THE breakfast buffet is one of the highlights of staying in a hotel – but it's no secret that some people like to get overexcited.
Guests will frequently be spotted wrapping pastries or cakes in napkins and putting them in their bags for later on, which they assume is okay, given the free-for-all nature of the buffet.
However, the rules around taking food away from a hotel breakfast for later are actually a lot stricter than you might first imagine.
Some hotels may even accuse you of stealing, according to accommodation experts, while etiquette specialists also say it's not the done thing.
Among those who enforce a strict no takeaway policy is the Sheraton Grand in Sydney, whose policy is that items should only ever leave the dining area in guests' stomachs.
Boss of the hotel, Duncan Morrison, told Stuff NZ: “We’ve caught quite a few guests wrapping up our scrumptious desserts and pastries in serviettes and sneaking them into their handbags for a snack later on.
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"We kindly request that they leave the buffet items where they belong – in their satisfied bellies."
Others from the hotel world have described taking food away from the buffet as "crass" and said that it could be considered "stealing".
The accommodations team at Journey Junket explained that if guests insist on trying to take food away for later there are some rules they need to follow.
They say that guests should first ask if it's okay, and to only ask for food that's destined to be thrown away by the hotel anyway.
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They said: "Stuffing bags full of fruit and baked goods to eat later is considered to be crass, and in some cases, it’s grounds for security staff to accuse you of stealing.
"If you absolutely feel the need to ask for extra food, wait until the hotel staff is packing up the buffet for the day.
"Hot items such as scrambled eggs and sausage patties often cannot be saved for the next day, so many times they go to waste. The same is true for baked goods and dairy products that are expiring."
Not only is it against hotel policy for guests to stock up for the day, it's also bad manners too.
Etiquette expert William Hanson told Sun Online Travel that taking too much food could result in other guests going hungry.
He agreed with the idea that any requests for extras should be made as the breakfast service is drawing to a close, if at all.
He said: "You shouldn't really take food out of the buffet area. You should talk to the staff and ask before you take it.
"If you do ask, try not to ask too early because you may be depriving other hotel guests of food. The best time to ask is 30 minutes before the buffet cut-off time."
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Meanwhile, Sun Online Travel revealed the clever way to get a 4* hotel breakfast for as little as £3.
And these are the best hotel buffets from around the world.
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