If you anticipate your party to be pumpin’, and you envision your guests sashaying over to chaffers to quickly grab food and then return to dancing and chatting with other people, then a buffet is clearly the way to go. While buffets usually offer more variety, flexibility, and mobility than plated dinners, many fear that a buffet could result in a stagnant, long line of hungry people. Total buzz kill.
So, if your event includes a lot of people, there’s a new trend in food service that is pretty nifty-Interactive Stations. They are a step up from a buffet, more like an enhanced Viennese table that incorporates an assortment of food groups, not just dessert. Interactive Stations offer a great way for your guests to be actively involved in choosing what they want to eat, and how they want it made. They’re a great alternative to a regular buffet because they truly bring the food to life and ensure the freshness of the food as guests can watch their food being prepared right before their eyes.
Depending on what your event entails, there are a multitude of stations you could offer. I found some great station ideas from Catersource.
Cultural: If your party is themed or ethnically oriented, then these stations are for you. Think gyro station, crepe station, fajita station, sushi station, nacho bar, or even a bruschetta station.
Classic: The total crowd-pleasers, staple foods that people love. Think raw bar, pasta station, and a cheese and crudité station.
Seasonal: Many foods are seasonal, so have your stations feature what’s typical for that season.
Fall: pumpkin ravioli/butternut squash pasta station
Winter: mashed potato bar
Spring: assorted fruit bar, fresh salad bar
Summer: mini hotdogs, hamburger sliders, onion rings
The Bottom Line: Think of the tastes, personalities, and even the age of your guests. Are they a lively bunch that loves to mingle? Is there a variety of palates among them? If you have a lot of foodies at your party or just want to spice up traditional event food choices, then go for Interactive Stations. Get cooking! Or I should say get choosing!
Check out more creative Interactive Station ideas from: http://www.catersource.com/resources/library/event-planning/steal-this-interactive-station-ideas