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The slow death of the American all-you-can-eat buffet

The Shady Maples Smorgasbord - specialising in Amish food - is requiring a mask and gloves
The Shady Maples Smorgasbord – specialising in Amish food – is requiring a mask and gloves

A dining experience beloved by generations of hungry Americans is in danger of being spoiled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Buffets – from the humblest hotel breakfasts to the grandest casino banquets – are struggling to stay afloat as new health restrictions come into place and wary diners eschew the self-serve dining tradition.

As many buffets go out of business across the US, others are innovating and trying desperately to keep the business model relevant and appetising.

What is the problem?

Susan Yin, the owner of Jack’s Fresh in downtown Washington DC, tells BBC News that her average sales have dropped nearly 90% after they re-opened two months ago following a two month closure.

Jack’s Fresh, which specialises in Asian food and American sandwiches, is currently making around $500 (£398) per day, down from an

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‘Instead of the holiday buffet, it’s egg and toast at home’

My Money is a series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here Priya Aiyer from Canterbury in Kent takes us through a week in her life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Priya is 29 and works full-time as an architect for a global construction company. When she’s not designing buildings, her interests include drawing cartoon illustrations and enjoying a good exercise session to train towards becoming a fitness instructor. She is also active in campaigning for racial equality and diversity.

She lives with her fiancé Ben and his mother. She and Ben would have been on holiday in Madeira this week, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Over to Priya…

I would have preferred to spend this week on holiday with Ben. Alas, Madeira was cancelled so have decided to have the week off anyway to refresh. We

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