National Buffet Day | January 2
(Last Updated On: January 5, 2023)


On January 2nd, National Buffet Day recognizes a popular dining destination for Americans. The buffet restaurant offers a variety of selections, making it possible for every member of the family to find what they want to eat. 


A buffet system serves several food choices in a central location. Patrons easily view and select the food to serve themselves. Buffets are useful for feeding large groups of individuals at one time. Consequently, hotels, restaurants, and conventions offer buffets as a convenient way of providing services to their customers and hosting events. Nevertheless, buffet lines work well in a home setting, too. 

Initially, during the middle of the 16th century, the buffet table comes from the Brannvinsbord – Swedish schnapps (shot of alcoholic beverage) table. The custom peaked during the early 18th century and then developed into the more modern buffet around the beginning of the 19th century. During the expansion of the railroads throughout Europe, the smorgasbord buffet increased in popularity.

Originally, the smorgasbord table was a meal where guests gathered before dinner for a pre-dinner drink and was separate from the formal dinner that followed.

In 1939, at the New York World’s Fair exhibition, the Swedes displayed a smorgasbord. It showcased the best of Swedish food to a large number of visitors attending the fair. During the second half of the 20th century, after the Swedes had popularized the smorgasbord in New York, the word buffet became popular in the English-speaking world.

The term buffet originally referred to the French sideboard furniture where food was served from, however it eventually became applied to the serving format.


Head out to your favorite buffet-style restaurant. Today, our choice of buffet styles have changed, too. Many buffets cater to a specific cuisine. Check out these styles of buffets:

  • All pasta buffets – pesto, marinara, and Alfredo galore. Pass the cheese, please!
  • A salad lover’s delight includes every topping imaginable and several selections of greens.
  • Seafood buffets offer crab legs, lobster, shrimp, and more.
  • Pizza buffets provide pizza lovers with all the standards, but they will also make your favorites on request.
  • Asian buffets offer up noodles, rice, kung pao, General Tso, pad Tai, egg rolls, won tons, soup, and tea.
  • Sushi buffets provide freshly made sushi so you can mix and match to your delight, wasabi and ginger included.

What’s your favorite style of buffet? Let us know by using #NationalBuffetDay to post on social media.


We were going to start our diets today, but instead, we’re searching through a smorgasbord of buffets looking for the origins of this day. 

Buffet FAQ

Q. I’m hosting a buffet meal. How do I keep the hot food hot?
A. There are a couple of different ways to keep food hot on a buffet. Slow cookers, electric roasters, and chafing dishes are a few of the options available.

Q. How do I keep cold foods cold on a buffet spread?
A. Place dishes of cold salads, desserts, and other chilled food on another container filled with ice. There are several products on the market designed to be frozen or to hold ice for just this purpose.

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