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Plated or Buffet? Whether you are planning a wedding, birthday, reunion, or any celebration, it is very important to harmonize everything. Your theme should match the venue and the food, and your food should be enough to serve all your guests. Although sometimes coordinating these three elements can be tricky because of last minute changes, like more people came than you expected or some were not able to go, you just have to be prepared. In this case, you might be asking, what is better: Buffet Style or Plated Meals?

Let’s first differentiate the two. Buffet is when meals are laid out in a long table. Condiments are one end, and the people will fall in line while serving themselves. Or in some cases, there are waiters to help you guests. While plated meals is simply handing out already filled plates to guests. No need to stand-up, the waiters will take care of this.

So, which is better than the two? None of them actually. The style of food service is dependent more on the people and the availability of resources. To elaborate this more, let’s give some situations.

buffet vs plated

When to go Buffet

It’s a birthday celebration and you have invited your friends, relatives, and the whole neighborhood. Let’s say, 50 or more people have confirmed to attend. The venue is your front yard, and after setting the tables and chairs around you found out there’s still some space. So, now the food. You prepare the usual, meals that kids and adults both like. However, you don’t know what food will first run out or what meal will most likely be untouched. So, the best option is: Buffet style.

When you are not sure of the exact number of people, choose Buffet. The same goes when you don’t know what people would most likely want to eat. It would be a waste if you serve chicken on a plated meal, but only half of your guests ate it. So lay out more choices for them in a Buffet table, like a variety of chicken, beef, and seafood. Another option to consider is the venue. Buffet style will most likely to cause long lines and heavy traffic, because people might have a long time choosing and serving themselves. Sometimes, they even chat in front of the table, oblivious to the people waiting in line. Don’t choose Buffet Style to avoid overcrowding and waiting.

When to choose Plated Meals

Plated meals are a more appropriate option during formal events or those with a time limit. Imagine a seminar or business meeting, every minute is precious so as to make the most out of the event. Lunch is nearing, and surely it will only be for an hour. Instead of asking your participants to stand up and serve themselves, let the food come to them while they are sitting and going around with what they are doing. In some cases, you can even continue with the program while they are eating. It’s hitting two birds with one stone. This is also an option if you have limited resources, you don’t want to waste food by serving so many entrees or you don’t have space for a buffet table.