There are several ways to deliver delicious meals to your guests, the most popular being table service, family style, and buffet. Which is best?
Service at the table? Ahhhh, it’s so nice to be waited on, isn’t it? Your guests feel just a little more special and a little more pampered if the hired staff delivers the food courses as they’re seated and then removes the empty dishware when the course is over. From a cost point of view, you’ll usually waste less food and money when diners are served at the table, since plates are pre-portioned by a hired staff. On the other hand, table service offers less variety than a buffet or family style of service, so you’ll want to choose foods that will easily be appealing to a wide variety of palates and preferences.
Table service also takes more time from first course to last, so it’s ideal for occasions that focus on the guests’ experience at the table. If you want to plan additional activities for your event, you’ll have to plan carefully.
Family style service? It’s gotten more and more popular recently because it’s the happy medium between formal plated affairs and the casual buffet. It adds a little spice of the unexpected as the wait staff brings the food to the table in large serving dishes allowing the guests to pass them around and serve themselves. Family style meals usually cost nearly the same and take nearly the same amount of time as plated meals, so there’s not much difference there. It’s all about where you want your event to fall along the formal vs. casual spectrum.
Buffet anyone? You can do your buffet quite casually or you can present it with sophisticated formality if you staff your stations with inviting, uniformed personnel. Buffets are frequently used for large gatherings to offer the most variety and the greatest selection. While it requires more from your guests — they go select what they want and carry their own plates to the table — it’s all worth it when the cuisine is elegant and delicious. Like it always is with Matteo’s Gourmet.
Want more guidance? Let us help you plan your event!