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Do You Save Money Eating At An All You Can Eat Buffet?

So on New Years day yesterday the family decided that we would go to a restaurant of some sort as a way to celebrate the new years together. My brother was told that in the Vancouver Fairmont Hotel there was this restaurant called Griffins that was having this brunch buffet that was suppose to have a lot of above average buffet items such as prime ribs and crabs. Here was the exact ad that was forwarded to me:


Monday January 1, 2007
Indulge with our resplendent New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet…
You can start your resolutions tomorrow!

Fresh Squeezed Orange & Grapefruit Juice, Alaskan King Crab Legs Griffins Seafood Salad, European Deli Meat Platter Celery Root & Pear Salad, Fennel, Citrus & Capsicum Salad, Grilled Vegetable PlatterForest Mushroom Salad, Tri-color Rotini & Sun-dried Tomato Salad Baby Lettuce Greens, Salmon Nisciose and Caesar Salad Lemon Pepper Smoked Salmon Belly Artesian Breads, Rolls, Baguettes & Artesian flat Bread Assorted Danishes, Muffins, Croissants and Pastries

Lobster Bisque & Popcorn Shrimp & West Coast Seafood Chowder Carved Maple Turkey, Rosemary & Thyme Sauce Carved Prime Rib, Red Wine & Shallot Sauce, Hickory Smoked Pork loin Herb Crusted Lamb Chops, Dijon & Red Wine Sauce Fricassee’ of Chicken and Chorizo, Smoked Onion Sauce Ragout of Beef & Forest Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce Soya & Maple Roast Spring Salmon, Prawn & Scallop Oriental Queen Charlotte Halibut with Lemon & Dill Cream, West Coast Seafood Paella Mashed Potatoes, Fire Roasted Yams Artichoke & Goat Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Basil Cream Fresh Medley of Market Vegetables, Belgian Waffles, Portobello Frittata Smoked Salmon Benedict, Back Bacon Benedict, Bacon, Ham & Sausages, Turkey Vegetables

Christmas Plum Pudding, Mince Tarts, English Sherry Trifle, Christmas Yule Log Griffins Famous Cheesecake, Rice Pudding, Bread Pudding, Chocolate Drambuie Cake, Seasonal Fruits, Crème Caramel, Chocolate Mousse, Profiteroles & Warm Belgian Chocolate Sauce, Stilton Cheese & Crackers Freshly brewed Regular & Decaffeinated Coffee, Selection of Tea & Milk

$48.00 per Adult
$26.00 per Child (6 to 12 years inclusive)

Gratuity & taxes are additional
Buffet selection subject to change due to product availability.
11:30 am to 2:30 pm
2 hour seating
Reservations required

It sounded good and so we went. As you can tell, it wasn’t exactly an inexpensive buffet either, but as long as the food and service was good we wouldn’t really mind. The service was actually decent and the selection was great. Some items like the prime ribs were great considering it was an all you can eat. Overall though, everyone seemed to of been on the side where it didn’t really feel like it was entirely worth $48 a head.

The main thing that popped in my mind was how my mom only went for 1 round where she grabbed some salmon and vegetables. While that was kind of expected as she doesn’t normally eat a lot in restaurants anyways, the average was maybe 2.5 rounds for each person before they said that they were full and it just reminded me on how so many people think that you are saving money by going to an all you can eat restaurant compared to if you bought separate dishes at a regular restaurant. This was the final bill before tips:

Just looking at that, for $305.28 we could of went to some very exquisite restaurant. I think here in Vancouver it’s mostly sushi buffets where I constantly hear people saying how they save so much money by going to one and similarly most of the time when I dine with these type of people they can barely eat more than what they would normally order from a regular restaurant which would have been cheaper and in most cases would have higher quality food. It’s kind of like shopping at a Costco I guess where it looks like you are saving so much money by buying this large food item when in reality there is no way you can finish it and so you end up wasting it or forcing yourself to eat more than you normally would.

There is no one in my social circle that can really devour an all you can eat buffet until the owners would want to kick you out, but for the most part this is one of those examples I think where just because it sounds like you are getting a lot for the price doesn’t mean you are actually saving money if you don’t really take full advantage of it.

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