Organizing a Buffet Step by Step

  • 4 min read
  • Jun 17, 2021
Organizing a Buffet Step by Step

The production of food and beverages is essential for event organizers, however, this can be complicated if you do not know how to calculate the amount of food, select suppliers, quote, and order the service.

For example, in the case of food, it is necessary to establish the average quantity, the way the food will be eaten, the space, the time, and the formality or informality of the event.

Although it is true that buffets may seem bulky, a good organization will allow you to have a simple and smooth process, for this reason in this article you will learn everything you need to organize one with total success, join me!

Raise your hand who wants a buffet!

The buffet is a food service, whose characteristic is the great quantity and variety of preparations it offers, ranging from the salad bar, uncooked meals, such as sushi and carpaccios to international dishes or desserts. The specific selection will depend on the context of the event.

Previously considered an informal service, however, over time it has become more specialized; today the organization and service have taken a radical turn, making it a dynamic event and a favorite of many people.

To learn more about what characterizes a true buffet, sign up for our newsletter and let our experts advise you every step of the way.

Choose a buffet-style for your event

A traditional buffet consists of at least two types of soups and creams, three main courses with varied proteins, such as beef, veal, chicken, fish or pork, sauces to accompany them, and snacks or special dishes, however, today this structure has evolved.

Based on the context or theme of the banquet, they are categorized into four different variants, which continue to present a structured organization, although with a more relaxed air that allows a wide range of dishes to be offered.

The four different specialties are: 

Buffet as table service

This is characterized by the guests choosing what they wish to eat and a person or waiter serving and collecting the food.

Assisted buffet

Like the previous one, the guests select what they wish to eat and someone serves them, however, the difference is that the diner takes the dishes to their place.

Self-service buffet

This is preferred by hosts and guests because it is quicker, cheaper, and easier to set up. In this type of buffet, people take everything they want to eat from the display table.

Tasting buffet

Also known as lunch or appetizer, it is used when a fractioned display of products is required so that all of them can be tasted.

The choice of buffet style is based on the client’s needs. As well as the organization to acquire the necessary tools for each event. If you wish to learn about other types of buffets and their main characteristics.

List the elements you will need to organize the buffet

One of the most important keys for a successful buffet or meal is to have all the necessary utensils. I advise you to avoid mishaps and make the list in advance, so include everything you need at each stage of the event and get it in time.

Food table utensils:

  • Buffet trays, usually made of stainless steel, on which the dishes are served.
  • Chafers for the buffet (or buffets), help to maintain the temperature of the food.
  • Supports and counters allow taking advantage of the space of the table to the maximum.
  • Small signs are used to indicate the type of food, so guests will know which dish is inside the chafers.

Instruments for buffet service:

  • Plates of different sizes are placed on the far left of the table, from there the guests will begin to circulate to serve themselves.
  • Utensils to serve the food, accompany each tray or chafer.

In addition, you must place the bowls and plates for the buffet according to the order in which the food is served, on the other hand, the cutlery and napkins are placed at the end of the table, in case there is no space you can place them on a small table.

Great job! Now you know the buffet styles and instruments you need, but you probably have one of the most recurrent doubts: how to determine the food portion?

Although in this type of service customers eat until they are satisfied, there are some methods you can use to prepare or acquire the necessary amount and not have wastage.

How to calculate the amount of food?

It is very common that doubts arise when organizing an event of this type, for example: how to know how much should be served, how to calculate the amount of food, or how many dishes you should offer, for all these questions there are one or more answers.

Whether it is a formal or a totally casual event, people tend to eat more at buffets, since the great variety of dishes whets their appetite, so you should calculate the portions with the following relation:

  • An average man between the ages of 25 and 50 consumes a total of 350 to 500 g of food.
  • An average woman between 25 and 50 years of age consumes a total of 250 to 400 g of food.
  • A child or adolescent, on the other hand, can consume approximately 250 to 300 g of food.

Now, the amount of food is closely linked to the number of attendees, to calculate it you must first determine how many people will attend the buffet and classify them into women, men, children, and adolescents, then multiply each category by their average consumption, which will give you the total amount of food that will be consumed, finally, divide this figure by the number of dishes you have planned and you will know the amount you should prepare!

Themed buffets have become very popular because of the novel way they present the food and their ability to adapt to any event, they are also sought after by all kinds of people. Surely you can already organize one and I am convinced that you will make it amazing, you can do it!

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