Buffet Etiquette – What you need to know

Have you been invited to a buffet style wedding reception or are you hosting your wedding reception as a buffet?

…Here are a few simple tips for you:

  1. How much is too much?

Although one of the main benefits of buffet style dining is the fact that you can take as much or as little food as you want, this should not be a license to stack up your plate, especially if you can go back for seconds.

Just because there is a wide variety of food on offer, does not mean you should help yourself to it all. This is especially true in a wedding reception, where you should be considerate of other guests who are yet to eat.

  1. Hosts help your guests

Where possible, it is a good idea to have a menu list on each table so that your guests have an idea of the food on offer beforehand. This will help save time and reduce food wastage, as your guests are less likely to waste time deciding on their choice at the buffet station.

  1. Always wait your turn

Guests, please remember that no matter how long the wait may seem, it is impolite to push in or not wait until you are called.

Note for the host: One of the disadvantages of buffet style weddings is the fact that there can often be a long wait before guests are called up to get food. If possible or practical, hosts should help minimise the wait by providing more than one serving station.

  1. Temporarily leaving the table

If you are leaving the table to return, place your napkin on your seat. This will inform others and the waiter that you are still returning.

  1. Place serving utensils back

This may seem like common sense, but many people if they have the option of serving themselves; fail to place the correct serving utensil back to its original place, or end up using it to serve another dish.

This could potentially be dangerous if other people suffer from particular food allergies and it could also cause cross contamination.

  1. Be polite

Always be pleasant and polite to the people around you in a buffet queue. Do not rush the person in front of you or even place your hand over their space whilst serving yourself.

Bonus Tip:

Do not be tempted to put your dessert on the same plate as the main course. Reserve the desert for another plate and another trip to the serving station.

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