Home Today Is The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Made Its Restaurant Debut In 1946 Las Vegas

The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Made Its Restaurant Debut In 1946 Las Vegas

National Buffet Day is observed annually on January 2.  Buffets are a popular choice for many when choosing a destination for eating out.

  • Originating during the middle of the 16th century, the buffet table comes from the Brannvinsbord – Swedish schnapps (shot of alcoholic beverage) table.  The prime of this custom was during the early 18th century and was developed into the more modern buffet around the beginning of the 19th century.
  • Originally, the smorgasbord  table was a meal where guests gathered before dinner for a pre-dinner drink and was separate from the formal dinner that followed.
  • The Stockholm Olympics elevated the idea to the world stage in 1912, and the concept was expanded to include the main meal, with everything from soup and salad to dessert and more.
  • In 1939 at the New York World’s Fair exhibition, the Swedes used a smorgasbord to showcase the best of the Swedish food to the large number of visitors attending the fair.
  • It was in the second half of the 20th century after the Swedes had popularized the smorgasbord in New York, where the word buffet became popular in the English-speaking world.
  • The concept of eating a buffet arose in mid 17th century France, when gentleman callers would arrive at the homes of ladies they wanted to woo unexpectedly.
  • The all-you-can-eat buffet made its restaurant debut in 1946, when it was introduced by Vegas hotel manager Herb MacDonald.
  • By the mid-1960s, virtually every casino in Las Vegas sported its own variation.
  • Today the casino buffet costs a bit more than the average $1.50 price of the 1960s, but the buffets continue to be one of the best deals in Vegas as well as all over the United States.
  • According to a study done by researchers from the Cornell Food & Brand Lab, around two-thirds of what ends up on your plate comes from the first few items you get to. For the experiment, two groups of diners were presented with buffets set up in reverse order. When they kept track of who took what, they found that more than 75 percent of the diners in their experiment took the very first item, no matter what it was.
  • At Caesars Palace, where a team of eight chefs at Bacchanal Buffet puts together a collection of about 500 dishes a day, and instead of dumping as much food as possible onto your plate cafeteria-style, the idea is to serve you an endless amount of smaller, but sweeter than usual, eats. Here is what they used in 1 day in 2015:
    • 492lbs of shrimp or 120 times the amount of shrimp that the average American eats in a year.
    • 8,000 pieces of assorted dim sum.
    • 1,200 pieces of sweet shuck corn.
    • 996 marinated lamb chops.
    • 1,000 three-ounce meatballs.
    • 353lbs of prime rib which would need to come from at least 50 cows.
    • 1,811 fresh shucked Blue Point oysters and if each one is 1in tall, you could stack ‘em 150ft tall.
    • 1,738lbs of crab legs, since they are king crabs, you get a whopping 1,077 pounds of actual meat
    • 1,440 whole eggs which would take the average chicken about 4.8 years to lay.
    • 97lbs of farm-raised sustainable salmon .
    • 48lbs of sustainable ahi tuna.
    • 54lbs of sea bass.
    • 80lbs of hash browns.
    • 369 macaroons made with 6,273 grams of sugar
    • 261lbs of the signature beef brisket.
    • 240lbs of chicken wings.
    • 888lbs of farm-grown peach wood for the wood-fired grill and J&R smoker ovens.
    • 1,600 sliders.
    • 499 pieces of breakfast Danish.
    • 264lbs of watermelon or about 13 individual watermelons.
    • 240lbs of manila clams.
    • 150lbs of PEI black mussels.
    • 60lbs of mozzarella cheese made from 30 gallons of milk
    • 140lbs of crawfish.
    • 240lbs of clarified butter.
    • 1.15 gallons of freshly squeezed orange juice which is likely made from 28 oranges
    • 120lbs of Nishiki sushi rice.
    • 150lbs of roast duck which adds up to 56 ducks
    • 40 gallons of pho broth.
    • 80lbs of pork ribs which breaks down to about 40 racks of baby back ribs.
    • 1.15 gallons of cocktail sauce or nearly enough to fill ten 16oz bottles


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