If you’re having a full dinner reception, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is the style of service you’ll offer.
Of your options (buffet, plated dinner, family-style service), a buffet will give you the most variety and least service cost. However, a word of caution. What you save in service cost, you’ll spend in extra food. As you can imagine, caterers do not want to run out of a certain dish, so many will begin by pricing out serving each dish to 100% of your guests (i.e. – assuming that every guest will eat one serving of every item). This is not only wasteful, but it also dramatically increases your budget, virtually eliminating any savings you receive from the service costs.
If your catering proposal includes a price per person instead of a price per dish and quantity of dish offered, push your caterer to offer quantity/piece pricing. You’ll be surprised at the quantities you’re paying for and will be able to adjust to save quite a bit in cost and waste!