Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, do you know how to host a buffet? How much food per person to prepare? How to keep your food warm or cold? Rules to follow at a buffet restaurant? Let’s discover together!
A home buffet is a good solution if you want to invite your friends or relatives, it will allow you to be with your guests the whole time.
How much food to serve?
The more options you offer, the smaller each portion size should be.
You can find here a basic guideline for individual serving sizes, multiply the estimations by the number of guests:
E.g. you are hosting a dinner for 10 people:
meat = 10 x 170g= 1700g.
Therefore, you need to buy 1.7kg of meat for them, same goes for other food.
One last tip: add some bulk food (nuts, olives, pretzels…) and bread for your guests to snack on.
Setting a buffet table
Take out all the dishes, stack plates, utensils, napkins (double or triple the amount of tableware for each guest) and place them on the table instead of going back and forth in the kitchen to get something.
You can be creative with a buffet, have a theme e.g. only sweet treats for an afternoon tea, only cold food or a brunch…
To keep your food warm, use some chafing dishes, warming trays and slow cookers (great tools to cook your food and you can directly serve in them).
To keep your food cold, leave it in the fridge until serving time and put them on ice if they have to be out for a moment.
If you see that a plate is almost empty, do not add food on it, better to replace it with another filled one.
Display your buffet in a convenient way for your guests so they can wander around to get food without being agglutinated on one spot and waiting too long.
This is an example of how you can display your buffet table.
2- If you are invited to a buffet
When you are invited to someone’s house or party remember to bring a gift for the host.
If it’s a stand up buffet, do not overload your plate as you will be moving around. Keep your food in one hand and leave the other free for handshakes.
Be careful also that you are not blocking a door or a path to the buffet.
3- At a buffet restaurant
Even if there is no particular amount of food you should eat, there are still some rules to follow in order to enjoy your time there:
After getting your table, go around the buffet and see what the restaurant offers, it will help you gain time to choose and you have the chance to try a bit of everything.
Go for food you don’t usually cook at home or eat often (meat, seafood…) and it is also a chance for you to try new dishes with new tastes. But keep it healthy.
Everytime you go back for a new service, always take a new clean plate.
Think about getting food for your partner, parents, children and not only for yourself, it will save more time for everyone.
Work in reverse. Buffet restaurants usually position the cheapest and old food (bread, pasta salad…) at the front of the table so you will fill up on it.
Place your napkin on your chair if you have to leave for a moment and only when you are done you can put it on the table.
Never use your fingers to pick food instead use the given utensils (tongs, forks, spoons). Remember to put them back at their place for the next dinner.
Do not overload your plate and the table, always take small portion, some buffet restaurants can charge you for wasting food.
Respect one’s personal space, do not rush them or cut the line, be patient.
Be polite to the servers, if you have any complaints to make it should be discreetly done without making a scene.
Take care of your children, a buffet is not like a normal restaurant, so make sure to teach them how to behave once there.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you want to know more about buffet etiquette, please share with us!