Have you agreed to host a large party for family or friends? Maybe you’ve elected to support the efforts of a political candidate or non-profit function. Whatever the occasion may be, setting a beautiful, functional buffet is as simple as following a few tried and true tips from the professionals. The most important ingredient for a great evening of entertaining is a genuine smile and relaxed confidence. Those two items will ensure that all of your guests feel welcomed and have a grand evening.
Planning in advance and seeing to the smallest details are the keys to success for every dinner buffet. Placement of the buffet table depends on the size of the group you’re entertaining. More often than not, hostesses use their dining room table. It’s already in place and can accommodate most sized groups. Nothing is worse than having guests line up at a buffet table. Stack half the number of dinner plates needed at opposite corners of the table. This way guests can move along both sides and be served more efficiently. Roll flatware in napkins and place at opposite ends of the buffet from the dinner plates. This will keep guests from having to juggle both a plate and flatware as they help themselves to the buffet. The easiest centerpiece is fresh greenery from your own garden in a simple glass vase. This is also often a conversation starter!
Plan your menu such that the majority of it can either be prepared in advance or will be in the over when your guests arrive. There is nothing worse than cooking in front of an audience at the last minute. That’s sure to frazzle even the most experienced hostess. Have the serving dishes pre-selected and ready for the buffet as well as appropriate serving utensils. Don’t ask your guests to slice roasts or hams; do this before placing on the buffet.
Should your guests ask to bring food, offer to have them bring an appetizer. This will avoid any surprises on your buffet. Appetizers can be served on the terrace or in the living room. Have a drink and bar station prepared that is not adjacent to the buffet table. This will prevent congestion and aid in flow throughout the evening.
Enjoy your guests and enjoy your evening.