Archive for April 9th, 2007

Buffets, Sit-Down Dinners, Or Food Stations?

Monday, April 9th, 2007

So – should you sit your guests down and stuff them, or just let ‘em graze?

At a traditional seated dinner, guests are served each meal course by waiters. Upside: everyone is at about the same place in their dining at the same time, making the scheduling of dessert, speeches, or dancing simple. Downside: not every guest may really want each and every course, or they may wish for more of one item (salad, for instance) than is offered.

Buffets give your guests more choices in both their selections and portions. Upside: guests not only get what they want, but they also get it when they want it. Downside: the first through the line are finished with their meals and ready for the next event in the evening, long before some of the others have even begun eating. The pace of the night thus becomes – by default – too slow for some and too hurried for others.

Food stations, also known as “grazing,” allow guests to pick either the shortest lines or their preferred foods. Upside: a finicky eater, or someone who wishes to sample three different main courses, has complete freedom. Downside: as with buffets, the leisurely pace of some diners will complicate the timing of your plans for dessert and beyond.