1. Catering for Every Palate
Having a buffet service at your function allows you to tempt your guests with a variety of different meal options. While it's entirely possible to cater for a large crowd with full table service, it's difficult to select only 2 or 3 meals that will cater to the tastes of every guest. A buffet table allows your guests to pick and choose amongst a number of options to create their own mouth-watering meal. Because of this, buffet catering usually leads to higher consumption and less waste. Guests will always go back for seconds if they have the option!
A professional catering service will be able to advise you on the best way to create a synchronicity of flavours. While you want to cater to every individual taste, you don't want your buffet to be a patchwork of mismatched meals. Perhaps the easiest way to achieve this harmony is to choose a particular theme to work with. If you're holding a formal event, you could theme your buffet as a French spread: you could even top off your evening with some rich, elegant desserts. If you're catering for a relaxed, social crowd, you might prefer to opt for a Greek, Italian, or Mexican menu theme. Talk to your caterer to decide on the best buffet theme for your function.
2. Encourage Your Guests to Mingle
Buffet catering, unlike a sit-down meal, encourages your guests to be hopping from table to table and mingling amongst themselves. You don't have to worry about organising a seating plan when your guests are happy to roam between groups of family and friends. Encouraging your guests to mingle gives your function a relaxed, social atmosphere, so that you and your guests will have a more enjoyable evening. Your guests might even make some new friends!
However, if you are catering for a formal event and you would prefer to have a seating plan, you can still arrange to have one. Your guests could line up for the buffet in their own tabled groups, one at a time. This method of service will take more thought and organisation.
3. Ease Up on the Organisation
Having a buffet at your function can take some of the weight of planning of your shoulders. With a buffet spread, you don't have to worry so much about arranging a seating plan, or hiring catering staff to wait on tables. Hiring a professional catering service will help you even further: your caterer will help you design the ideal menu for your unique function, as well as take over all of the ordering, preparation, and service of your food.
Holding your function at a hired venue can help ease that organisational pressure. Most hired venues will offer you the service of an event planner to help you with floral arrangements, decorations, equipment hire, entertainment, photography, and invitation design. Between your caterer and your event planner, you won't have much left to arrange!
4. Save, Save, Save.
If you're catering on a tight budget, a buffet might just be the answer to your financial restrictions. Ordering food in bulk can reduce your catering costs, as well as ensuring that your guests won't go home hungry. Discuss your budget restrictions with your caterer to figure out the best way to feed your guests without over-spending. Pasta-based dishes and bread baskets are simple ways of filling up your guests, and cheaper than serving caviar for 200 people.
5. Food Without End
A buffet spread is certain to feed all of your guests to satisfaction. With plenty of menu options and the chance to go back for seconds, your guests will have eaten plenty of food. If you're catering for a number of dietary restrictions, you can still include dishes that will please other guests while catering for dietary requirements. Your caterer will be able to advise you on what kinds of dishes your guests require.
Provide your caterer with a guest list to give them an idea of how much food they will need to provide for your event. An experienced caterer will be able to estimate the amount of food your guests will eat without going overboard. Ask them about their more popular dishes: these are the dishes that you should order the most of.
There are a number of benefits to buffet service for a large event. You can stay within the restrictions of your budget even while your guests eat as much as they please. You can also be sure that your guests will enjoy a relaxed, social evening with friends and family.