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Old October 4 2012, 07:33 AM   #5
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Re: Life Imitates the Simpsons

I remember my local news paper publishing this.

Wendy Dershem had a battle at the buffet last Saturday.

Dershem was told never to come back because her family wastes too much food. She argued that — hey, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.
But management at the Dragon House, 10912 Douglas Ave.,Urbandale, said it’s not an all-you-can-waste buffet.

It sets up an interesting question for buffet diners: When have you gone too far, plate piling, tasting and dumping, or is anything fair game for a flat fee?

Dershem said she joined her boyfriend, Jason Trotter, and her children, Madison, 7, and Carter, 5, at the Dragon House Saturday for the $5.95 all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. It was their favorite spot and the Des Moines woman and her children had dined there frequently since the children were babies. She said her group was one plate into the experience when a restaurant employee approached the group.

“They told us we are not welcome there anymore. We waste too much food,” said Dershem, 28. “But the buffet is all you can eat. And you know kids. They won’t always eat everything and they want something else.”

Manager Kent Cao confirmed that Dershem was told not to come back if she continued to waste food. A waitress and cashier had been watching the group on past occasions and were concerned.

“They just take one bite and throw it away,” said cashier Lin Huyen. “They take four egg rolls and crab ragoon, take one bite of egg roll and throw the whole plate. That is wasting food.”

Managers at two other buffet restaurants, Old Country Buffet in Des Moines and Buffet City in Clive, said they have no rules on waste and have never warned customers about how much they take or don’t eat. It’s part of the buffet business.

“We just suck it up and bear it,” said Old Country Buffet manager Michelle Ward.
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