Buffets or Waiters?

Buffets or Waiters?

Due to current budgeting considerations more events are turning to the “buffet line” to cut costs.  Some events are even using scattered food stations and high boy tables.  Both are seemingly cost effective, but raise timing and technical issues.

First, the “grazing” method.  Guests roam freely from food station to food station and then search for some space on those small high-boy’s or stand in a group and practice their juggling skills.  Your invited guests will be carrying a drink, a plate and hopefully their program and bidder paddle. “Tasty food, wonderful wine…hey, where’s my program?”  The best fix for this is open table seating so at least they can sit, eat and bid!

Buffets on the other hand usually come with assigned tables.  Which helps if you choose to call the tables up to the buffet by number, as opposed to opening the buffet and standing back! The big issue with buffets are, the first people through the line are done with their dinner but those at the end are still holding empty plates.  Those who have finished will only sit so long before their up and roaming around again which means you have to sit them down again before you can start the program.

So what do you do?  You start the program when the majority of your guests are through the line.  If any of the folks in line are interested in one of the first lots then they will either bid from the line (it’s true) or send their significant other back to the table to join in the bidding.  It may seem a little curt for those in line, but for the majority who are done and waiting around it will be greatly appreciated.

And here’s a little technique that made a difference for a 500 person buffet.  I had the silent auction tables set so they paralleled the buffet lines.  “Boy, am I hungry….ooohhh a dine around town package!”

So if you’re going to go the buffet route think about where your people are going to make camp. Take into consideration the only money you’re saving on a buffet is the cost of the wait staff.  Which could in the long run be costing you bids!

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