Setting a Buffet Table
Serving a meal buffet style not only offers the hostess convenience but provides the guests with an informal setting with time to mingle and enjoy. Having the buffet table set up in a logical progression, however, takes a little bit of time but is the key to keeping the line moving.
Have a plan of how the buffet will be set up prior to the gathering. Know which platters and serving bowls will go in what locations so that when it comes to serving the meal you will feel confident in the arrangement. Group like foods together. For example, if you are serving a breakfast buffet and the menu includes waffles with maple syrup, make sure that these two items are located side by side.
Another tip is to make sure that you keep all hot foods together and all cold foods together. This keeps the buffet balanced and keeps it pleasing to the eye.
Remember, guests have one hand to work while going through the buffet. When you are offering salads to your guests, place the salad dressing in a nice squeezable bottle. This eliminates the guests having to set their plate down in order to remove the cap and then fumbling with getting their plate back in hand.
Pedestal plates are a great way to give the buffet table height and dimension. They are also nice way to present muffins, pastries and desserts.
The illustration below is a good basis to organizing any buffet table. Feel free to adapt it so that your buffet not only looks appealling but also is functional for your guests.