Buffet vs. a Sit Down Meal
By Roman Bienkiewicz, Banquet Manager, The Manor
Looking for a way to keep the cost of your wedding in check? Rethinking the plans for your reception dinner can provide some significant opportunities for savings, without skimping on the hospitality you offer guests. Consider a buffet instead of a formal sit-down meal. A multi-course sit down meal is more expensive than a buffet for two major reasons:
First, the server-to-guest ratio is much higher for a sit down meal: the wait staff has to be large enough to make sure everyone is served their courses almost simultaneously. Secondly, the food selections can be pricey for a sit down meal, if guests are offered choices like steak and lobster, seafood appetizers and other premium items. With a buffet, the size of the wait staff can be considerably smaller. That alone can save significantly on costs. If you want to save even more, you can choose a menu that provides lots of variety and ample quantities of food at a lower cost per person than a surf and turf meal, for example.
But buffet doesn’t have to mean “budget” in the menu department. For example, here at The Manor, we’re well known among regular customers for our Lobster Buffet evenings. And now the Lobster Buffet is becoming a popular choice at the wedding receptions we host. There are additional reasons beyond cost that can make a buffet a good choice. Your guests can serve themselves as much or as little as they want, unlike a sit down meal where all portions are the same size. It can also create a more informal ambiance. And by encouraging guests to move about the dining room and serve themselves, it can get guests to interact with each other more. And a buffet is also a festive display in its own right. Even though it costs less than a comparable sit down meal, a buffet looks impressive – and mouthwatering! So when it comes time to plan the menu for your reception, talk to your caterer about your buffet options, and you’ll have some tasteful, money saving ideas to consider.