The words “buffet” and “banquet” are often used to describe how food is served on special occasions. Blast Catering, a Dubai-based event catering company, shares that they do not mean the same thing, however. They have distinct features. If you’re organizing an event, you need to know the difference between a buffet and a banquet to make sure it’s appropriate for the type of gathering.
A buffet service involves your guests serving the food themselves. They choose from a selection of prepared dishes laid out at one side of the venue. This type of meal service needs fewer members of the waiting staff due to the self-serve setting. The minimal staff makes it a more affordable option than a banquet dinner, as well.
Buffets are great for events with a large number of guests. Aside from having a wide selection of food and minimal serving staff, buffets can be organized nearly anywhere. This makes it perfect for unconventional event venues.
A banquet dinner involves sumptuous plated meals served to your guests per course. A standard full-course dinner usually has three or four courses, although you can set more. A full French course dinner, for example, has five courses.
Sit-down dinners require a larger wait staff and often cost more. However, the table service allows you to control the service times for each course and, in turn, the entire dinner event. It also gives guests more time for conversation with the people at their table.
Consider the Occasion
How formal is your event? The rule of thumb in event catering is the more formal the event, the better it is to serve plated meals.
If your event celebrates a milestone, such as an engagement, or honors a special guest, it’s best to go with a formal banquet dinner. Family reunions, team building events, or product launches, meanwhile, are more casual. These events would be better catered with a buffet service.
Understanding the difference between a buffet and a banquet helps you plan your event better. Keep in mind: your guests would leave your event more satisfied if the meal service you choose fits the formality of the event.