Quick Tips for Hosting a Better Buffet

A variety of different foods in serving pans and bowls on a red gingham tablecloth

Serve guests in a snap with these party time tips for serving up a feast buffet style.

Avoid traffic jams

To keep guests circulating and cut down on wait time, set up multiple serving stations in different parts of the room. Designate a main table for dinner items, then place salads and drinks on a smaller surface. A third table can even be used for desserts and coffee.

Create visual interest

Create a platform for food and décor by arranging stacks of plates or small boxes at varying heights along your buffet table. Cover with cloth napkins or a table runner to create an elevated serving area that’s easy for guests to reach. Tuck fruits, nuts, and leaves in the unoccupied nooks and crannies to make your display even more welcoming.

Plan your food flow

Think about the path guests will take when you’re setting out your dishes. Start the line with dinner plates and make sure meat, like turkey, is carved ahead of time. Place side dishes after main dishes and leave extras like gravy, cranberry sauce, and rolls for the finale. Keep guests from juggling too many items by parking silverware and napkins at the end of the line.