Catering a Dinner? Buffet vs. Sit Down

Would your guests prefer to sit down and be served, or would they rather visit the buffet themselves, and choose their favorite items?

Either approach can be very successful, and either can be pleasing for different reasons. How do you choose?

Catered Dinner: To Sit Down Or Buffet?

One consideration is knowing what your guests were doing prior to arriving for their meal.

Were they walking around a convention center show floor? Were they taking a tour of the facilities? Did they just engage in some form of physical activity?

If they did, they may want to cool their heels, rest their legs, and cop a squat. Sitting at a table before even thinking about food options may make them happier and more relaxed. Sit-Down Service catering may be the call here.

Were they sitting watch a presentation? Were they at a panel discussion on folding chairs? They did just watch a movie?

Before The Catering Event

If they have been stationary for a few hours, then walking up and down a catered buffet line and stretching their legs might be just what the doctor ordered. Having the flexibility to approach the line at their own pace, in their own style, may also give them a pleasant feeling of autonomy, after having been stuck in one place. Buffet might be the call.

Also factoring into your decision may be:

  • How many buffet stations can there be? Logistically, how many can you fit? If you have 100 people waiting for a single buffet line, you could be creating a frustrating bottleneck.
  • What sorts of dishes are you serving? If you are heading toward sandwich options, then a buffet is likely simpler, and will involve less staffing.
  • How much time do your guests have? If they have the luxury of an hour, then taking the time to sit together, talk across a table, and break bread together may help them bond with the other attendees of your event.