The best part of celebrations are that they bring people together, though the food is definitely a close second. When deciding on the best way to feed a crowd, the two major factors that should be considered are how formal the event is and the budget. While the decision could simply come down to personal preference, it’s wise to consider what each option can offer, or cannot.
Buffet Style Pro’s
Great for groups of less than one hundred, buffets can also be very accommodating as they typically offer guests several protein and side dish options to choose from. This way guests can choose exactly what they do and don’t want to eat, allowing each guest to customize their meal based on their appetite and diet at that time. When planning an event where guests will mainly be standing rather than sitting, a buffet would definitely be the way to go. Last but certainly not least, buffet style meals tend to be much more cost friendly than plated meals do.
Buffet Style Con’s
A buffet may not be the right choice if you are working with a very large group and limited space. This is because a buffet line requires a decent amount of space, and larger groups may require multiple buffet lines. Another minor factor to consider is that guests will be wandering back and forth from their tables to the buffet line, increasing the chances of a spill or accident. Lastly, buffet style meals can make it difficult to accommodate specialized diets or food allergy concerns.
Guests attending a formal event where the attire includes jackets, ties, and gowns won’t expect to carry their dishes back and forth to a buffet line and should be served plated meals. This option is best for very large groups or when working with a space that wouldn’t easily accommodate a buffet line. Plated meals also allow for all guests to eat at the same time which promotes table conversation while simplifying scheduled toasts or speeches.
The biggest drawback of plated meals is the cost. Not only does the food itself cost more, but plated service will require many servers, each of who should be appropriately paid and tipped. Another hassle and potential cost to consider is having to implement place cards or a seating chart so guests and servers know where to go. Lastly, a single plated meal may not be sufficient to satisfy the appetites of some guests.
While choosing the best way to feed your guests is important, just remember that as long as there is food, they will come. What may work for one group may not work for another so whether your event will have 20 guests or 200, the most important thing is making sure the food is a hit. Contact us for crowd pleasing soul food buffets that are perfect for every type of gathering!