So who actually invented the buffet? No, it wasn’t Dubai, even if we have taken the concept very much to heart. The term ‘buffet’ originally comes from the French for ‘sideboard’, referring to furniture that was used to serve food from. The Swedish popularised this style of eating in the 20th century with the ‘smorgasbord’ concept, incidentally exhibited at the 1939 New York World’s Fair exhibition. The ‘all-you-can-eat’ tagline, however, has been credited to Las Vegas entertainment manager Herbert Cobb McDonald, who introduced the idea in 1956.