National Buffet Day

You ordinarily wouldn’t think that a buffet would get its own holiday, but considering the popularity of them in the U.S., it isn’t surprising. National Buffet Day is a holiday that falls on January 2nd every year and invites everyone to head out to their favorite buffet or smorgasbord and enjoy a wide variety of different foods, from fruits and vegetables to pizza, fried chicken, ribs, and a lot more.

The History Of The Buffet

Although we couldn’t find the origin of this holiday, we did find out the origin of the buffet. The modern buffet has its roots in the Finnish brännvinsbord and Swedish smörgåsbords of the 16th century. These were small buffet side tables where hors d’oeuvres and schnapps were served to people so they could enjoy them before the start of a meal. It presented a less formal dining experience and was widely used by merchants, tradesmen, and the upper classes as well.

As time progressed, the original buffet options changed from serving merely appetizers to serving larger meals. In Scandinavia, it became extremely popular to set up buffet lines that people could enjoy at their leisure. This idea spread to England and France during the 18th century when breakfast buffets came into fashion for the upper classes. For wealthy patrons, being able to serve themselves their food offered more privacy than having someone else wait on them and bring them their food.

During the beginning of the 20th century, it became popular for people to serve buffet luncheons where people would come and serve themselves and stand up while they enjoyed it. Books of the day emphasized the importance of the host or hostess serving food that could be eaten with just a fork or a spoon, as using a knife while holding your plate would be impossible.

The buffet continued to evolve, and by the time the Great Depression hit, the buffet was an inexpensive option for people to fill up without spending a lot of money. Even wealthy individuals began to use buffets for their special events during this time because it allowed them to serve a large number of guests without having to pay for staff.

Nowadays, buffets are seen as an inexpensive option that allows people to enjoy a lot of food for one set price. Buffet restaurants tend to have a very relaxed atmosphere, and many of them not only serve a large variety of different food items but many of those food items are high-quality.

How To Celebrate National Buffet Day

The only way to celebrate this holiday is by visiting your local buffet restaurant and enjoying the food that they’re offering. These days, there are a variety of different types of buffet restaurants, including pizza buffets, country-cooking buffets, seafood buffets, Chinese food buffets, and Japanese food buffets—among others. While you’re enjoying the buffet of your choice, you can then use the hashtag #NationalBuffetDay on your social media accounts, and don’t forget to include a photo so everyone can see what you’re eating.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 2 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
January 2 Thursday
Last year (2023)
January 2 Monday
Food & Drinks