After you say your I dos, guests want to celebrate with you at your reception meal. In your search for a caterer, you’ll sample delicious appetizers and carefully curated main dishes. However, your chef will ask a series of questions, which will no doubt include wedding food catering styles. So, which should you choose—buffet style or plated American service?
With buffets, our mind often wanders to images of sneeze guards and people being less than sanitary. Yikes! That’s thankfully not the norm when it comes to wedding catering styles. However, if you think plated meals need to be stuffy, think again. So, which one is better when comparing buffet vs. plated wedding meals? Let’s delve into the types of meal service options and figure out which is best for you and your venue.
There’s some debate as to whether buffet table style is more or less expensive than plated American service. Sources on the web swing either way, so here are some reasons why fans are on both sides for wedding food.
With a buffet, there are two things to consider when making sense of the cost. The wedding catering company needs fewer staff members for a buffet. Even if you have food service workers dishing out the food, it requires fewer people than running plates to tables.
A plated, served meal is more aesthetically pleasing than simply plopping food on a plate, which happens with a buffet. Individual meals are prepared and garnished for presentation, all of which takes time—and staff. For these reasons, it makes sense that a buffet is an ideal option for wedding catering on a budget.
When you choose plated American foodservice, there is usually a fixed cost for the caterer per meal. Say each plate contains one piece of chicken, a serving of mashed potatoes, and six stalks of asparagus. Each plate has a set cost.
With a plated meal, some guests may crave more food, and others won’t finish their meal. There are also fluctuations when it comes to the quantity that people will eat with buffet service. However, the caterer needs to account for guests loading up their plates and coming back for seconds with a buffet. Quantity is an argument for plated meals being easier on the budget.
When you’re calculating your wedding catering cost, it’s a great time to chat with your chef and be honest. They can work within your budget and suggest ways to cut costs or go all out if finances aren’t a concern.
Converse with your caterer about your must-haves. If you have your heart set on steak, a rib-eye may be more economical than a filet. Your chef will also know what’s best for buffet vs. plated meals, and they can help determine the best dinner service for your budget.
Of course, recent events have had couples thinking about how to keep their guests safe and healthy. As sanitization standards are top of mind, moving from buffet-style service to plated meals has become a trend.
Yes, a plated meal restricts the movement of guests and is overall more sanitary. However, it’s possible to create a safe environment with a buffet. Have food service workers serve guests at the buffet. Staff can wear gloves and masks, and you can request that your guests wear a facial covering while in line.
Considering the safety of your guests and keeping your budget in line is just as important as your menu choices. No matter which food service style you choose, realize that the two types of catering provide a different experience. Whether you’re hosting a casual event or a posh affair, your guests will experience a delicious meal in celebration of you and your love.