June 1, 2022

Buffet vs. Menu Catering: Which One Is Best for You?

Catering is perfect for those times when you have a lot of mouths to feed. You can be in this situation for any number of reasons. Maybe there’s a party, a work convention, or a high school reunion coming up – whatever it is, you’re in charge. That means you have to make sure that everyone is fed. The last thing you should want to do is make food for so many people. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to have your event catered? But then, what kind of catering do you get? There are two main types: a buffet and a typical menu. A buffet is where our catering team would supply your event with a whole host of choices of food, and everyone chooses their servings. Depending on the buffet list, your food choices can be very specific or across a wide range. With a menu, we have items we will prepare as people order them.

They both have their pros and cons and fit some occasions better than the others. If you’re wondering which of these two options is best for your event, Grico’s Classic Cuisine and Catering can help.

When To Get a Buffet

Buffets are all about empowering people to eat what they want. They get to choose how much of everything they can eat, and when. If your event revolves around a lot of fraternizing and talking, a buffet may be better. A celebratory party where everyone is walking around and mingling would benefit from a buffet more. It allows everyone to eat when they want to with who they want to. A mixer or a social networking event would also benefit from a buffet rather than a menu.

Buffet vs. Menu Catering: Freedom of Choice

Buffets also allow people to choose their own servings. Not everyone eats a lot, and some people eat a lot more. This isn’t to say that the servings that come with dinner menus are unsatisfying. In an instance where you’re on your feet and taking breaks to eat, you’re going to work up an appetite that a traditional menu will have a harder time sating.

Then it also accommodates people on a special diet better. Most of our menus have a least one option for everybody, but sometimes it’s easier to order something you can trust when you can see it.

Buffet vs. Menu Catering: Cons of So Many Choices

Buffets do have an issue where people don’t eat everything. In these instances, a lot of food can get wasted. If this does happen though, you can keep your food for the following week depending on what list of buffet items you go with. You pay for it, so of course, the buffet items are yours. It can also be donated or easily taken home by the guests. So while there is the risk of food being wasted, there are many ways to keep that from happening.

When to Get a Menu

Menus make your guests feel like they’re at a restaurant. If that’s the kind of experience you want to go for, then a menu may be a better catering choice than a buffet. Ceremonies where guests get designated seating, such as wedding rehearsal dinners and award ceremonies are all perfect places for menu catering.

Buffet vs. Menu: Being Served

With a buffet, a person is essentially serving themselves, which leads to a lot of people walking around and making noises. When you need people to pay attention, it’s better to have everyone sitting down and eating from their seats all at once. This way you won’t have interruptions.

If you’re hosting something like a convention or a business presentation, people shouldn’t be walking back and forth to the buffet area. Waiters are trained and well-practiced in not making noise, but regular guests are not.

Buffet vs. Menu: Cons of Waiting

At a restaurant, you don’t come in and immediately have food. You have to order it and wait for it to be prepared. If you’re on a tight schedule, a menu isn’t the best idea, because anything ordered from a menu needs time. In this same instance, a buffet isn’t much of an improvement since people will still need the time to eat and get seconds. When on a tight schedule, menus might not be as beneficial.

Did You Know You Can Have Both?

You can have a mixture of a menu and a buffet if you need. If your event will have presentations, but scheduled ones that will make room for eating, you can have a buffet for appetizers like soup and hors d’oeuvres in the beginning. Then, guests order their food from a menu, which can be prepared during a presentation or speech. Once you’re done, waiters can bring out the food, and voila, your guests are well fed.

Call Grico’s Classic Cuisine for Your Catering Needs

We want your event to be a successful one and will help how you want us to. For your catering needs, please look at our many catering menus, and contact our Catering Coordinator. Email Allison at afriedman@gricosrestaurant.com or call 570-690-3339.

If you want to try our food before you want us to cater your event, come visit our restaurant. You make a reservation online.