What’s it like to feed 20,000 nerds all at once? Thanks to VMWorld, now I know.
On the first floor of the Venetian is a room … actually, room is not the word for it. It actually looks like a parking garage, maybe an old one. The floor is concrete, the ceiling is a good 20-feet high, and there are evenly-spaced pillars every 20 feet or so. The pillars even have letters and numbers painted on them, adding to the whole “parking garage” vibe.
Upon entering the “area” (we’ll call it that), you see people in tuxedos. Dozens, if not hundreds of them. Their only goal is to stand, point, and direct traffic. “That way, please,” they say, mostly smiling. A few of them are holding signs with arrows on them, but the majority of them simply point or motion with their hands.
So you walk and walk and walk past hundreds of tables until you reach the buffet. But there’s not just one buffet line … it’s more like (looking) 30, maybe more. And each one has the same items: salad, bread, beans, meat, and non-meat. (The non-meat yesterday was fish; today, it was pork.) There are also dessert and drink stations with pop and coffee, although pitchers of water and iced-tea sit on each table as well.
The wait staff (the people in tuxedos) constantly circle, clearing tables of cups and plates, while other employees (dressed in purple) are constantly emptying out the trash.
It’s a very efficient system that successfully fed everyone who came down here, and quickly. Cold (box) lunches were also available, but the hot lunch was well worth it. Your choice is included with the price of admission.