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A New Website Lets You Buy Buffet Leftovers for Dirt-Cheap

At any “normal” restaurant you might be considered off your rocker if you were to order a scoop of mashed potatoes, a slice of tiramisu, three garlic shrimp, three pieces of California roll, two baby back ribs, and some brisket. But at a buffet, all of...
Hilary Pollack
Los Angeles, US

Ah, buffets.

At any "normal" restaurant you might be considered off your rocker if you were to order a scoop of mashed potatoes, a slice of tiramisu, three garlic shrimp, a lamb kebab, three pieces of California roll, two baby back ribs, a few shreds of smoked salmon, and some brisket. But at a buffet, all of your clusterfucky eating dreams can come true!

This is the glory of buffets. But when it comes to the pricier ones (those less likely to have you locked in your bathroom for three hours later that night), the only thing decidedly un-glorious about the experience is the cost. A decent spread can set you back quite a few bucks—and even worse is knowing that at the end of the day or night, they'll just be tossing all of that uneaten creamed spinach and bread pudding in the bin. (Or, in some cases, sending it off to farms to literally be thrown into a trough and fed to very happy pigs.)

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But a new company called BuffetGo wants to make the most of our gluttony and the collateral of our eyes being bigger than our stomachs.

READ MORE: Working at an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Comes with Unlimited Craziness

BuffetGo describes itself as "combating global climate change, world hunger, and the food waste epidemic around the world" using a "unique closing-time discount concept that allows you to enjoy amazing meals starting $1 [sic]."

Here's the idea: You buy a heavily discounted meal from BuffetGo's site and bring your receipt to the participating restaurant during the last 15 to 30 minutes of service. (Example: The Hilton in Costa Mesa has a breakfast buffet that usually costs $20, but is just $4 through BuffetGo if you show up between 10:40 and 11 AM and fill up your takeaway box with whatever scraps remain at that point.)

After launching last month, BuffetGo's website is now live and operational for restaurants in New York City, Chicago, and the Los Angeles area. Most of the restaurants currently offering the service appear to be hotel buffets, but there are also some sushi buffets, seafood buffets, Indian buffets, Chinese buffets, and even bakeries. You can sort your options by meal times or styles of cuisine. Of the 24 restaurants currently participating, the cost for one of the company's to-go boxes is between $2 and $5, compared to regular prices of $10 to $20 for a meal.

BuffetGo founder Emil Rosengren Lolby told the Los Angeles Times, "This new and revolutionary way of dealing with the food waste epidemic problem our planet is suffering from is beneficial for all parts."

READ MORE: You Probably Have No Idea How Much Food You Waste Each Month

Sure, all of the crab legs, French toast, and ramekins of chocolate mousse might be wiped out by the time you arrive and start stuffing your box, but with 40 percent of food in the US wasted every year, that just might be a good thing.