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Serving Styles

Below are the four standard serving methods.

 

Family-style

 

Food is bought out in large serving dishes and placed on the table. Guests pass them around and serve themselves. Food is passed around again as needed, so guests are able to get seconds, or even thirds. This family-style works best at a casual or semiformal dinner, or when you have enough room on the table for the large bowls and platters.

 

Plated

 

Food is arranged on individual plates in the kitchen and brought out to guests. This style is best for formal dinners, or when there’s not enough room on your dining table for serving dishes.

 

If your guests would like seconds, the host will refill plates, or passes around serving platters, then returns them to the kitchen.

 

Breads, condiments and beverages can be left on the table; guests can help themselves to those things.

 

Seated Buffet

 

Food is laid out on a large table. Guests serve themselves and sit down to eat at a fully set table. Guests help themselves to seconds.

 

This style is best when there are a large number of guests and enough tables and chairs to accommodate them. Seated buffets take place at weddings or other large formal affairs; they are also nice for smaller casual gatherings as well.

 

Tips: If you are hosting a seated buffet inside your home, set up a buffet table near the kitchen and place it a few feet away from the wall if possible so guests can walk all the way around it. Medium-sized serving dishes should be used. Remember to replenish food often, as this will make the food appear fresher and look more attractive. Leave enough space between dishes for people to put down their plates if necessary. Stack plates one or two ends of the table.

 

Standing Buffet

 

Guests serve themselves from a buffet – place sets of silverware folded or rolled into napkins next to the stacks of plates- then stand or sit wherever they want, including sofas, stairs and cushions on the floor.

 

This style is best when you have a large group of people, the meal is informal and/or you are hosting an open house. Guests will help themselves to seconds.

Posted by: / June 24, 2010

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