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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
buffet
Loraine
11/16/11
What is the order of placing food for a buffet? I am having bread,salads,vegetables,turkey,ham,dressing,cranberries & pickles
ellen
11/16/11
I did an article on this which I have not yet posted, here is an excerpt:

Laying Out the Buffet
Once you have selected your menu, you can begin planning the layout of your buffet. A very effective way to do this, which will also help assure you have all necessary equipment and utensils, is to use the actual serving dishes and utensils on a table or tables of the planned size. If you do not have equipment which will be rented, you can use cardboard or brown paper cut outs!

Whether you have servers for the plates or the diners serve themselves, you use the same order of service. Group each type of food, so that people can see how much meat, salad, etc. there is. If you have a limited amount of food for some dish, or it is very popular, it is wise to have a server for the dish to control the size of the portions. Sometimes, people seem to forget that there are many others in the line behind them.

The following layout for the service line is common, though not always the best choice for a buffet service:

Plates
Main courses/Meats/Entrees
Main Starches
Vegetables
Salads or Relish Tray
Breads
Desserts
Flatware
Napkins
Drinks (ideally for large groups, on a separate table)

You may have a reason to change this order. For example, you can somewhat reduce the quantity needed of the more expensive foods this way: as a rule, the further along in the serving line a dish is, the more moderate the amount taken. You will use less of the main course if you set up this arrangement:

Plates
Salads or Relish Tray
Vegetables
Starches
Meats/ Entrees and related sauces/gravies
Bread
Desserts
Flatware
Napkins
Drinks (ideally for large groups, on a separate table)

Notice that in both cases only the plates are at the front of the line. That way, diners are not trying to balance napkins, flatware, and glasses as they serve their plates.

The important exception to either of the above orders is:
if a food has to be assembled as it is served, such as a sandwich or a taco salad, put the serving dishes in the order the dish is assembled. Bread goes at the beginning of a sandwich line, not at the end. Taco meat goes after the lettuce and the beans.

 
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