Buffet Table Setting Tips – Setting up the Room

There’s just a ton of buffet table setting guidance on the web. All you have to do is a quick search– soon you’ll be overrun with guidance on how to add height to your tables. Or how to dispose the dishes you’ll be serving “just so.” Or how to decorate the buffet table like this, or supply these plates, or dispose utensils so they’re easy for your buffet guests to take with them.

And all of this is good advice. But before you can consequent any of it, you first have to know one very basic thing: how to set up a room for a buffet reception or dinner party.

Dining Room

But that’s easy, you might say. Just chuck a table against the wall for the food, set some plates up on the end, and set up other miniature table for desserts and drinks. Done. After all, how much could go into naturally arranging a room for a buffet dinner?

Buffet Table Setting Tips – Setting up the Room

Actually, more than you might think. The arrangement of the space in which the buffet is held affects the whole buffet– a well-arranged room reduces spills, looks nice, and makes things easier on your guests. Want to get it right? Read on for three easy-to-follow tips on establishment a space for a buffet dinner.

1. Buffet Table Placement The first instinct of many hosts and hostesses of a buffet dinner party or reception is to place the buffet table against the wall. This keeps it out of the way and allows more room for seating. But if you have adequate space, the middle of the room is the best place for the buffet table. Why? Well, if you only have one buffet table setting, it allows equal entrance from both sides of the room. It also makes it easier to serve from both sides of the table, and allows mingling, snacking dinner guests to chat together in closer presence to the table. This works especially well for finger food buffets.

2. Distance the Drinks Table. Sure, occasionally a plate is dumped over while a buffet dinner, but it’s drinks you nothing else but have to worry about. The best way to prevent nasty spills? Set the drinks table up across the room from the food buffet. This will keep traffic to a minimum, minimizing the chances of guest collisions and nasty drinks spills. As a bonus, it may also prevent guests from trying to juggle loaded dinner plates in one hand and drinks in the other. They’ll generally visit their table to drop off a plate of food before getting drinks, minimizing the opening of spillage. Even better, supply water and wine on the tables themselves, and make getting up to get a drink thoroughly optional.

3. Know the Seating Arrangements. Unfortunately, most of us weren’t blessed with tons and tons of space in which to set up a buffet table. And when space runs short, one of the first things to go is seating. If you don’t have room for designated tables for your guests, chances are they’ll have to perch on chairs, sofa-arms, or whatever piece of furniture they have handy. If this is the case, think of rearranging the dining area temporarily for your guests. Add extra end tables or Tv trays to the space, and move chairs and other seating closer to tables, shelves and other places for guests to rest cups, plates, elbows, whatever. There’s nothing worse than being perched on the end of a chair with nowhere to place your drink so you can eat your dinner. Think of your guests. Even if that Tv tray looks silly in the middle of the room, put it there anyway.

Buffet Table Setting Tips – Setting up the Room


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