Buffets are simultaneously wonderful and horrifying, a display of conspicuous consumption and food waste, but also a welcome sight for those who want to eat potato salad, pancakes, three small pieces of steak, and a bowl of oatmeal at the same time. But what happens to buffet food after the hordes have pillaged the supply and moved on? Usually, the food gets tossed, deposited unceremoniously into dumpsters—an unconscionable thought for those concerned with food waste (everybody.) In Las Vegas, the copious amounts of leftover buffet food from their Bacchanalian displays go straight to R.C. Farms to be turned into food for pigs that are eventually killed and turned into food for us, completing the beautiful circle that is life on this planet. Now, a company called BuffetGo wants to help end this cycle of waste, selling leftover buffet food and doing something actually nice in this world.
This is how it works. You log onto BuffetGo’s website, purchase a meal at a steep discount, and bring the receipt to the restaurant during the last 15 to 30 minutes of service. If you’ve got your eye set on a breakfast buffet at a hotel, for example, you’d pay the price, show up just before they close and fill a takeout box with whatever’s left. Instead of paying $10-$20 for a meal at your favorite breakfast buffet, you’ll spend maybe $2-$5 for the same thing and you’ll be doing the environment a solid by not wasting food.
As of now, 24 restaurants across the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles metropolitan areas are participating in BuffetGo, and on their site you can even sort by cuisine and meal times. Genius! What’s left over at the end of the meal could be less than desirable, but part of the fun of a buffet is choosing your own culinary adventure. And now you can do so for cheap. Everybody wins!