Buffet vs. Cocktail Stations
Providing your guests with a variety of foods ensures that there will be something for everyone. You can do this in one of two ways.
A traditional buffet which typically offers a salad either served on stationed, two entrees, two starch and two vegetable selections. Like a sit down dinner guests would basically all eat at the same time. You would have seating for all guests and they would be dismissed by table to go through the buffet line. Dinner size plates would be provided and the table would be set with full place settings and dinner size napkins.
Want to be a little more creative cocktail stations or grazing stations are designed for a more casual affair. There may not be seating for everyone, but you can provide a variety of tables including high tops and smaller cocktail seating tables. The stations would be open for about two hours in which guests can visit the stations at their leisure and sample the food selections. Smaller plates are provided so guests can mingle and dine at the same time.
Foods should be smaller portion sizes so a knife would not be needed. All of the stations do not have to open at one time; maybe start with a fruit and cheese for the first hour than move into more substantial food like a carving station with petite rolls or an action station like a fajita or Asian station. When choosing a stations menu, make sure you are covering all food groups and there is enough variety. I suggest at least 4 stations. For more ideas on cocktail stations check out our cocktail buffet menu.