Which Style of Service is Right for You?
Which style of food service is right for your event?
When planning your wedding reception, corporate meeting, fundraiser or any other event, refreshments and food are a must! Whether leaning towards a formal and glamorous event, or keeping it more laid back with an informal free flowing event, there is a food option that can fit your style.
Cocktail style is perfect for those who prefer a social and casual atmosphere. Whether having food out on stations for guests to nibble at on their own, or having servers pass appetizers while they mingle over cocktails, cocktail style service is a great start to any event.
Pros – Cocktail service allows guests to interact and is perfect for events lasting 1-3 hours.
Cons – If cocktail hours happen over a meal time, guests may be expecting lunch or dinner. Be sure to plan your cocktail hour during an off meal time.
Food stations are a great way to get your banquet staff and guests to interact. With food stations you can offer a variety of different types of food, and still give your guests a chance to get up and mingle. Whether providing your guests with a mashed martini bar or allowing your guests a made-to-order crepe station, guests will love the creative options that go into food stations.
Pros – Food stations bring a lighter, fun atmosphere to your event. If you offer a variety of stations, guests can try multiple cuisines with made-to-order foods.
Cons – With needing to have so many “cooks in the kitchen”, you will need more chef attendants and more food. Keep this in mind as it pertains to food and service costs.
Buffet style is the most relaxed form of service, and is great for corporate, fundraisers, and the laid back weddings. Buffet style gives your guests the opportunity to try a little bit of everything, as well as mingle while they are getting their food.
Pros – Guests will have the opportunity to try multiple types of food, making this style great for all types of diets. In regards to staffing, not as many servers are needed for buffet so that will help cut down on costs for service.
Cons – With buffet service, the chef has to prepare enough of each side and entree for each guest, meaning there is more food than a plated dinner and can make costs higher. Guests also have to help themselves, so depending on the speed of your guests, this type of service can take longer.
Family style is a great form of service for those looking to do a combination of plated and buffet style. Guests will interact while passing platters and bowls of food around their tables. This gives a formal as well as relaxed “family” feel.
Pros – This style is great for those who want to try multiple types of food, while not having to wait in line.
Cons – this style uses the same amount of staff as a plated meal, with the same amount of food as a buffet, causing the price for this style of service to typically be the most expensive.
Plated dinners are the most formal for food service. Guests are seated and food is brought to them, typically in 3 courses.
Pros – This type of service allows guests to be “wined and dines” and looks the most formal. It allows guests to interact at tables, instead of having to wait in line for food.
Cons – There is more work that goes into a plated dinner for the guests. All guests will have to RSVP in advance, with their entree of choosing. This type of service is refined to one or two entrees, making it limited for guests with dietary restrictions.