How to Make a Professional Looking Buffet Table


People eat with their eyes first, and nothing looks as appetizing at a party as a professional looking buffet table. The key to making a professional looking buffet table is uniformity and attention to all the little details. Crisp white linens, matching plates and gleaming silver all add professional flair to a buffet table. You can rent linens and chaffing dishes through most party supply stores.

  • Cover the buffet table with a linen tablecloth. Make sure it has no wrinkles. And do not use paper or plastic tablecloths, even if you are setting up the buffet table outside.

  • Attach table skirting with clips. You can purchase or rent skirting for buffet tables through most party supply stores. Keep in mind that skirting clips usually only work with buffet tables, not ordinary kitchen tables.

  • Stack matched plates at the beginning of the buffet. Group three of four stacks together, varying the heights for some visual interest and to avoid the cafeteria look.

  • Roll silverware settings in linen (not paper) napkins and place in a wicker basket, at the end of the buffet table. This way guests can grab the silverware after they have served themselves from the buffet.

  • Polish chaffing dishes with metal polish and place in a row on the table. Cold foods should be served first, so leave room for bowls of salad and such, between the plates and the chaffing dishes.

  • Print menu cards on good quality card stock and fold in half, placing in front of each dish. This lets guests know what is in each chaffing dish as they pass through the buffet line.

  • Add some color to your professional looking buffet table with some faux greenery, fruits and flowers tucked at the base of each chaffing dish. Be careful not to let the faux greenery catch fire on the Sterno flames.

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