Buffet table display

By April 28, 2022 No Comments
How to Setup a Profitable Buffet Table. Learn how to create a profitable buffet table to lower your labour and food costs.

There are many tips for a buffet table display. For example, food must be fresh, exciting and stimulating to the appetite, and you need to strike a good balance between lavish and simple.


Ingredient 4: Setup a Profitable Buffet


Tips for a buffet table display?


Fresh food

Nothing can destroy the effect of a buffet quicker than food that does not appear fresh.  Wilted or brownish lettuce in a salad bowl, dried sauce with skin on an entrée item, or stale, dried-out bakery items.

Lavish and abundance

Above all else, a buffet should look lavish and plentiful.  The appearance of an abundance of food beautifully laid out is exciting and stimulating to the appetite.  There are many ways to create this look.


A variety of colours is as vital on a buffet as it is on a single plate.  Plan menus and garnishes so that you have enough colour on the table.


Flat foods on flat tables are uninteresting to the eye.  A centrepiece is an important feature, giving height and focus to the buffet.  Ice carvings and floral or fruit displays are some possibilities.  These should be placed on a separate table behind the food table.

Centrepieces on individual platters also add height.  Large food items such as large cheeses and whole roasts being carved at the table are also effective. 

Full platters and bowls

Replenish items as they become depleted.  A nearly empty bowl isn’t as appetising as a full one.

Arrange platters so that they still have interest even when portions have been removed.

Proper spacing

While you shouldn’t crowd the items, don’t spread them so far apart that the table looks half empty.


This sounds like a contradiction to the lavishness principle, but it’s not.  You need to strike a good balance between the two.  Lavishness is not the same as clutter.

Over designed, over-decorated food scares people away from eating it.

How many times have you heard someone say: “Oh, it’s so pretty I don’t want to touch it”?  Even if they don’t say it, they’ll think it.

  • Simple arrangements are much easier to keep neat and orderly than complicated designs.
  • Colours and shapes should look lively and varied, but make sure they go together and do not clash.
  • Keep the style consistent.  If it’s formal, then everything should be formal.  If it’s casual or rustic, then every part of the presentation should be casual or rustic. 


Leave salad dressing off the salad.  Not only does it wilt the salad.

 I’ve found that most people like to put on their own.

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