(Closed) Dinner buffets: Why all the hate?

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 47
Member
4494 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Typically, I don’t do buffets. At all. If I have to – like at a wedding, where obviously I’m not going to be rude and just sit and not eat, then I will, but if I have a choice I will never eat at a buffet of any kind. For me its mainly about the germs. Everyone is breathing all over the food. Its disgusting. People cough, sneeze, etc and don’t turn away or cover their mouths. Children mess with the food, sometimes touching it (heck even some adults do this) and it just ruins my appetite. Though “fancier” buffets, where the food is all behind glass and a person serves you, are okay with me.

I think the line thing is also not very appealing. For our wedding one of my main requirements was that it be a sit down meal. I’d rather have 30 guests and a sit down meal than 75 and a buffet.

Post # 48
Member
1132 posts
Bumble bee

My buffet is costing $153 per person. If you’re my guest and you’re going to complain, you can pay for your own damn food.

Post # 49
Member
11735 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

A buffet done well is great.  I just rarely see them done well!  Also, no matter how awsome the buffet is, I absolutely HATE having to truck across a room with a plate of food while in heels and a dress.  I generally dislike the cattle call feel of buffets.

 

Post # 50
Member
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We’re doing stations, which is sort of buffet…. the salad and dessert are plated and brought out, and the stations are for the entree. They are manned stations so nobody will be serving themselves.

I would never go for it if I hadn’t seen my venue pull it off seamlessly though. I too have been to amazing buffets AND dismal buffets. Dismal is usually the waiting forever for your food sort. Or just generally food left out in things for people to spoon out themselves.

The station option was not the cheaper option for sure. Plated was way cheaper. But I’m not a fan of most plated dinners.

Post # 51
Member
1234 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We had a plated meal because I always associated plated meals with more formal weddings and I had never been to a wedding with a plated meal. Usually I love buffets but last wedding season I had attended too many weddings where they were not organized and running 300+ people through two lines took over half an hour. By the time the last people sat down the couple had already finished speeches in a few instances. 

Post # 52
Member
2093 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@leenh78:  Good! I always cringe when people say horrible things at a buffet. What’s wrong with them?! Maybe it’s a southern thing, but to me, like you said…the food is always hot. And you don’t have to wait for someone to bring you more ______…just get it yourself. And then your guests can even have seconds.

I prefer buffets, because of the sheer variety you can offer. You give everyone a chance to get what they want.

I’ve been to plated dinners and the food is always cold. Always. It’s never, ever hot. And the meat is always dried out.

Post # 53
Member
5184 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I don’t understand the complaints about buffets. You can’t stand in line and hold a plate at the same time? You think the kitchen and serving staff wear masks so their germs don’t get into your food when they cough or sneeze? They don’t. My goodness, some of you ladies must have maids and butlers at home I swear. 

Post # 54
Member
11231 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

View original reply
@GeorgiaBride5:  That’s odd, since I’m from Michigan and have only been to one plated dinner (that was awful because the whole thing was a hot mess and the food was terrible).

I like buffets. Like some people have said, if you’re a picky eater, you can load up on other stuff if the entree doesn’t appeal to you. I’ve been to poorly done buffets and well done buffets and remember them both. We’re having a buffet at our wedding. I’ve seen their set ups and they’re very nice, always have two sides going, are well-organized, etc. We’re also not having a formal wedding at all (and have never been to one). If we were to go to a formal/black tie/etc. wedding, I would definitely expect plated (and hope that the food was at least edible).

Post # 55
Member
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I just want to know what kind of gross people y’all know who are coughing and sneezing all over the food! I don’t know anyone who would do that. Gross.

I have had great buffet meals at weddings and bad ones and I’ve also had great and horrible plated meals. I think it all depends. If the venue runs it well then a buffet shouldn’t mean waiting forever to eat. I’ve been at plated events where I was at one of the last tables served and definitely saw that other tables were done before I even had my food – that can happen with plated OR buffet if the venue doesn’t handle it correctly.

I don’t eat at buffets in my daily life, but I actually prefer them at weddings. I’d rather be able to pick and choose what I want and how much. If the main entree doesn’t appeal to me I can fill up on salad and sides or whatever instead of going hungry. We will probably have a buffet. Unless you’re having a black tie or otherwise super formal reception, I don’t think it’s inappropriate.

Post # 56
Member
1783 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We’re having stations set up for our guests with hand-passed and stationary Hors d’ouvres.

Each table will be a different selection of food (beef, chicken, seafood, pasta) with corresponding side dishes and condiments for each. We may go the route of around-the-world, not sure yet. I am going to clearly label each table and each dish. I think I may somehow let guests know in advance what will be available so they don’t need to stand around looking at everything.

 

According to the event coordinator at the venue they gradually go around to groups at the cocktail hour and let them know they can start getting their dinner whenever they would like. She said it really helps stem the ‘run for the food’ problem because a lot of guests will need to finish their conversations first.

Post # 57
Member
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I have been to four buffet weddings and one family style.  I liked the family style the best.  One of the buffets was more like a station, which was fine except I didn’t like the style of food being served, but since it was a small wedding, it went well processing-wise.  The other three, the lines (even multiple) were not managed well and the food was cold when I ate it.  Granted, all three had decided to put the buffet outside…at night.  Whyyyy? 

I could see a buffet being good, but I haven’t experienced one yet.  But I certainly don’t begrudge anyone who does it.  Especially since around here it’s about the same cost, so it’s certainly not “cheap”.

One thing that I will say is that buffets trigger some sort of innate hunting response in me.  I feel like I have to make a mad dash for the food to make sure I get some and/or it’s hot, lol.  If they’re calling by tables, I tap my feet nervously and eye the line (“Don’t take two rolls…I’m watching you!!”) until we’re called, then I push my tablemates out of the way as I run by!  Sorry, Grandma!!  😉

Post # 58
Member
2965 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I have NEVER been to a wedding where they had a plated dinner in my area. I do think plated dinners are elegant but I would hate not having a choice of what I wanted plus as seen on Four Weddings, plated dinners still get complaints. We had a buffet dinner at our wedding but then again we only had 60 guests, there were servers and the food was hot and delicious! I would say if you are having a large amount of guests, a plated dinner would be a better route to go.

Post # 59
Member
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@leenh78:  It definitely depends on the formalness of the wedding.  If you are expecting guests to wear gowns and tuxes, they are going to expect passed hors d’uerves and plated courses.  The less dressy the occasion, the more acceptable a buffet is.

I also agree that I have eaten at great buffet receptions and terrible buffet receptions, most fall somewhere in between.  Make sure to meet with the caterer early enough that you can review presentation and menu choices.  I would also want to see their regular setup if possible as well as contact a few brides who have also used them in the past for reviews.

Post # 60
Member
4522 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I think we *all* would prefer plated, covered meals presented to us by white-gloved servers…

But since this is real life, some of us are left with the buffet option. You’re told to “have the reception you can afford”, but if it’s a buffet you’re tacky. Damned if you, damned if you don’t.

 

Post # 61
Member
854 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We are having a buffet.  Because we are having 35 in attendance, it will be quick and efficient – no 2 hour lines. 

The topic ‘Dinner buffets: Why all the hate?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors