One of the hardest decisions you will make regarding your catering is whether or not to serve plated meals or offer a buffet for your guests. You need to consider who will be attending the event, the atmosphere that you would like to evoke, and the setting of the event. Presentation plays a large role in the satisfaction of your guests, but your preference matters as well. Ultimately, there are many different things to consider when deciding whether or not to get plated meals or a buffet.
A general rule is to assume that almost everyone would rather have their food served to them rather than getting it themselves. If you are planning a fancy event or wedding, the majority of your guests will assume they’ll be waited on. Table service provides that uniform experience for everyone. Plated meals allow a consistent serving time for each person, and more time for quality conversations among the guests at each table.
A buffet offers each guest the ability to get exactly what they want. If you're unsure about the portion size to give each guest, buffets offer the benefit of not worrying about it and letting the guests choose for themselves. Buffets come in handy when you don't know the dietary preferences of your guests. You can offer beef, chicken, and salads, and allow each person to get food for themselves. If you plan to have a laid-back event with intermingling socialization, buffets create the perfect setting for this atmosphere.