindulge or be wasteful
The Delboeuf Illusion
The Delboeuf Illusion illustrates how our ability to perceive relative size is easily skewed. Note how the two dark circles, which are exactly the same size, appear different because of the circles framing them.1,2 This may explain why similar portions look larger on small plates and why people tend to overserve themselves on large plates.
1. Technomic, 2012
2. Delboeuf, 1865