Catering Buffet Table Decorations – Sarah Zlotnick is a journalist with 10 years’ experience and has been a writer in the wedding room for seven years. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Wedding Magazine, Washingtonian Weddings, Bethesda Magazine and The Huffington Post.
Buffet catering has long been a staple of wedding receptions, and for good reason: it’s a cost-effective and efficient way to feed many guests with different eating habits at once. But in the age of socially distanced weddings, some changes will need to be made to ensure the safety of event guests and catering staff alike.
Catering Buffet Table Decorations
During the buffet reception, there is one menu, which is in one place on a large table. This is different from a station-style reception, which will have multiple menu concepts spread across multiple screens.
Catering Food Table Set Decoration 1265282 Stock Photo At Vecteezy
We spoke to catering industry experts Ro Cantrell of Cantrell Occasions and Leila Miller of Constellation Culinary to gather everything you need to know about hosting a buffet wedding reception.
When it comes to the most common forms of event catering, a buffet is usually a more affordable option than table, station or family dining. “If you use plates, you need to hire more staff to take orders and bring plates to guests. Cantrell says. “By using a buffet, it can take half as many people to serve food.” In addition to requiring more staff, Miller notes that station- and family-style catering also typically requires more equipment and service equipment, further increasing prices.
At Cantrel Occasions, the price per person for a simple buffet usually ranges from $16 to $19, but prices can vary widely based on menu selections and other services such as hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour. At Constellation, Miller says buffets typically start at $165 per person.
A Beautiful Decorated Table At The Celebration. Event. A Party. Catering. There Are A Lot Of Delicious Food On The Table. Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 76450029
There are several ways! For more intimate affairs, Cantrell likes to introduce takeout containers so guests can leave with leftovers. “When things start to die down and everyone’s full, we’ll make an announcement,” he says. Cantrell has also worked with Atlanta-based organizations (Goodr’s is particularly well-known in the city) to collect leftover food and redistribute it to homeless families.
There are specific requirements for food donation: “Once something expires in a certain amount of time or goes through a certain amount of hands, it’s not food safe,” Miller explains. So catering companies have also started composting meals they can’t donate.
– Dishes with a lot of moisture are good for buffets, says Cantrell. “Shrimp and grits, chicken with sauce—dark meat keeps better than breast—and things with sauce, like meatballs, handle the heat. Casserole dishes—metal pans that use an outer layer of hot water to keep food warm—are buffet staples, but they can dry out foods like salmon and broccoli when not served in broth. Per Miller, the buffet menu usually consists of a salad, bread, two proteins and sides. Toppings or sides are often a combination of vegetables, starches and grains chosen to complement the main protein.
Catering Service. Restaurant Table With Buffet Food At Wedding Event. Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 126052058
Miller plans to have one buffet table for every 50 guests to keep things running efficiently. Where possible, buffet tables should be double-sided. Events with a large number of guests may have more than one buffet table, but all buffets will serve the same dishes.
Miller prefers to stack plates at the beginning of the buffet line rather than placing them on the tables. “It’s uncomfortable going to your table and then to the buffet,” she says. However, if you are having a socially distanced wedding, the plates will likely be filled with food and served directly to the guests. Crockery is expected to be folded into napkins and taken separately.
“All [Constellation] buffets will have chefs and plexi screens,” says Miller. Constellation is also changing the sit-down buffet: butter, cream, sugar, salt and pepper will be served in single portions upon request, and pre-poured water can be topped with a safety cap.
Oh’s Farm Catering
Constellation has also included some additional health and safety procedures in the event book. Upon arrival, staff will check your temperature and wear masks and gloves during the event. Timekeepers will direct event staff to wash their hands every 30 minutes, kitchen facilities will have multiple hand sanitizer stations, and high-touch surfaces will be regularly disinfected using CDC-recommended cleaning solutions. Each event will have a “Safety Master” on site tasked with managing and overseeing these processes.
Cantrell has also moved away from self-service. “You can have a buffet, but you can’t stand in a queue,” he says. “We put their food down and take it out for them.” This will require more staff, so couples should plan to adjust their catering budget accordingly.
Southern inspired: roasted or fried chicken and roast beef; rice pilaf; green beans cooked in broth; mac ‘n’ cheese.
Wedding Day Reception. Buffet Table. Catering Service. Plates With Berries, Raspberry, Blackberry.delicious Gourmet Food For Guests.many Glasses Stock Photo
Jamaican inspired: curry chicken; rice and peas; mac ‘n’ cheese; before that, a snack of plantain chips and chicken skewers.
Asian-inspired: Peking duck carving station; moo shu pancakes; lo mein with napa cabbage, wilted carrot and garlic chives; edamame, ginger pork and chicken and lemongrass dumplings; Korean beef BBQ and shiitake skewers.
New York inspired: Reuben sliders with cumin sauerkraut; all Frank in a blanket; mashed potatoes; mini falafels and lamb and beef shawarma pitas; mini bagel tower with smoked salmon and toppings; Hamptons Chopped Salad with Tarragon Ranch Dressing.
Buffet Table Decorating Ideas
Comfort Food Inspired: Korean Fried Chicken, Beyond Burger, Ricotta Chicken Meatballs & Cauliflower & Chickpeas; buffalo chicken meatballs with blue cheese sauce; fried curd; Apple Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese; french fries; Tex-Mex tater tots.
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