I've always enjoyed a good buffet. My ultimate experience was the Carnival Seafood Buffet in Las Vegas. Seeing their massive live tanks on television caused me to venture off the strip in search of the ultimate seafood eating experience. I was greeted by a crowd milling about the steam tables carrying plates heaped with every type of seafood imaginable. Fueling up before heading into the casino to play some slots and watch the free Mardi Gras show. The pinnacle of citizen experience in the modern American Empire!
I have my own, more practical idea for a buffet restaurant I would call Time Buffet. Located in a busy urban location, it would be a modest space with a sunken open kitchen where chefs prepared a range of fresh dishes. Food would be served by a heated conveyor running along a circular countertop. The countertop has dish-like depressions and is surrounded by a row of stools.
Customers enter Time Buffet, grab their utensils and head for the buffet belt. The stools contain a sensor that activates a timer linked to an LED screen on the countertop. The meal begins when they are seated and help themselves from the many pleasures of the buffet belt. Final meal cost is based on time in the chair. Turnover would be quick and a staff member or autonomous table cleaner would clean and sanitize the counter for the next customer.
The benefits of Time Buffet? A quick meal during your busy day - really quick! Minimal food waste - sensors under the counter dish would charge additional for anything left on the plate. Efficient as the entire floor area could be staffed by one person although the concept could be expanded to larger buffets. A phone app would allow direct to customer billing eliminating the cash register.
Patrons could be encouraged from overindulging by having the customer's weight gain relayed to the countertop screen or phone app. In addition to time, the meal cost calculation could include the weight of food consumed - go easy on those heavy meat and potatoes and fill up on the light weight leafy vegetables!
Feel free to use this concept to start your own Time Buffet - just don't forget to invite me to the grand opening.