While I can honestly say Bellagio Buffet may only go thru a quarter of a million crab legs per year...can you imagine how many chickens they go thru ?
Anyway let us head over to Wikipedia for the 101 on this now American pasttime
"The buffet table originates from the Brännvinsbord—Swedish schnapps (shot of alcoholic beverage) table from the middle of 16th century, and had its prime during the early 18th century, and was developed into the buffet we more know today not until the beginning of 19th century. The Smörgåsbord buffet did not increase its popularity until the expansion of the railroads throughout Europe.
The smörgåsbord table was a meal where guests gathered before dinner for a pre-dinner drink, and was not part of the formal dinner to be followed. The smörgåsbord buffet was often held in separate room for men and women before the dinner was served.
Smörgåsbord became internationally known as Smorgasbord at the 1939 New York World's exhibition as the Swedes had to invent a new way of showcasing the best of Swedish food.
The term buffet originally referred to the French sideboard where the food was served, but eventually became applied to the form. The buffet became popular in the English-speaking world in the second half of the 20th century after the Swedes had used the smorgasbord in New York. The word is still borrowed into the English language."
Well, I have had my share of enjoying copious amounts of food but what I couldn't get over after my trip to Las Vegas was the smoking. It was definitely a culture shock to me. Another thing I love about Buffets is that you can get a lot of people in a room and they will all find something to eat..AMAZING!