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Are All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants Unhealthy?

All You Can Eat — Recession Buster or Fat Maker?

Taybarns restaurant is introducing a new dining concept to the English — all you can eat. It's nothing we haven't seen in the United States. We have all-you-can-eat baked potato and pizza bars, endless breadsticks and salad, and the kind of buffets that would make Elvis weep if he was still kickin' it in Vegas.

The Taybarns message is clear: "Enjoy as much as you like, as many times as you like. All for one fixed price!" That fixed price gives you a 111-foot counter filled with pizza, Chinese food, carving stations, fry stations, desserts, and more. The English are going crazy for the buffet-style chain, and while neighboring restaurants continue to close, Taybarns is on the up.

During tough economic times, giving people the most bang for their buck seems like a smart business model, but at what cost? As reported by the BBC, not everyone likes Taybarns. They think the chain encourages unhealthy eating habits and will cause England's collective waistline to expand.

It's a common argument, and one that's been batting around in the US for some time. Is it the fault of (insert any fast food giant here), or does the responsibility fall on the individual? Does walking into Taybarns rob a human of their free will, and why isn't healthy food more accessible to the masses?

Image Source: Getty
bleached bleached 7 years
I like the occasional Chinese or Indian Buffet-style restaurant but I certainly wouldn't do it on a regular basis... although I actually used to do it a lot when I lived in Japan. The concept is a bit different there though. Fixed price, men paid more, often paired with all-you-can-drink, time limit (usually 90 minutes), and the waiter/tress would bring you the dishes you chose off a menu.... But as a general rule, eating plate after plate of sashimi is probably nowhere near as bad as eating 3 pieces of cheesecake...
Wild-Magelet Wild-Magelet 7 years
I'm a New Zealander, and All-You-Can-Eat restaurants are actually pretty uncommon here as well. There used to be one, Valentine's, in my city, but I don't think we have it any more. I remember it was kind of a novelty for birthday dinners when I was little, but not really value for money, since it was quite expensive and we all only ate one regular-sized portion anyway. Although my brother did his best to get our money's worth in desserts, ha, and all the kids would take plastic bags along and secretly fill them up with jelly beans at the ice cream sundae station.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I enjoy ethnic food buffets for the variety of dishes offered, not for the quantity of food I can get away with eating. But it definitely has to be quality food. I was thrilled when the Chinese buffet by my house closed. That place was so gross that I would get queasy just driving past it.
vanillabean vanillabean 7 years
Sounds like England doesn't have any casinos, otherwise they wouldn't be so ga ga over the buffet concept. Anyway, I wouldn't place the blame on the capitalists/restaurants for unhealthy eating habits. English food is already unhealthy with all the sauces, butter and cream involved. And it's human nature to get excited over large quantities of anything -- ie the success of places like Costco, Sams Club, etc. Gives one the sense of well being and wealth. But oh my goodness, the quality of that stuff is seriously lacking. Institutional food is what I call it, and yes, as yogaforlife said, it's crawling with bacteria. People with filthy hands are touching the same serving spoon you are, not to mention breathing, talking, sometimes sneezing/coughing over those massive vats of food -- and the kids! NO THANK YOU!
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I agree that it's up to the individual consumer as to whether or not they choose to eat at AYCE places. We have a Golden Corral in our town and it's always packed. I don't particularly like going there, but when I'm with a group of people that wants to go there, I choose to eat salads, steamed veggies, soups, fish, etc. They post the calorie counts on their "healthy" options, so you CAN eat well at a buffet. The thing is, a lot of people do not. And that's their problem; not the restaurant's problem. Is anyone else sort of shocked to find that Taybarn's is the first all-you-can-eat place in England? The concept is extremely common in the States...I guess I wasn't aware that they didn't have places like this overseas.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
The desserts look good! :)
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I agree with the Anonymous comment. The responsibility falls on the individuals, but it also falls on American society for continuing to promote acceptance of an overweight, sedentary lifestyle. These places exist BECAUSE people go to them, not vice versa. The size of the average American has skyrocketed over the past few decades, but a lot of people would rather make overweight the new "normal" instead of reforming the unhealthy habits that have made people that way.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 7 years
I hate when people aren't made accountable for their own actions. Of course it is the individuals responsibility! I doubt any restaurant employee dragged them out of their home, drove them to the restaurant, and made them stuff their face. Ugh, this is just like those stupid girls suing mcdonalds for making them fat.
kclulu kclulu 7 years
I think it is more the responsbility of the person than anything else. You can go to a buffet and eat salads or vegetables and fruit and go overboard with that if you wanted to but generally people dont choose to do that. However, I think there does need to be more healthy, less expensive options for people in general. Fast food resturants are doing better with this, but unfortunately not enough people chose that option. If there were a higher demand for healthy, cheap options then the market would have to respond to that but I have a feeling that is not the case. Taybarns or Home Town Buffet only stay in business because people go to them.
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
I love buffet once a while. Especially Indian Buffet - caused I can taste a sample of everything. My kids like Sweet Tomatoes also. I mainly go for the soup and salad and try to stay away from their muffin/dessert.
tylergrl33 tylergrl33 7 years
I wish they would offer healthier options so those who are struggling financially could get an affordable meal without the junk food. I also feel this way about fast food, etc- all of the places those who are struggling to feed their families or just themselves would go.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I also agree with the first poster. I've never been one to gorge myself on food so all you can eat places are completely lost on me. But even if I was that would be my own choice and responsibility not that of the establishment. It's still my own choice and responsibility no matter where I eat.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
That picture makes me feel sick and crave cheesecake at the same time.. is that weird? ha.!!!
imLissy imLissy 7 years
I agree with the first comment. I try and stay away from places like that. I feel like I have to stuff my face to get my money's worth, which is really, really bad. I'm a champion eater. You wouldn't believe what I could fit in my tiny tomach.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I can't bring myself to eat at buffet style restaurants. There's not enough healthy options and I get grossed out seeing how often children are unsupervised and can spread their germs all over the place. Just does not seem sanitary to me.
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