Planning a wedding? Then we are sure you have, by now, booked a venue, decided a theme for the wedding, invited your guests, and planned on how to serve foods and beverages to the attendees. While every part of the wedding planning process requires a touch of creativity to make it unique and great, the meal options part is where it can get tricky. And by that, we mean the overwhelming options available for you to plan how meals are served to the guests.
Options like a plated, buffet, and family-style meal can keep you wondering until the very day of the wedding. Now as someone who will be taking care of the wedding preparations, it wouldn’t be right for you to keep working on this, keeping aside everything else that needs your attention, too. So it is extremely important to understand the benefits of each meal serving option to decide which one meets your needs.
Buffet style is often identified as food stationed on long tables where the attendees can view and take the food item they prefer. The setting is to help yourself kinda catering where the food items usually involve finger foods, either hot or cold, and are made to be eaten standing up holding a small plate with a napkin. Food is typically presented on ceramic or glass platters and is kept on tables where either a server is present to serve meals to the guests, or attendees can walk around to help themselves.
Now it really depends on the grandness of the event you are planning to host. Based on this, the food set can be simple or as dazzling as required. You can either keep one for all dishes or a variety of food cuisines to please your guests.
Pros Of A Buffet Style Catering
- Don’t want your guests to have only a handful of dishes to choose from? Buffet style to your rescue! This catering option can provide a large variety of food for the guests. Also, with a broad menu in place, you are sure that no one leaves hungry.
- Buffets encourage people to get up and find something they want to eat. This keeps them mobile and while the guests are walking around, there are chances of them mingling with the others. Isn’t this what an event is all about?
- Sometimes, you have to make your arrangements considering the space of the venue. If you’re tight on space, the buffet system can help as not everyone is seated at the same time while eating.
- What if your guests want a round two of eating? In a served meal option, this can be a little hard to follow. However, in buffet systems, guests can come back and get their favorite dishes for the second round of craving. And well, who likes missing out on tempting food?
Cons of Buffet Style Catering
- If too many people got up to fill their plates, buffets can turn out to be a mess. In such cases, guests would have to the line-up, which we are sure wouldn’t look presentable at all.
- Food is prepared beforehand with an estimate on the level of consumption. And honestly, no one can predict exactly how much the guests will eat. Result? It will always lead to either wastage of food or it will fall short.
- When dealing with an event including a large number of guests, food placed on buffet tables are at risk of getting cold. Though the food is constantly being heated in certain buffet settings, it is not always the case and you are at risk of serving your guests cold food. Not quite ideal now, is it?
Plated meals or served meals are meant for formal events and black-tie affairs. If you are high on budget and have ample amount of time to spare for the event, this type of catering might just be the best choice for you. It is both time-consuming and expensive considering the amount of labor required. Also, the elegance and sophistication provided by served meals setting can contribute to your event, making it look and feel better.
Pros of Served Meal Setting
- If you don’t like testing your guest’s patience, served meals can save your day. Unlike the buffet system, guests do not have to wait for lines to retrieve their food.
- Food waste will be drastically reduced since the plates are portioned by a hired staff who makes food according to the instructions.
- Completely eliminates the unnecessary walk to get food in the middle of the service. They don’t go to the food, the food comes to them. Sounds about right!
- Unlike a buffet system, food is not prepared beforehand and is cooked based on the requirement. Portions are controlled by the servers, which in turn helps you cut down the cost of cooking extra food.
- Better management. Because at last, that’s what matters!
- Buffet systems can make any event look somewhat messy the moment a huge number of guests get up to retrieve their food. However, with served meals, guests are seated on their tables, and food is served to them. This reduces chaos and enhances the sophistication of the event.
Cons of Served Meal Setting
- The wide range of food variety offered by the buffet is cut short in served meals. You get a specific menu and that’s all!
- Did we mention the cost that shoots up drastically due to the labor involved in this setting? Yeah, that too.
- Extremely time-consuming as the servers have to make sure every table is served what they need. Also, you will have to tell the guests what food you have, and then wait for them to choose what they want.
- Served meals also take time away from other ceremonial activities such as cake-cutting, toasts, formal dances, and other casual activities. And where does all this time goes? That’s right, eating.
While both buffet system and served meals have their own set of advantages, when it comes down to choosing between the two, it depends on several factors. What type of guests are you expecting? Is it a formal event? How many guests do you expect? How big is the venue? Answering these questions might help to provide a better idea on which meal serving option suits your need.