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How to serve your guests at your event

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There are many options in food service when hosting an event at a banquet hall. Each option offers different levels of service. Here are the most common ways to serve your guests.

  • Family-Style:  This formal approach allows your guests to remain seated for dinner and enjoy their meal as a “family”.  Servers bring out the food on large platters and they are passed around the table. Servers make sure to replenish the courses on an as-needed basis.
Food platters on table

Family-Style dining

  • Buffet-Style:  This casual service style allows guests to put together their own meal plates from heated chafing dishes set-up on different tables.  Servers make sure food is replenished and hot.  This is usually the least-expensive option when compared to other styles.
Chafing Dishes on a Buffet

Buffet-Style Dining

  • Plated:  Another option is individually plated meals for each guest.  The host chooses from 1 to 2 entree options and serves it with a starch and vegetable.  This is typically the more expensive service and reflects a formal tone for your event.
Serving guests with individual meal plates

Individual Plated Dining

  •  Food Stations:  These are quickly becoming a trendy option for non-traditional weddings.  You could think of it as a “deconstructed buffet”.   With this style of dining, themed mini-buffets are set-up around the reception area.  Guests casually travel the room and try what they prefer.  Pricing varies on this one since it depends on what types of food are served.
Carving Food Station

Carving Food Station

There are many factors that weigh in on which dining style suits your event.  Make lists of the pros and cons of each and go with what matches your vision.  Always consult with your venue, as they will steer you in the right direction with their expertise.

Anna Wolski

MCC Banquets and Events


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