Busting the myth that a buffet means long lines or many guests waiting for food should be easy. I know the old myth won’t be going away soon, but I am here to tell you that the myth doesn’t have to turn into your own personal nightmare.
People think buffet and they see long lines waiting for cold food.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Talk to your caterer. I say that a lot. I really do mean a lot. I’m worried about long lines. We will tell you about double sided buffets. We will tell you about having multiple, staffed buffets. We will tell you the best way to keep things moving at the venue you chose.
Not all spaces are the same. Even in a small space, there are things you can do to alleviate lines. Food, kept properly in chafers using sterno will stay at the proper temperature for 4 hours. A key component to that is staying staffed properly. So many people try to cut staff first. Your staff are the people who get the line going and keep it moving. They dish out proper portions to your guests. They answer questions. They replace empty food pans when needed. They make sure your food stays hot. These are the people who help make your event a success. They are also the people who set up everything and make the buffet look so enticing. They are the people who will clean up after you and your guests are gone. So don’t discount their importance in your day.
Depending on your space, you might set up multiple or double sided buffets. You might even set up buffets on round tables instead of long ones. You can even have tables that are half circles or are not as wide as the traditional ones. You can get really creative with the set up. It’s really great to have a client that wants to see what you can do creatively.
When you have the buffet set up in mind, your guests will be called up by table #. Make sure your tables are numbered so that everyone at the table knows when it is their turn.
As an extra way to keep things moving and allow people to feel like they are not waiting, preset salad is a great option. When your guests arrive, they will have their salad course ready and waiting. Between chatting with their table mates and the salad, before they know it, it will be time for them to go to the buffet.
So talk to your caterer and your venue. See what options you have out there. Don’t think in limited terms and enjoy yourself.