Math & All You Can Eat Restaurants

by | March 5, 2017

The contents of this post can also be found at the main website here.

Hello. This article is more focused on food than math but it does have some math in here. (The math here is not crazy this time around.) This post is about all you can eat restaurant venues such as All you can eat Hotpot/Sushi/Korean Barbecue and the mathematics involved. The mathematics will be analyzed from the customer’s side and there are no calculations involved here.


All You Can Eat Restaurants

All you can eat (AYCE) restaurants are popular in the sense that there is a variety of food to try from and the freedom of choice is appealing. Some could say that all you can eat meals is like an adventure (for the tastebuds).

At a price, the diner can eat as much as he/she wants to (or can) from a set variety of foods. The prices are for each diner and there are places where food sharing is not allowed. (A non-AYCE diner cannot have food from a AYCE diner.) All you can eat prices can vary depending on food offerings, time of day (peak hours, late night owl times, holidays, etc.) and restaurant types. Prices are typically much higher than the standard McDonald’s Big Mac Meal.

The types of all you can eat restaurants include:

  • Buffets
  • Chinese Hot Pots
  • Korean Barbeque
  • All You Can Eat Sushi
  • All You Can Eat Chicken Wings
  • All You Can Eat Korean Pork Bone Soup
  • All You Can Eat Chinese Dimsum

Brief Descriptions


For a set price depending on weekday, time of day and age, the customer can eat as much as he/she can from a variety of foods ranging from soups, seafood, meats, desserts and other items prepared from the buffet kitchen.

Chinese Hot Pots:

Similar to buffets, for a set price depending on weekday, time of day and age, the customer can eat as much as he/she can. The customer(s) have to freedom to choose and mix various raw ingredients (meats, seafood, vegetables, noodles and more) into boiling broth.

Korean Barbecue:

Korean Barbecues are similar to Hot Pots except that instead of placing ingredients into boiling broth, the raw ingredients (meats and seafood) are placed onto a griller.

All You Can Eat Sushi:

All you can eat sushi restaurants are like buffets except you do not have to get the food yourself. Dinner AYCE sushi is more expensive than lunchtime as sashimi is offered in the more expensive dinner meals.

All You Can Eat Chicken Wings:

Some restaurants/bars offer All You Can Eat Chicken Wings. The style of chicken wings is dependent on the type of sauce or cooking style of the wings.

All You Can Eat Korean Pork Bone Soup:

There are a few places where at a set price you can have as much Korean pork bone soup as you can handle. For me personally, one Korean pork bone soup along with a bowl of rice and side dishes is enough for me.

All You Can Eat Chinese Dimsum:

Ah the classic Chinese dimsum. Some places have a la carte dimsum where there are no carts and you order your dimsum items by filling out what you want. At most places you pay per dimsum item but there are a few which have the all you can eat dimsum option. This is similar to all you can eat sushi.

All You Can Eat?

All you can eat means all you can eat! There is no limit! However, the stomach and digestion system has its limits.

If one eats a lot, then AYCE type restaurants can be of good value.

If one does not eat much, then AYCE would not be of much value. Something like a McDonald’s Big Mac meal would fill your stomach at a lower price.

If one eats way too much, you might’ve got good value for your money but you risk getting sick.

Choosing to eat seafood, meat, and expensive items will help achieve more value for the money for the diner.

The Economics of Food

Do you ever notice that sometimes as you visit the grocery stores or restaurants, the price of food has gone up due to inflation? Assuming a fixed demand of food, a lower supply of food raises the price of food in food markets and restaurant meals. Higher prices on dining out can reduce the frequency of dining out or influence those to choose less expensive options.

As an example, a local all you can eat Sushi restaurant in my hometown had dinner AYCE sushi for under $30 CDN at around $27.99 a person three to five years ago (I think). In a more recent visit to that Sushi place several months later, dinner AYCE sushi has went up to at least $30 a person. I think it was due to inflation of food prices and that the sushi place started to use tablets for ordering food instead of paper orders.

Be aware of sudden price increases on food and meals.


All you can eat restaurants can be expensive depending on numerous factors. However, you do pay a good portion of the meal for the fun and unique dining experience. There is a tradeoff between cooking your own meals versus going out and having fun eating a variety of foods.

Chinese dimsum will covered in more detail in a different post.

The featured image is from

Leave a Reply