Vietnamese family caught sneaking seafood from buffet sparks outrage

Picture courtesy of Sanook

In an unusual occurrence that garnered substantial online attention, a Vietnamese family attending a buffet meal became involved in an argument with restaurant staff for packing away seafood to take home. The incident, filmed and shared widely on social media, revealed deep-rooted cultural perception challenges in Vietnam’s food service industry.

Buffet restaurants are highly popular in Vietnam. Although there are usually no explicitly stated rules, it is generally understood that customers can eat unlimited food within a designated time, but only within the premises of the restaurant. In most countries, it’s socially unacceptable to take food away from a buffet.

The incident that perturbed the online world occurred recently when a family, made up of a middle-aged woman, a couple, and two children were spotted packing up seafood into two plastic bags they had brought with them. Upon noticing this, the staff immediately informed the family about the buffet norms, that food from the restaurant was not to be taken out.

The middle-aged woman argued back, maintaining that her grandchild could not eat anything and the takeaway food was to be cooked for an afternoon meal instead. She was quoted lashing out at the stunned staff.

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“If you’re not letting us take it home, are you going to feed it to pigs?”

The incident escalated further and shocked witnesses when they heard the two children’s parents calm their kids amidst the chaotic argument of the adults. The parents told their children that sneaking the food out of the buffet was fine.

“Rules are made to be broken.”

This surprising life lesson left the staff and anyone eavesdropping utterly in disbelief, reported Sanook.

The incident quickly drew significant attention from the online world when the video of the family’s buffet antics was shared on social media. The majority criticised the family’s actions and mindset. They agreed that, when attending a buffet, packing up food to take home is an entirely inappropriate act that is not commonly practised.

Comments pointed out that the whole family was well-dressed and, while the kids might not understand, the grownups surely must know buffet etiquette. The family argued with the staff without a shred of shame, but since going viral they’ve lost face in front of the whole nation. Several commenters felt embarrassed on the family’s behalf, while others questioned the audacity and aberrant thinking. Others offered sarcastic comments.

“What sort of people have such mindsets? Okay, go ahead and break the rules.”

“The whole family’s so cute, with the mindset that rules are meant to be broken. It’s commendable indeed.”

“If you can take away food from buffets, how will the restaurant make any profits?”

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Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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