Organizing a buffet party can seem intimidating at first. But feeding several people small bites is not as complicated as it seems if you do it right!
Follow our tips to host a worry-free and super-friendly party that’s a little different than the usual sit-down affair!
Furniture and accessories
The most important thing to plan when hosting a large number of people that will spend most of their time standing is buffet tables for each of the food stations.
Unless you’ve opted for a party where the bites will circulate on trays, you can prepare one table for each of the following foods: appetizers, savory foods, sweet foods, drinks, accessories including glasses, plates, napkins, dressings, assorted breads, etc.
Of course, if you don’t have enough space for all these tables, you can very well pair up the foods.
When people spend the evening standing, they tend to eat less. Nevertheless, you need to make sure everyone will have their fill.
Here are the optimum quantities to calculate for each type of bite served:
- APPETIZERS| Calculate about eight pieces per person. Concoct verrines, mini-quiches, or savory cakes, and prepare raw veggies, canapés, pâtés, etc.
- MEATS| Calculate 150 g per person. Vary the meats and the way they are presented and offer at least four different types. For instance, serve thinly sliced roast beef, smoked salmon, shrimp, meat-based canapés, and so on.
- CHEESES| Offer a selection of four or more cheeses, calculating from 80 to 100 g per person.
- SALADS| Easy to make and always versatile, calculate about one large salad per ten people. Prepare several: green salad, grated carrot, coleslaw, potato, rice, or pasta, for instance.
- BREADS| Vary the types of breads. Present them already sliced and calculate about three slices per person.
- DESSERTS| Also offer four or more types of desserts and calculate about six per person. There are many mini-dessert options—verrines, tarts, mousses, cakes, fruit skewers, etc. Give your imagination and inner foodie free rein!
- DRINKS| Calculate about three or four cocktails per person. You can make a large punch or sangria, or make a variety of other drinks easily available. For the meal, calculate an average of one bottle of white wine per three people and one bottle of red wine per four people. The same goes for champagne or sparkling wine. Of course, don’t forget to offer waters, juices, and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages to your guests. They can also bring their own bottle to lighten party expenses.
The way you present your buffet is key! Paying attention to the small details and choosing a theme and colour palate will give you a result your guests will find absolutely sensational.
Top it all off by identifying your dishes with pretty labels, mixing up the serving dishes, harmonizing colours, setting the mood with some nice background music, offering a variety of tastes and textures, and serving it all up with a large quantity of high-quality napkins so your guests can enjoy the menu worry-free.
There’s nothing wrong with asking your guests to participate by bringing some bites. Just make sure to thoughtfully distribute the types of bites they can bring to avoid too much of the same thing.
Lastly, make sure to choose recipes that can be cooked in advance or frozen so you can fully enjoy the party!