THE PERFECT BUFFET LAYOUT

TOP 25 TIPS | GOLDEN RULE

These 25 Golden Rules are your guiding stars to a fabulous party Buffet layout. Keep Calm. Read this. Follow. Have Fun!

1.BUFFET LAYOUT TEMPLATE

Source:Pier 1

All you ever needed to know about the PERFECT Buffet Layout

 

 

2. BEGIN WITH STACKED PLATES

Source: Cedar Wood Weddings

Depending on the course being served, always start the layout with stacked plates. This also subtly indicates where the buffet layout begins at

 

 

3. NAPKINS & SILVERWARE: END OF THE TABLE

Source: Marrymetampabay

Keep Cutlery at the end of the buffet table. This will ensure it is convenient for the people to serve food without having to juggle between the forks, spoons & a filled plate

 

 

4. NAPKIN – CUTLERY ROLL

Takes up lesser space, more organized & looks classy

 

 

5. DESIGN TIERS & HEIGHTS

Source: Petercallahan

It creates a beautiful interest,you are able to fit more and it is easier to serve. As a best practice, create heights/ tiers at the edges and the corners of the table. If it is a double sided buffet, then you might have to play along the center length

 

 

6. STICK TO A COLOR PALETTE

Source: Studio One Studio

Have everything in a complementing color palette. If you choose a single color, then the style doesn’t matter

 

 

7. MAGIC WITH TABLE RUNNERS & CLOTH

Apart from aesthetic appeal, they also serve a functional purpose. Choose a fabric that makes it easier to clean. For a station with drinks, waterproof vinyl cover is preferred

 

 

8. TOP IT WITH ELEGANT CENTERPIECE

Add a touch of glamour by adding a beautiful centerpiece. Fresh Flowers look wonderful. Ensure that the display is tallest height at the table. Make it non-obtrusive to service & it should not take up too much of service space

 

 

9. DON’T FORGET THE SPOON RESTS

Source: Mod Cloth

Avoid messy tables & serving space. Leave a spoon rest by every dish

 

 

10. IF A DOUBLE SIDED BUFFET, KEEP MULTIPLE SERVING SPOONS

If you are arranging for double sided buffet layout with a common food set for both sides, then ensure that there are multiple serving spoons and spoon rests on either side

 

 

11. ONE HAND SCOOP SERVE RULE

The guests are already holding an almost filled plate in 1 hand. Hence, as a general rule, the serving spoons should enable the food to be scooped with 1 hand. Don’t keep it too complicated

 

 

12. PLACE THE SERVICE CLOSE TO THE COOKING AREA

This reduces the complications of serving & replenishing dishes

 

 

13. DON’T PUT OUT EVERYTHING AT ONCE

Offer one course at a time or bring dishes out in stages. Bring out the room temperature foods first, cold foods & lastly hot foods, close to service

 

 

14. START WITH MAIN & THEN SIDES/SALADS

Many a times we notice that the side dishes take up all the space on the plates and by the time we get to the main course, the plate is full. It is always recommended to start by placing the main course first & the side dishes after

 

 

15. GRAB & GO BREAD BASKETS

Set up multiple bread baskets at the end of the buffet table. These are quick grab and go accompaniments. If there is a dedicated seating arrangement for the guests, just prop a few bread baskets for convenience

 

 

16. SPRINKLE ACCOMPANIMENTS AROUND

Source: Ratskeller Catering

Keep pickles, spreads, olives, dips, etc in multiple locations at the buffet table. Since these are added for taste enhancement, you neither want people to wait in long queues to get a pickle nor do you want overcrowding & chaos near them.

 

 

17. SEPARATE BEVERAGE & DESSERT STATIONS

For sure, beverage station needs to be separated from the food station. However, if space permits, lay out the desserts at a separate location as well. You don’t need elaborate space for the dessert station. Even a center-table would do just fine

 

 

18. NAME TAGS FOR DISHES

Source: Liagriffith

Makes it super convenient. If using very creative names, just add a liner on the ingredients

 

 

19. DISTINCTLY CLUSTER VEG, NON-VEG, SPECIAL MEALS

Source: Style Me Pretty

The guests won’t be scampering to find the relevant dishes. And at times, a few guests might not be comfortable being around meat dishes

 

 

20. KEEP IT HOT. KEEP IT COLD

A beautiful dish can be ruined if not served at the right temperature. Don’t put out all hot food at once. Either keep them in hot cases, chafing dishes or keep heating them in smaller portions. Place cold dishes in an ice bath or chilled until service.

 

 

21. KEEP SALAD FRESH & DRESSING ASIDE

Don’t pre-mix the salad dressing. Place it by the side of the main bowl. Salads won’t get soggy & the guests can add the dressings based on their choice.

 

 

22. MANAGE PORTION CONTROL

If there is smaller portions of a certain dish available, keep it towards the end of the table. Also, dishes like pies, pizzas, sweets,etc should be pre-cut before laying out. This will ensure ease of service as well.

 

 

23. PAY HEED TO WATER SERVICE

Don’t ever serve water & food on the same table – disaster waiting to happen. If serving through a water cooler, then keep it close to the beverage station – with cups, waste bins & paper napkins. If you are using mini water bottles, then place it on a separate table. And if serving in plastic disposable glasses, don’t keep too many pre-filled. Fill it as needed

 

 

24. ASSIGN MULTIPLE WASTE DISPOSAL AREAS

Can’t stress enough on keeping multiple areas for food, waste & cutlery disposal. If there is help available during the party, get them to clean the cutlery & plates as they are used. This will help in cleaning & also, incase you run short during the party, you have the clean dishes ready to use

 

 

25. MULTIPLE STOCKS OF NAPKINS, CUTLERY, FIRST AID

Source: Oh Happy Day

Always plan for eventuality. Never know when you need them. And it doesn’t hurt or cost much to keep in stock!

Cheers!. HAVE A BLAST!

 


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Nandini Gandotra - Party Planner - Celebrateur- Purple Velvet Project - Profile Pic

PURPLE VELVET PROJECT

A Mom. Engineer. Marketer. I have an obsession towards all things awesome & beautiful.

My blog is a curated platform hoping to inspire & help you craft the best celebrations.

More importantly, I hope to experience a melting pot of stories, conversations, fun & everything ‘Scrumdiddlyumptiously Awesome’!

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