Buffet menu versus sit down banquet meal option

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When hosting a party you have to contend with several decisions. The menu style is one of the key choices to be settled, and the contenders are a buffet menu and a sit-down banquet meal. Your type of event will often determine which option to choose. As will the number of guests attending the event and the venue size and arrangement.

What are the pros and cons of each choice and why would you choose one over the other?

Sit Down Banquet Meal

A sit-down banquet is a traditional option for most when it comes to weddings and corporate dinners. A seated dinner will come with a menu, often pre-selected in advance, and often two or three courses and sometime more.

The pros of a sit-down banquet meal are:

  • Table service is easy to organise and execute.
  • You know food choices in advance.
  • An air of formality often adds to the occasion.
  • Accommodates people of different ages from the young to the old.

The few disadvantages include:

  • The requirement to accommodate table space for all the diners.
  • The limited food options as choices from a set menu.
  • Need to provide serving staff so that everyone gets their food at the same time.
  • Keeping all the food warm and serving it fast so that diners enjoy their food hot.

Buffet Style Dining

A common dining style for informal events, buffet dining offers a lot of advantages due to its flexibility.

The pros of buffet dining include the following:

  • Lower cost per diner compared to sit down meal but not in every case.
  • A large variety of dishes can be provided on platters that are not possible with sit down banquets.
  • Minimal space requirements as people can eat standing up, or informal seating.
  • Better conversation and networking possible as people work the room, great for social events.

Buffet dining has its disadvantages. The most obvious one is, how much you should order to ensure food does not run out. Another disadvantage is that queueing may create holdups as people queue around the food table.

The “Graze craze” phenomenon

You could always wow your guests and go “modern” with grazing food. Heriot will set up three or four food stations around the room for guests to help themselves with say, food inspired from different countries at each station.

You could have a Spanish table, an Italian Table, an Indian or Greek table and to finish, a wonderful selection of miniature desserts or cheeses. This could finger food or even in more substantial mini bowls.

Now that you know the pros and cons of each dining style for your event, which one do you think suits your event better? Check out our buffet, grazing, bowl food and sit down menus to help you decide. If you would like any help or to find out more about each option, give Heriot a call on 020 8427 7373 today.

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