When planning a catered event, future hosts have many questions for our team of catering pros including one of the most frequently asked questions – how should the meal be served?
There are three primary service styles: plated, buffet and action stations – and we love to educate our clients about the benefits of each and create a personalized service blend that best suits their individual event goals. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you an inside look at the strengths and challenges of each service style to help you make the best choice for your next event!
Today’s featured style is the simplest and one of the most popular service options — the buffet. Many brides and event hosts warm up to this crowd-pleasing setup for its variety, flexibility, and efficiency. When faced with large groups or those with diverse tastes, buffets offer stress-free planning by allowing multiple entrée and accompaniment selections and give guests the freedom to fill their plates with only their favorite dishes. Buffets can also be arranged strategically to manage the flow of guests around a room, and divided into themed tables to organize multiple cuisine styles. Requiring less service staff than a traditional plated dinner, a buffet is a very cost effective way to serve any size group. In addition to decorating guest seating tables, buffet tables can also be lavishly decorated, decked out for a theme party or simply elegant. The choice is yours!
A buffet style meal may not be the best choice if your goal is to create an intimate or sophisticated atmosphere at your event. And although caterers are typically able to guarantee the minimum amount of food needed to satisfy guests, buffets are the most likely to end with leftover food. As with any service style chosen, buffets can include perceived challenges or cons – the key is to evaluate all of the options and decide what’s most important to you.