Trays of warm dishes at an AYCE restaurant
What 'All You Can Eat' Actually Means At Restaurants
"All you can eat" (AYCE) restaurants offer diners an enticing prospect of being able to consume as much food as they want. However, these eateries usually have conditions in place.
While AYCE means you can eat plenty, it doesn't literally mean everything you want without restrictions. For example, AYCE diners are often limited to a one to two hour time frame.
Restaurants set rules to prevent abuse, including not allowing doggy bags for leftovers. If you're caught taking home uneaten food, the restaurant may even ban you permanently.
If one person in your party chooses the AYCE option, the restaurant may insist that the rest of your party do the same. This is to prevent sharing of AYCE dishes with other guests.
Additionally, if you order a dish and leave it untouched, you could find yourself having to pay the "wasting food" fee. Rules are printed on menus or signs, and monitored by staff.