Buffet Bandits: 1 in 5 Brits admit to stealing food from party buffets they attend

brits favourite buffet food.

Sneaky Brits have been caught red-handed in a new survey that reveals 1 in 5 admit to stealing food from party and event buffets they attend. 

The survey, conducted by private chef hire company yhangry, questioned 2,000 respondents on their thoughts and opinions about event dining and buffet food in 2024.  

brits favourite buffet food

Notably, 22 per cent of respondents admitted to sneakily taking food home from a party buffet they’ve attended.

The majority (64 per cent) also stated it’s unacceptable to refill your plate more than twice. 

In fact, only a quarter of the respondents (24 per cent) believe it’s acceptable to go back up to the buffet table and refill your plate more than once or twice. 

When asked about the foods that are absolute must-haves at events or party buffets, sandwiches, sausage rolls and cocktail sausages came in as the chosen favourites.

Brits’ favourite party food
Sandwiches/rolls (82%)
Sausage rolls (79%)
Cocktail sausages (71%)
Salad (63%)
Coleslaw and potato salad (60%)

And when questioned about the foods they were most likely to avoid, pork pie would be snubbed by 1 in 5 attendees, closely followed by crudités with dips, and then – perhaps surprisingly – trifle, the party classic!

Brits’ least favourite party food
Pork pie (21%)
Crudités with dips (20%)
Trifle (16%)
Cheese and pineapple sticks (13%) 
Vol-au-vents (11%)

yhangry also asked respondents about how much time and money they typically spend when hosting their own parties and private events.

Three-quarters of the respondents said they can spend up to a whopping 6 hours preparing the food and tableware alone, and around 10 per cent spend 7 or more hours getting everything ready!

And whilst the clean up doesn’t take quite as long, 81 per cent said it can still typically take up to 3 hours. 1 in 10 people spend even longer than that (4+ hours).

When it comes to costs, 43 per cent spend £10 or less per guest, whilst another 29 per cent spend between £11-£20. 

Despite these figures, 71 per cent said they’re unlikely to ever consider hiring a private chef or caterer for their private event or party – instead opting to do all the hard work themselves. 

However, many people opt for hiring party planning professionals, so they can sit back and enjoy the celebrations without the worry or stress it can bring.

In response to the survey’s findings, Siddhi Mittal, co-founder of yhangry, commented: “We were amused to discover the extent of ‘buffet banditry’ among the British public as 1 in 5 people admit to sneakily taking food home from party buffets! 

“In fact, the results show that in the party buffet arena, there seems to be a few unwritten rules, as third refills on plates are generally considered to be a faux pas too.

“And it’s interesting to see that while hosting parties presents a time-consuming task with 75 per cent spending up to 6 hours on preparation alone, around the same number of people (71 per cent) still wouldn’t consider hiring a caterer or private chef to alleviate this burden. This is despite almost half of the respondents admitting to not knowing how much – or little – hiring someone else to cater your event or special occasion would cost!

“At yhangry, we’re passionate about providing one-of-a-kind personal chef experiences. So, whether you’re a buffet bandit, a cautious second refiller, or a party host spending hours in the kitchen, our bespoke services aim to bring a touch of luxurious ease to event and party dining.”

The majority of the survey respondents wouldn’t consider hiring a private chef to cater a private event or party, despite 41 per cent admitting to not knowing how much it would cost.

A further 25 per cent assume that it would come in at around £100-£180 per person, but in actual fact, it can be as little as £40 per person – the same as eating out at a restaurant! 

To help Brits figure out whether it would be cheaper to self-cater or hire a private chef for their occasions, yhangry has just launched its pricing calculator

All you have to do is decide on the type of meal you’d like, how many guests you’re catering for, whereabouts in the UK you live, as well as your approximate salary band, and the calculator will reveal how much money could potentially be saved. 

For more information, visit 

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