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The Ramadan Buffet Paradox: Balancing Abundance And Moderation

The Ramadan Buffet Paradox: Balancing Abundance And Moderation

Amidst the abundance of food and the festive atmosphere, questions arise about the true cost of these extravagant spreads. Is the Ramadan buffet a celebration of the season’s spirit, or has it become a symbol of excess and waste?

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Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time for spiritual reflection, fasting, and community. It is also a time when restaurants across Malaysia experience a surge in business, with many offering elaborate buffets to cater to the evening crowds.

A netizen, Saify Akhtar, who has worked in the food and beverage industry, sheds light on the intricacies of the Ramadan buffet industry.

“During Ramadan, restaurants can generate the equivalent sales of six months compared to other months,” he explains.

“The profit from selling buffet is three to five times more than the cost.”

This lucrative opportunity has increased establishments vying for a piece of the Ramadan buffet market.

Saify also notes that people usually order the cheapest food, such as pastries and teh tarik, filling up on these items before moving on to the more expensive dishes.

@saify.akhtar Bro, kalau you bayar more than RM60 for Ramadan Buffet, you dah kena scam! It’s all about quantity, bukan quality tau. Sini I share to all of you about the darkside of Ramadan Buffet. If you nak sangat makan buffet, tunggu bos or your client jemput, then baru you pergi. Correct or not? #Buffet #BukaPuasa #Puasa #Ramadan #KLFoodie #ResipiMudah #ResipiBuka #Foodie #BuffetPuasa #BuffetTerbesar #MenuViral #MalaysiaFoodie #ResipiSimple ♬ original sound – Saify Akhtar

The True Cost of Abundance: Ramadan Buffets and the Growing Food Waste Crisis

However, the abundance of food often comes at a price.

According to Saify, even though restaurants prepare only 70% of the food they expect to sell, there is still a significant amount of waste.

“The extra food will never be donated because there are all kinds of regulations,” he reveals, referring to limitations that prevent the donation of excess food due to concerns about food safety and liability.

Food waste is a growing concern in Malaysia, with the country discarding 40 million kilos of food in 2022 and a staggering 90 million kilos in 2023.

This raises questions about the compatibility of Ramadan buffets with the season’s spirit of moderation and mindfulness.

Moreover, the cost of Ramadan buffets can be substantial, with prices often exceeding those of regular meals.

In some cases, the price per person can reach up to RM298, a staggering amount for a single meal.

Finding the Balance: Celebrating Ramadan with Mindfulness and Moderation

At the same time, Saify offers an alternative perspective on Ramadan buffets, suggesting that there is no need to spend excessively on these lavish spreads.

“If you really want to eat at a buffet, just wait, you will get an invite instead of spending your own money, because a boss ilke me will belanja you buffet. Why? Because we don’t have to think of all the dietary and different preferences,” Safiy said.

While the Ramadan buffet industry continues to thrive, it is essential to consider the broader implications of these lavish spreads.

While some argue that the money would be spent elsewhere anyway, such as on other forms of entertainment or dining out, the exorbitant cost of these buffets has led many to question whether they have become more about indulgence and extravagance than the spiritual aspects of the month.

Moderation: A Guiding Light Beyond the Dinner Table

Finding a balance between celebration and moderation is crucial for individuals and communities.

This ensures that the true essence of Ramadan – a month of spiritual discipline and self-restraint – is not lost amidst the abundance of food.

By focusing on the spiritual aspects of Ramadan and being conscious of food waste, we can create a more sustainable and meaningful celebration that honours the true spirit of this sacred month.

Moreover, moderation extends beyond just food consumption.

It is a guiding principle that can be applied to various facets of life, such as spending habits, leisure activities, and even religious practices.

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