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A Look At The Different Styles of Food Service

Two of the most important elements for any event are food and service. So, to help you choose the right service for your event we’re sharing information about each of your options.

The plated, sit down meal is by far the most popular style of food service for an elegant affair. Each dish is perfectly prepared and portioned separately for every guest. This allows for the chef to put an extra emphasis on the presentation of the meal.

Photography Credit: Barbara Lynch Photography

Photography Credit: Barbara Lynch Photography

Once the meals are plated, the servers on staff deliver these beautiful dishes directly to each guest.  The presentation and personalized service of a plated meal make it the most formal style of service and the most common option for wedding receptions.

However, if you are planning a more casual event, then a buffet might be the right option for you.

Photography Credit: Barbara Lynch Photography

Photography Credit: Barbara Lynch Photography

One of the best things about a buffet is that it’s endless. That means your guests will never go hungry as they can return to the buffet line multiple times throughout the dinner.

In addition to being able to go up for seconds, your guests will love choosing what protein, vegetable and carbohydrate make it onto their plate.

Finally, buffets are a great option if you want to offer your guests a choice of protein but you don’t want to deal with the stress of tracking who is having what before the event takes place.

Food stations are another style of service that give you that same advantage. Stations are similar to buffets in that your guests get up from their tables to fill their plates. However, instead of having the food lined up on one long table, food stations are set throughout the room. By separating the different meal options guests can spread out rather than wait in a long line for the buffet.

Your final food service option is a mixture between the plated meal service and the buffet. It is what we call family style. In family style service, your guests are served at their tables (like the plated meal). However, instead of getting individual plates tables are served platters of food. The guests then serve themselves right at their own table. Once a platter is empty, tables can request a refill making the meal endless (like a buffet). Family style service is great because you get the delivery service of a plated meal combined with the all you can eat aspect of a buffet.

Needless to say, you can’t go wrong with any of these food service options. There are great things about each of them. It just depends on what’s most important to you and what experience you want to give the guests at your event.