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How to Arrange the Perfect Outdoor Buffet Table

Aug 20, 2016 | Home Decor, Outdoor Living

Buffet dinners are a great way of entertaining a lot of guests at the same time. But, they work great even when you’re having a few friends over to watch football on the patio. The advantage is the host can spend ample time with the guests instead of worrying about serving.

It’s easy to serve dinner in a buffet arrangement, but we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths. Let’s look at how you can make the most of arranging your buffet table so it beckons your guests to come back for seconds.

Acrylic Outdoor Dishes

1) Plan Ahead. Plan your serving pieces ahead of time. Set out and label the platters you will use so that you aren’t racing last minute trying to find that certain platter.
We think these melamine serving platters will add a touch of color and pattern to brighten up your table setting.

Acrylic serving dishes platters

Acrylic Platters

2) Mix and Match. Serve your food on matching or at least coordinating dishes and let it play a role in your decorating.

Acrylic dishes

3) Top it Off. Keep your decor seasonal or simple. Top your table with a pretty tablecloth and a few accessories. A centerpiece does not have to be a flower arrangement. You can’t go wrong with candles. Scatter votives down your table, or create a display of pillar candles.

Arranged outdoor table with acrylic dishes

4) Level it Up. Elevate a few platters on concealed boxes to create height and drama to your table.

5) Make it Flow. Follow these recommendations to keep guests from performing a juggling act while fixing their plates.
It is ideal to have guests make a loop around the buffet table. Set plates at the beginning of the buffet, leaving silverware and napkins for the end. Ensure good traffic flow by keeping drink and dessert stations separate from the main meal area. No matter which way you set it up, make it easy to access all of the food.

How to Set a Buffet Table

6) Set it Up. Start your buffet with appetizer or soup, followed by main course(s), hot side dishes, cold salad, cheese and/or fruit, condiments, breads/rolls, butter, and finally dessert (preferably in a separate location).

7) Keep it balanced. Don’t serve just proteins, throw in fruit salad, vegetable crudite and dessert. If you’re doing a BBQ buffet, accompany those burgers and steaks with appetizers, chips and dips.

These simple tips will make your next party buffet a huge hit and ease the stress of serving your guests!