Setting Up A Buffet

Creating a buffet is a great idea for large groups.  It allows guests to serve themselves and it takes some of the stress off the host. Here are our top tips for creating a stress free buffet:

Glasses of champagne, cheese
Glasses of champagne, cheese


  • Place your buffet as close to the kitchen as possible.  This makes it easy to replenish food as needed. 
  • Use a dining room table, folding table or the kitchen counter.
  • To make it easy for guest to serve themselves, serve meats that are already cut or sliced.
Place your plates to let guests know where to begin
Place your plates to let guests know where to begin
  • Roll the flatware inside the napkin.  This allows guests to grab 2 essential items at one time and stack them at the end of the buffet.
  • Use led candles and lights. A guest reaching over an open flame is an accident waiting to happen.
  • Make good use of your table space by arranging your selections at various heights so your guests can see and reach everything with ease.
Buffet with different appetizers
Buffet with different heights and levels
  • Make sure the traffic flow is easy around the table.  You don’t want your guests to feel like they’re in a cafeteria line. To help with the traffic flow, place the table in the center of the room.  This allows guest to serve themselves from all sides of the buffet.
  • Make it clear where the line begins with plates first.  Then the main course, side dishes, salad, condiments, bread and last but not least, the flatware and napkins. 
  • Plan a separate table for beverages and desserts.
  • The night before your party, set-up your buffet.  Gather all of your utensils and serving dishes.  Use sticky notes to remind you where each food item belongs.  


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