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When you're hosting a large group serving your meal buffet-style is fantastic. Suitable for both formal and casual events buffet service inspires easy mingling, easily caters to dietary needs of all kinds, and it's fairly easy on the host. Here are some of our best tips to serve up a buffet your guests will be talking about and using themselves for years to come!



This is everything. Seriously, you can serve the most incredible food your guests have ever tasted, but they have to get to it first. Food is best enjoyed when guests are in a good mood so make the buffet service easy to use from start to finish. If your event space isn't large enough to obviously separate dining and serving, place the buffet in one room and dining in another to give everyone room to move, and to eat. Consider placing the main meal and the beverage bar on different tables; your beverage bar could even be in the dining area. Place plates at the start of the buffet table with napkins and flatware at the end – bonus points if you wrap individual sets of flatware in napkins and place them in a basket so guests can quickly one-hand the whole thing and keep the line moving. If you have plenty of room in your dining area make the buffet accessible from both sides of the table.



How hungry are your guests? If you've been serving appetizers it's safe to intersperse main dishes and sides. If guests are famished place side dishes at the beginning of the buffet to ensure those get picked over first, allowing all guests a chance at the main dishes. Whether you're serving burgers or setting up a pasta bar, place condiments and dressings near to the dishes they accompany. Make sure all food is self-serve with appropriate tongs, serving spoons, or toothpicks at the ready. Label dishes so that guests with dietary restrictions (and picky eaters) can dine safely. Do a trial run of your layout the day before with your trays and serving dishes to make sure everything fits and to know ahead of time if you need to borrow anything. Need more room? Whip out a silver or china tiered serving tray!



Decorate your buffet table with a bright or patterned fabric table cloth and add some flower or balloon bouquets. Use the fine china, silverware, and formal napkins for a splash of class, just be prepared to clear plates and cutlery as the night progresses to minimize breakage.



Make garbage or dish depository obvious and sweep the rooms every 15 minutes or so to ensure a tidy space. Be ready to replenish trays by conducting a quick visual check of the buffet itself approximately every 10 or so guests, and to maintain a tidy presentation.

Hosting a party? Hire At Your Service so that you can host without stress. Our professional service team will keep your buffet tidy, redirect guest traffic with class, and even tidy up throughout and after the event! We have a service team for every theme and budget. Call (226) 336-2881 or contact us online for a quote.


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