National Buffet Day – January 2, 2020

Thu Jan 2

National Buffet Day on January 2 is the perfect excuse to fill your plate and feast. Let’s be real – food unites us all. The ingenuity of buffets is the endless variety on offer. A good buffet is like getting all of the presents on your Christmas-wish-list. Every member of the family is left satisfied and you leave feeling like you won’t need to eat again for at least a week. National Buffet Day is for those who can never decide what they want from the menu, for those who enjoy a plate piled high, and for those who just love to eat.

History of National Buffet Day

The buffet table itself derives from the Brannvinsbord, a type of Swedish beverage table from the 16th Century. This was a buffet system where women and men ate in different rooms but still had an array of food to choose from. In the 18th century, the modern buffet began appearing as a smorgasbord. The smorgasbord was initially a table where pre-dinner drinks and nibbles were served to a group of guests separately from the main dinner, but over time people started to use it to serve the main meal too.

The word ‘buffet’’ actually originates from a type of French sideboard used to serve food. It was used in the 17th century by French men who would unexpectedly arrive at the home of women they wanted to woo, and it was simply a piece of furniture. It became popular in the second half of the 20th century long after the smorgasbord. The word buffet was much easier to pronounce in the English-speaking world and was considerably easier to remember.

It was 1939 when Swedish entrants at the New York World’s Fair exhibition debuted and displayed a smorgasbord while displaying the best of Swedish food to lots of visitors attending that year. From then onwards, the smorgasbord was popular in New York and the word ‘‘buffet’’ was being used to describe it.

In the 1940s the American buffet began in Las Vegas. The Buckaroo Buffet was created by Herb McDonald with people choosing what they would eat from a range of food, a ploy used to keep people inside casinos for longer. The buffet expanded all over the country and in the 1980s, TV commercials for buffets were commonplace.

The buffet’s popularity has declined a little in recent years but they will always hold a special place in our hearts. January 2 is the day to go to a buffet and make the most of what is on offer.

National Buffet Day timeline

2016
Critical Eating

It is claimed that buffets have fallen due to the ‘‘newfound focus on fast and casual dining.’’

2014
Chuck-a-couple

A couple in Utah following the Atkins diet are kicked out of Chuck-a-Rama after serving themselves carved roast beef 12 times.

1960’s
What we eat in Vegas, stays

Almost every casino in Las Vegas has its own buffet.

1946
For a price

The first all you can eat buffet restaurant debuts in Vegas Hotel.

National Buffet Day FAQs

Who created the buffet?

The Swedish popularized the buffet with the smorgasbord.

What is the biggest buffet in the US?

The Rio in Las Vegas is the biggest buffet in the US.

When is National Buffet Day?

January 2.

National Buffet Day Activities

  1. Go to your local buffet

    Go to your nearest buffet restaurant with your friends and family and dine out on an array of food choices.

  2. Choose a style of buffet you like

    Is it an Asian buffet, Italian buffet, seafood, or maybe you just want dessert? Many restaurants cater to specific tastes or niches, so check online.

  3. Prepare your own buffet

    This may take some time in the kitchen but make your own buffet and host some friends and family. Or host a potluck buffet at your place with everyone who is invited being required to bring two dishes and voila, your buffet is served.

5 Facts About National Buffet Day

  1. Food gamble

    Casino Buffets in the 1960s used to cost around $1.50.

  2. Resolution terminated

    Some see National Buffet Day as a way to welcome in the new year by eating lavish and rich food.

  3. Sport and spice

    National Buffet Day is known as the USA’S favorite low impact, dangerous sport.

  4. Late dinner

    In England, until the 1900s, a late dinner known as supper was generally eaten at 11 PM.

  5. It’s not the same

    In Sweden, Smorgasbords are still used today but are seen as incomplete without pickled herring.

Why We Love National Buffet Day

  1. We love to share our food

    Post pictures of your buffet success on social media. Share your food triumph on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and use the hashtag #BuffetDay.

  2. Buffets are delicious

    If you're going to cheat on your diet or healthy eating plan, you might as well go big. Pack in all your favorites at a buffet.

  3. Buffets bring us together

    Sitting down to eat is a great way to bond with family and friends. When you eat at a buffet, everyone is happy because there are so many choices!

National Buffet Day dates

YearDateDay
2020January 2Thursday
2021January 2Saturday
2022January 2Sunday
2023January 2Monday
2024January 2Tuesday