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Buffet Ideas

Buffet – the popular alternative to the traditional table service

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, a buffet goes down well with guests because they have a choice of several dishes or appetizers and don’t have to settle on one flavor. Cold roasts on slate platters, steaming minestrone in chafing dishes or colorful petites fours on displays – buffets impressively present what your kitchen can do. With the buffet systems you also create a uniform style to round off the buffet enjoyment visually as well. Did you know? The term “buffet” originally comes from French, as the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who ruled in the 18th century, did not think much of formal welcomes. So he introduced the dining form of buffet.

What are the different types of buffet?

  • – Breakfast buffet: The breakfast buffet is one of the most popular buffets and includes, among other things, different types of bread, different spreads, cold meats, cheeses, jams and   egg dishes.
  • – Brunch buffet: Germans love to have an extensive and long breakfast on the weekend and follow it up with lunch. The brunch buffet combines parts of the breakfast buffet with hot dishes.
  • – Festive buffet: The festive buffet is used for celebrations such as weddings. A selection of main courses such as meat, fish and vegetarian alternatives as well as a selection of side dishes are served.
  • – Salad buffet: In hotels and restaurants, the salad buffet offers a selection of leaf salads, vegetable salads, dressings and additions such as croutons or baguette slices.
  • – Snack buffet: The snack buffet is ideal for welcomes, openings or similar events. Sandwiches, small pastries, finger food or canapés are served.
  • – Dessert and ice cream buffet: The dessert buffet concludes a successful evening with cupcakes, tartlets, various types of ice cream, chocolate mousse, cream and tiramisu.

These are the most important products for a buffet:

Which products you need basically depends on the type of buffet. We have compiled an overview for you, which you need for the classic – a breakfast buffet:

  • Buffet display cases, which provide cooling facilities for sausage, cheese, vegetables, yogurt, butter, fruit, fresh cheese, etc.. Buffet showcases are available with special cooling accumulators or heating accumulators.
  • Bread baskets to stylishly arrange various rolls such as brown bread, baguette or Kaiser rolls.
  • Bowls in which you can decant yogurt, muesli, quark & Co.
  • Beverage dispensers to keep either coffee or hot water warm.
  • If the coffee does not come directly from a coffee maker, it can be served in a pot.
  • Carafes and decanters for the attractive presentation of cold drinks such as juice, water or milk.
  • Guests can pour their own beverage into stackable, small drinking glasses at the buffet as desired.
  • Cereals dispensers enable precise portioning of cereals thanks to a special rotating system.
  • Of course, buffet platters and buffet trays are needed to arrange the food. .
  • Cups, plates and cutlery are either collected by your guests at the buffet itself or you set the table with them. For cutlery at the buffet, use practical cutlery containers.

How should a buffet be set up?

Depending on the number of guests and dishes, the possible buffet structure varies. In addition, the space available in your restaurant for the buffet plays a role. A long table is suitable for a maximum of 120 people. If you have more guests, it is best to set up several buffets on which the same dishes are presented. Make sure that the different dishes are not too crowded on the tables. One more table will visually equalize your buffet and the multitude of buffet systems, platters and vessels will appear more clearly arranged and tidy. The classic buffet set up is based on the order of the dishes: Provide plates, cutlery and napkins at the beginning of the buffet line. Then follow salads, appetizers and soups. Next, place the main dishes. Finally, the desserts follow.

Buffet or à la carte? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Are you considering whether to offer a buffet in your restaurant? What speaks for and against buffets?

Advantages of the Buffet:

  • Each guest can freely choose his culinary highlights. As many as he wants and when he wants.
  • The guest does not have to decide, but tries different dishes.
  • You save staff because serving is omitted and only must be cleared.


  • A buffet requires more space.
  • Not every guest prefers buffets.
  • It is more impersonal, as direct communication with the service staff is reduced.
  • The buffet invites people to load up more than they end up eating. Thus, more food ends up in the trash.

Advantages of the Á la carte

  • Guests order only one portion and usually eat up.
  • It is more personal because the waitress is in direct conversation with the guest and can advise.
  • The ambience is nicer and quieter because there is no traffic to the buffet.


  • You need more service staff.
  • There is more work in the kitchen, because different dishes, possibly with individual wishes, must be ready at the same time.

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