Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pay by the Minute Buffet

Ready... set... EAT!!!
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My Brazilian freind has brought it to my attention that us Americans eat not only too much but too fast as well (I'm sure all you Brit's agree). In the rest of the world's eyes, we just inhale our food and run.

I say it's time to give "We the people of the United States" a resturant where we can profit and take pride in our savage eating habits.

Here's how it works- after the hostess seats you, he/she starts a clock at the end of your table (where the jukebox usually is in diners). After that, everthing functions the same as a normal buffet untill you are finished eating.

After you're done inhaling spare ribs and chicken wings (or maybe chinese food, but lets not stray to far away from the main idea) you hit a big red button on top of the clock ( and yes, it should be big and red in the spirit of the idea), effectively stopping the clock and paging the waitress to bring you your check. (Now is your chance to sneak in a few more bites before she gets to the table and takes your plate).

Just think- you'll never have to wait too long for a table, waitresses no longer have to deal with customers who sit at the table for an hour sipping coffee when they could be serving more customers (at the end of the day this means more tips, for those of you lucky enough to have never had to work in foodservice), and if you're tight on funds you have some control over your bill.

I already see military and ex-convicts lining up for this one.

I'm not quite sure how the resturant profits off this idea, but then again this is the Halfbakery, you don't have to think an idea all the way through.

Pac-man, Feb 07 2006

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       Profits will arise due to base rates, similar to taxicab fares. Say $5 dollar base cost just to sit down, then start the clock. People will come in with eyes bigger than their stomach and only eat $3 worth. Others will eat $7 worth, but will have sat at the table for ten minutes doing so. At $.50 a minute, this would also result in profit.
daseva, Feb 07 2006
  

       Funny. I always assumed everyone else ate too slowly.
bristolz, Feb 07 2006
  

       As someone who grew up in a large, poor family, I learned to eat very fast. I can eat way more than I need before my stomach can get an "I'm full" message to my brain. I'd like an eat-by-the-minute place just to remind me to eat less, but I'd probably be trying to beat the clock.   

       Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel "Night Watch" has an eating place with a sign ALL YOU CAN EAT IN TEN MINUTES FOR 10 P.   

       + for novelty, which can mean marketability.
baconbrain, Feb 07 2006
  

       [Baconbrain] Yeah, I'm # 4 out of 6 kids. Now that I think about it, that probably has something to do with my inspiration on this one.
Pac-man, Feb 07 2006
  

       Paying per minute is a good way to keep people from squatting in your resturant. This would be especially good at those resturants that tend to have a 45 minute to a 90 minute wait time to get seated.
Jscotty, Feb 08 2006
  

       How the Hell else are we going to beat Kobayashi?   

       I tried the hot dog thing & am in awe of Kobayashi. I suspect I could qualify, but what's the point?
Zimmy, Feb 08 2006
  

       Yes !!
reensure, Feb 08 2006
  

       But what if I'm injured trying to run for the salad or dessert bar or something? Would the clock stop when the paramedics arrive, or when the injury occurred and I was in such mind-bending pain that I was unable to eat (or speak in complete sentences)?
Letsbuildafort, Feb 08 2006
  

       // ... what if I'm injured ... or something? Would the clock stop when ... I was unable ... speak in complete sentences)?   

       Well, since litigation proceeds at a pace akin to eating soup with a fork, I'd suggest you go under the knife!!! Seriously, lawyers really eat slower and you should, too.
reensure, Feb 08 2006
  

       Fantastic idea - although it could be a bit ghastly watching everyone frantically stuffing their faces in order to get best value for money.

Possibly not the ideal place for a date.
hippo, Feb 08 2006
  

       It would make for interesting discussions on how to split the check.....   

       Each person has their own big red button, and when done, is ushered out, while the rest of the party continues. Or, one button for the table, and you have to squeeze your friends to finish it up or pay the extra for all.
sophocles, Feb 08 2006
  

       Restaurants could adjust the per-minute charge to encourage more customers during off-hours.
phundug, Feb 08 2006
  
      
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