Golden Corral building with caption 'Seeing how long it takes to get kicked out of Golden Corral Buffet' (l) Golden Corral customer outside building (c) Golden Corral customer with caption 'Seeing how long it takes to get kicked out of Golden Corral Buffet' (r)

@ugh_madison/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I gotta get my $12 worth’: Golden Corral customer spends 12 hours at buffet waiting to be kicked out

'I fear and respect you.'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Aug 30, 2023

In a trending TikTok video, a Golden Corral customer details her whopping 12-hour buffet dining marathon at the restaurant.

@ugh_madison I cant believe this happened! I wanted to see how long i can stay at golden corral. #goldencorral #buffett ♬ original sound – Madison

Armed with a stopwatch and an empty stomach, TikTok user Madison (@ugh_madison) recounted how she navigated her time from breakfast to dinner at the popular chain restaurant.

In a sped-up video, the diner showed herself eating three different meals at the restaurant. “The cotton candy cake was my favorite. I literally ate half of it by myself,” she said of the breakfast portion.

But her day at Golden Corral wasn’t without its obstacles. After a brief hiatus from her table to grab lunch, she returned to find her drink and silverware gone, presumably because the staff believed she had left.

She then shared an exchange she had with her gracious waitress, who apologized for the oversight and reminded her about the rules at the Golden Corral buffet: “You only have to pay one time, and you can eat and drink as long as you want.”

Madison humorously speculated on the waitress’s intention behind the countless refills as her day progressed: “I think she’s trying to make me full so I would leave. I’m not falling for that.” But after her lunch waitress’s shift ended, Madison said she tipped the server and moved to another section of the restaurant, ever-dedicated to her mission. She even helped staff rearrange tables before dinner service.

When the Golden Corral manager approached her during dinner, Madison said she was sure she was about to be asked to leave but instead, she was told to switch tables again and encouraged to continue enjoying her buffet meal. 

Madison’s entertaining narration culminated in her triumphantly declaring her 12-hour stay at the restaurant a success.

“Unlimited food and drink for $1 an hour. Best day ever.” She cheekily concluded, “I think I got my money’s worth. But let me know what you think.”

The anecdote has garnered over 2.4 million views as of this writing. While the specifics of her day may have been unique, the relatability of a customer wanting to get their money’s worth from a dining experience—however extreme—was universal. 

“I like this,” said one comment. “There was no harm in letting you stay all day. They were gonna throw half of it away anyways.”

“I didn’t know you could do that. That’s awesome,” said another commenter.

One user cited a personal anecdote that suggested people have done this for a while: “My husband’s mom would do this growing up whenever they were low on money, and they were able to eat for the whole day. Pretty awesome.”

Another person also cited Madison’s kindness towards the buffet staff: “That’s so sweet of you to tip the waitress before she clocked out for the service she gave you. You’re a blessing to be sharing earth with.” 

An amusing commenter wrote, “I fear and respect you.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Madison via TikTok comment and Golden Corral via email for comment.

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*First Published: Aug 30, 2023, 7:17 pm CDT