Buffet Style or Waiters?

Planning the menu for your wedding isn’t simple, but it doesn’t just stop choosing the dishes and drinks you will serve to your guests. Another equally essential consideration is the type of table service you will choose for your wedding reception. Should you go buffet style or would you be better off with waiters?

Take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of these two options to come up with the best decision that will work best for you and your special day.

Buffet-Style Service

A buffet service is a form of table service where dishes are arranged on tables at certain areas in the venue. It is a self-service type, and guests will have to get their own food.

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The Good:

You can give more food options for your guests to choose from and at the same time, this gives them the freedom to get anything they like. Your guests can also enjoy a certain dish multiple times provided that it is still available. They can also mingle with the rest of the guests in other tables.

Foods in buffet-style service feature a complete meal course set. You can choose to have a designated appetizer bar with five appetizer choices; salad; soup; four main courses of pork, beef, chicken, and fish; pasta bar with two types of sauce and pasta; vegetable dish; special and plain rice; and a dessert bar with eight dessert options.

You can even add more food stations such as Mongolian grill station, Quesadilla station, or crepe station to make it more adaptive and flexible to all types of guests, particularly those who have health and dietary issues. This way, you can be sure that it pleases and fits everyone.

The Bad:

The main advantage of buffet-style is none other than the possibility of having long lines formed while getting meals, specifically if you have over a hundred guests. This can result in chaos and noise because everyone will wander around the venue to get various dishes.

Guests can walk around with their plates to and from their tables, making your event less formal and less organized. Your guests also waste a lot of time on long lines. They could have otherwise used that time to enjoy their food and mingle with other attendees.

However, you don’t need to worry about older guests and VIPs since these guests will be exempted from long lines and they will be served on plated type despite the buffet style.

With your guests having the freedom to get anything they want, there are guests that could get more of the dishes they like and less of those they don’t, leading to a lesser amount of some foods for the rest of the guests.

The Price:

Being self-service, there is a lesser need for food presentation and staff members that make it cheaper compared to plated service. You will be charged more for the food instead of the presentation and staff. You can stretch your budget as you can allocate it to add more food to the menu.

Who Can Benefit from a Buffet-Style Service?

If you are perfectly fine with a less formal reception and you wish to use your budget for more food, buffet-style service is the perfect choice for you. Buffet style service offers more food, and this means happier guests.

Plated or Waiter-Style Service

This is a type of service where your guests stay seated at their table, and every meal course is prepared on different plates. Waiters will then serve these to your guests on their designated tables.

The Good:

This form of service is easier, hassle-free, and more convenient for your wedding guests to make your reception more elegant and formal.

Plated service with waiters is more organized, and meals are sequentially served to guests simultaneously. Your guests can then enjoy their food right away instead of waiting in line. They can also mingle and chat more with the rest of the guests. However, they need to understand that there is a waiting time in between every meal course. A meal course is normally served 10 minutes following the previous one.

This form of service gives you the assurance that everyone gets served fairly without having to worry that you will run out of food.

The Bad:

Meals for plated service are counted exactly for every guest, wherein fixed serving amount with fewer dishes are served. This is often limited to one salad and soup, one main course, and one dessert. This can limit the food options for guests as they will only be served with what is available.

If you hire an off-premise caterer with a kitchen located somewhere else, the food will still have to be transported to the wedding venue, not to mention that food preparation is also riskier and more complicated for them.

Each dish calls for garnishing on the spot and exact serving measurement. This also means that the caterer needs to bring the right equipment to the wedding venue, such as a heating cabinet or oven to retain the quality of food. This means that your venue must have a large pantry to accommodate all of these.


The Price

Plated service tends to be pricey because it depends on the number of guests you have. In addition to the high demand for the presentation and preparation, you need more waiters and staff members to assist guests in a plated service. This has a ratio of 1 to 2 waiters for each table on top of the food attendants that are in charge of food preparation. If you want to go for this service, prepare your wallet because you will spend more on food preparation and staff instead of the food amount that is going to be served to your guests.

Who Can Benefit from a Plaited or Waiter-Style Service?

If your goal is to make your reception more formal with a more artistic presentation of food and an elegant service type, a plated service will be a better choice for you.

Keep in mind that the type of service you will choose can make or break your wedding reception.  Weigh the good, the bad, and the price of both services to figure out the right one for you, your wedding reception, and your guests.

Taking a look at Oasis Creation’s website might really help you in your decision. Their plastic plates, cups,  and utensils are all so elegant and affordable- there Is really no reason why not to go with plastic buffet!