Buffet management

As a special offer

International shipments may take up to buffet They have acquired great relevance for some years, they were born as a special offer to the client who in general terms welcomed it, soon it was seen that they entailed a certain reduction in staff, which made their use spread on the one hand and on the other were objects of attack and criticism, despite the buffet vio Its strategic planning element has been carried out since it provides undeniable competitive advantages, this in the long run in maintaining quality and in achieving the viability of some companies.

As he says saying

"You eat first with your eyes”, Says the saying and who can deny the pleasure of browsing, especially if it deals with delicacies as specific as well preparations. Restaurants that seek to offer their clientele an attractive table and a relaxed atmosphere are presented with several options, one of them is the traditional service that is very pleasant to eat comfortably installed with a cozy decoration and to be served by friendly and courteous waiters Both the one-day customer and the vacationer who wants to enjoy their well-deserved vacation, whichever formula they choose, all demand quality, and quality must be present not only in traditional service but also in a recent but already well-established modality: THE BUFFET.

Comes from France

The term buffet comes from the French language and means sideboard, however today when we use this word we want to express something else, we mean the exhibition with a view to immediate consumption of a more or less extensive set of foods that the diner approaches to select those that most appeal to you and proceed to its consumption sometimes standing up but generally sitting near it.
The most genuine characteristic of the Buffet we could fix it in its free character, in fact the first thing that was announced they used that word as a claim to indicate that the diner could eat as much as he wanted and this one well displayed such prerogative since the first experiences that many of the participants used to end up with quite heavy digestion.
The popularization of this type of service was not entirely clear, there are authors who make it come off the Nordic esmorgarbor. Some countries  from Latin America call it the Swedish Table, while others attribute its discovery as a working method to mere chance arising from inventiveness that used to accompany the presentation of problems and relate how the lack of personnel in a certain establishment made this system start up. that, resulting in great success among clients, went from being a circumstantial solution to becoming an institution, which seems to be clear is that locating it at such a late stage does not correspond to the testimonies that place it many years ago.
The origin of the BUFFET is lost in the mists of time and in a certain way it is logical, it says that the exhibition of food has been a common event since prehistoric times, perhaps the antelope just married and placed on a stone cannot be considered as such. Since then, for thousands of years, the action of placing food in a position to be consumed has taken countless forms, although the most common of all are evidently those that offered greater comfort for the diner, that is, those that were placed within the reach of their customers. hands whether he was reclined or seated so that he could taste the pleasures of the table.
The gathering around food soon went from a mere physiological necessity to a social act, the act of eating in company, especially drinking, was seen to gladden the hearts of human beings and to encourage closer relations between them and was used to dialogue, to discuss important matters or to cultivate friendship and love, in these acts the delicacies were placed in front of the diners so that being exposed and being able to use them as much as desired constitutes a background that evoke the current buffet .
Greeks and Romans are the peoples that have contributed the most to the popularization of these feasts but of which there is no doubt is that it was the development of the technique of making the great pieces assembled that gave the gastronomic samples the dimension and brilliance that it achieved in the XNUMXth century, and was precisely the great french cook Marc Antoine Karen the great artist who introduced these techniques.

Varied, attractive and comfortable, the truth is that the Buffet is not without its seductions.

The Buffet is a party, a great show, it displays all its attractions, wears its best clothes and takes care of the smallest detail, a smile, a flower, a flattering light, it wants to surprise and seduce, who could resist its charms, but not It is only about beauty, the buffet has different characteristics that go beyond mere aesthetics in the first place: the buffet as a restoration system does not need the menu because somehow it is itself a life-size menu in which the The names of the dishes are replaced by their real image, it is a showcase, a way of organizing the food by arranging the different dishes in front of the diners so that they, attracted by such an appetizing show, come and choose what seduces them the most and then to eat, standing or generally sitting in a place where details are duly taken care of to provide the customer with the pleasant atmosphere that any good gastronomic experience requires.
Secondly, the Buffet guarantees the customer total and absolute freedom of movement, diners move as they please and go through the buffet tables examining the dishes, getting closer to temptation, to finally fall fully into it, if they already know the dish And this one you like, you can use it as much as you want and if it is an unknown dish you can take a small amount of it, satisfy your curiosity to try something new, perhaps just trying it will always be possible to repeat it in case the Your experience has been satisfactory, and behind the buffet there will be a waiter willing to help; but if the buffet is comfortable and attractive for adults, for the little ones it can become a fascinating experience.
The buffet does not mean lack of staff or attention, much less behind an exquisite and artistically presented dish, there is always a team of people concerned that both the food and service are displayed correctly, ensuring that each dish is a source of pleasure, be a pleasure for the eyes, an irresistible temptation. It is well known that gastronomy is an art, but it is complemented by aesthetics, so the pleasure of eating is doubled, it rises to the rank of ritual in which the senses participate, taste of course, primarily sight.
Another characteristic of a good buffet lies in the large number of dishes proposed, something that undoubtedly represents another incentive for the diner who thus sees their possibilities of choice multiplied, variety of dishes therefore accompanied by the highest quality of the dishes. food also whatever the amount served will pay the same and this also whets the appetite.

Thinking about the customer

Working with the mind set on the customer is something that hospitality professionals have to do, cold technique is not enough, to achieve a good result you have to put soul, heart, love in the preparation of dishes in the shape of when they are Come to the exhibiting table, get the surprising, dazzling effects that we alluded to before. It is then that the cook can enjoy for a few moments the admiration of his work of art.
The advantages presented by the buffets are in fact multiple, it allows the customer to be able to observe the appearance of the dishes and at a glance decide on one or the other, you can repeat as many times as you want a delicacy, or go curious trying a little of all . This freedom of action and decision is coupled with the speed and efficiency of the buffet formula.
A well-conceived buffet is characterized by the smooth flow of customers, therefore, waiting times between dishes end and everyone has the possibility to eat at their own pace, however not everyone accepts the fact that they have to stand up. It is true that for some people a dinner in a good restaurant or a vacation in a luxury hotel means total rest, the law of minimum effort and above all the possibility of enjoying what the rest of the time is forbidden to express your wishes and see how they are fulfilled in a word to be served for this public, there is the service offered by the restaurant traditional. It is not intended to defend the buffet at all costs or to impose it as a single solution, but rather to expand the range of service formulas, there are so many types of buffet, so many possible classifications that it is difficult to list them all, in this variety the imagination of the organizer as the needs of the hotel or the restaurant.
There are fixed structures in the case of establishments that permanently opt for this modality, these in turn may have wheels or not, the former have the advantage that they can be moved to a corner of the room when it is needed to On the contrary, other purposes than the ones we are seeing are mounted with boards on legs or trestles and are covered with fabrics and constitute another option for a specific service, Cocktails, conventions or longer or indefinite periods.
There are them for each of the three meals of the day, the most widely used formula being breakfast without a doubt because it considerably reduces the number of clients who request this service in the rooms and as the buffet is international, it can be adapted to the most diverse schedules , the hybrid between breakfast or breakfast and lunch or lunch is known by the name of Brunch
El buffet-assisted It is an equally satisfactory solution for the client since it has personnel, most of them chefs willing to help advise and serve the demanding diner.
Another formula is the so-called buffet-partial in which the client chooses the first course from the exhibition and sometimes the dessert and the waiter serves the second one after his choice of the menu or menu.
Given the great adaptability of the buffet, the restaurateur who wishes to take advantage of this modality will choose the one that best suits his type of establishment, category, staff, the forum, and his clientele after all, what matters most is customer satisfaction. maximum guarantee of success and profitability.

Buffet Financial Management

The expansion of the world tourist offer and the reduction in air fares for groups has created in recent decades strong competition that has forced hotel companies in developed countries to become more competitive and as a consequence to seek new formulas for To seek adequate prices without losing quality, the price war imposed by the supply effect had in some cases reduced the gastronomic product of seasonal hotels to unacceptable limits at the same time and due to the significant reductions in personnel, the times of the customers who had to wait in the dining room until they became insufferable, the buffet became the lifeline for these companies, otherwise they would have had to close their doors with the consequent loss of jobs.
The economic advantages provided by the buffet are diverse:
  • Faster service, which allows to increase the productive capacity of the establishments.
  • A lower workload per unit of consumption, which enables the attention of this greater number of clients without increasing the cost of personnel.
  • Although not always, an indirect decrease in the direct cost of raw materials.
But curiously and against all odds, these advantages of companies are accompanied by advantages also for customers:
I.Who enjoys the variety of choice of dishes.
II.You can eat in a very short time.
III.In general, he considers that his diet has improved.
The buffet product is based on offering the client a fairly extensive number of dishes from which they can choose to compose their breakfast, lunch, or dinner; the client himself approaches the display tables and selects these dishes and also repeats the same operation as many times as he wants.

For all this, unless you are invited for a special service, you pay a fixed price.

Rather, it was born for an event of certain relevance where it was desired to convey an impression of abundance and generosity, the buffet was derived as an economic instrument at the service of competitive strategy, it may seem to the layman that the fact of making a theoretically unlimited quantity available to the diner Of food, many of them of high price can unbalance the cost of the raw material consumed.This can happen at parties, one-day buffet, or isolated events where the diner takes advantage to satisfy physical and psychological needs, which for economic reasons, Diet has been accumulating, "a day is a day", this is something that the restaurateur must take into account above all to advise potential hiring hosts that they should not look bad to their guests in an act that can happen like a wedding only once, or very occasionally, in a person's life, but when the buffet is used daily for customersthey are going to enjoy them for periods of one or two weeks. There are several factors that keep consumption within reasonable limits, sometimes even below what would be the cost of a varied menu of a similar category.
  1. The first of these is the tendency of the human body to select a balanced diet. It is known that the most expensive foods are those with a high protein percentage such as meat, fish, seafood, etc. It may be that the first or even the second day you find clients who eat a little more than would be logical, but they will soon feel that their cravings for this type of food are appeasing, diminishing and that they want more other compounds of carbohydrates and fiber. vegetable, logically accompanied by the essential fats, excess protein produces a certain rejection in the short term.
  1. Second factor is what is known in economics as the law of large numbers, people tend to behave as a group in a regular and predictable way that makes possible deviations from what we have previously commented occur exceptionally and normally compensate with exceptions of opposite sign.
  1. The third factor is the imagination of the bosses of kitchen, there are excellent and appetizing dishes whose cost is very low and it is important to discover them, try them with our customers and present them in the right way.
La management To actually organize a buffet you have to base it first on where you are, and on the possibilities of the market, as we have a wide range of possibilities. Within the market we find international merchandise, basically the products we consume are from the land, they are from here then for the management from the buffet in summer because once at night you take it and go to the market, you fill your needs for fruits, vegetables, and vegetables and obviously you are always looking for price-quality so you should go to the market three or four times a week to do a check to see the products directly and have a very close contact with the suppliers.
The Cook must have a conscience, a very clear vision of the costs and of the market product that can be bought at a price today of optimum quality and perhaps within a week they will rise then, that's when you have to store ...
The beach buffet of open places for clients in an informal plan, the buffet takes us out of a huge trouble apart from offering a frankly optimal quality because then a very adequate cost comes to us. The professional gives us the option to make a rotating circle of merchandise that we change with the menu at night, there is a wide range that the professional can have to get his merchandise in optimal condition and look good in front of the client.
Once the products have been ordered, the suppliers send them to the establishment, which normally enter through the merchandise door where they are received by the warehouse staff who check that the shipments agree with quantity, quality and price with the orders placed. It is common practice that the Boss kitchen Due to both your knowledge and the great responsibility you assume to participate in this verification which is usually extreme to high cost or high risk products, it may be that some item has to be withdrawn because it is not in good condition although good relations with providers make it run smoothly.
Once the approval is signed and the appropriate records are made, after receiving the products and they are stored in their corresponding places. It is important that each product has a fixed and corresponding place so that contamination does not occur, as the vegetables will be separated from the meats and this in turn from other articles; periodically the head of kitchen Or whoever he designates will go checking the degree of maturation of the meats in order to choose the appropriate one for the day's work.
Once the products are processed, they are prepared for presentation at the buffet, this is a phase in which hygiene standards must be strictly applied, taking into account that these products will no longer undergo any transformation before being consumed by the customer.
The quantities of each of the articles have been carefully established by the head of kitchen depending on existing customers. There is no doubt that the balance between the quality of services and the achievement of the budget objective is one of the most appreciated qualities in the head of the department.
It is also the time when the cook has to demonstrate his creative sideof artist - decorator, since a careful and harmonious presentation is essential for the buffet to fulfill its role as an attractive and suggestive showcase.
The next step is to remove the preparations for consumption, we are not in favor of tricks such as delaying the output of more expensive food unless there is a single entry shift or independent shifts since the earliest diners can be deprived of the The possibility of trying it should not be watched over the customer while it is being served, as it can be unbearable, as at the buffet served, the presence of an attentive cook or waiter can be allowed and I request that they serve and at the same time portions rationally and if the customer wants to repeat That he does it without any type of psychological pressure. What if it works is to keep not very high quantities of these dishes on the buffet and to be replenished in a way that is never missing. A customer will have to behave differently in front of 10 servings of lobsters than in front of 100, the problem existing in certain types of establishments where the customer takes fruits from the buffet can be avoided by cutting this fruit or presenting it in salad.
The preliminary studies that must be carried out before setting up a buffet to the public can be divided into three phases: first to see in the competition and in the area that is given as a buffet, what price the clients pay and then try to find out how many clients could do , how many covers can be made, then it comes to the determination of an amount of cover that one could make.
It is known that a buffet requires a minimum of cover, you cannot set up a buffet, we would say (depending on the type of buffet) for 15 or 20 covers you have to sell at least 50, in most cases then according to how you anticipate to your potential clientele that you might have in your restaurant Well, then it determines a type of buffet, then you see the more or less price of the dinner that could be applied and already on that price it is determined what part of that money is delivered to the client and which can be dedicated to food, then with That look is given to the head chef the amounts of money per cover or if it is a percentage of sales, then the cover can vary depending on certain times and it is convenient to have a percentage set in a price over the sale price, since this Percentage is the one that determines the relation of cost price per person, sale price per person.
To end this chapter of management economic we want to note that the correct appropriate technique is essential for the survival of the company but what ultimately matters is the final profit figure not the percentages of these, we must not get carried away by the slavery of the ratio what Sometimes you earn more with 40% gross margin than with 70%, everything depends on the sales figure on which it is applied and the fixed costs that have to be borne.
Equipment and materials for the buffet.
The etymology the buffet sideboard in French is above all a piece of furniture where food is displayed, but before addressing the furniture that will be used for the buffet, it is necessary to take into account the space available, how is your dining room, what capacity does it have for how many customers are it aims to serve, what staff are available, what buffet is offered to the public; are some questions to ask first.
In a mobile buffet it is made up of removable elements, tables and boards similar to those used to set up banquets are used when the table has only one side of the service, it is called a front-buffet, another possibility is to set up the buffet centrally. and using circular tables, the supply points are diversified and the feeling of self-service disappears but there are also permanent furniture, with or without wheels specially designed to fulfill the buffet function.
As a general rule in the design of the equipment, three factors must be taken into account:
  1. The buffet furniture must be dimensioned in a matter of the number of clients it is destined for.
  2. That it has to allow an easy and fast access to the personnel, the service will gain in speed and the replacement will be done with ease.
  3. That it encourages a good circulation of customers both towards the buffet and throughout it and around their tables.
Use furniture specifically conceived and manufactured to fulfill the function of a buffet that has multiple advantages:
  • Be provided with plates that keep food cold or hot.
  • Adequate lighting to highlight the image of the product and not distort it
  • Respect safety and hygiene regulations.
  • Present greater functionality and adapt to the space of the premises and the needs of the establishment.
The possibility of finishing it and covering it with materials such as marble, granite, wood, brick, metallic mirror, ceramic, synthetic materials, etc., Allows its image to be adjusted to the decoration of the room where it is to be placed, so that a perfect harmony in the decorative style of the environment.
The main functions that lingerie fulfills are:
  1. Constitute an important complement to food hygiene since it will be in permanent contact with the utensils and with the client.
  2. Provides comfort to diners.
  3. It allows to decorate a simple table and get some interesting decorative effects.
As far as tablecloths are concerned, there are different fabrics, sizes, shapes, colors, in terms of fiber for example, several factors must be taken into account when buying the tablecloths, the use of the buffet will mean continuous washing and ironing So it is better to choose a fiber that is easy to maintain in terms of skirts or table pleats. The fibers used are synthetic, they can have pleats of different widths and shapes and they exist in a wide range of colors. It should not be forgotten that the buffet tablecloths must form a harmonious set with the rest of the dining room.

Containers and complementary elements

Complementary elements:
  • Heaters such as the hot trolley intended for complete carving pieces that keep food at the proper temperature during service, are generally based on the water bath system.
  • Heating lamps equipped with a white light infrared ray system that is preferably used to keep foods such as pasta, rice and fried foods warm.
  • Equipment to keep hot or cold broths or soups.
  • Tureens, platters, bowls, etc.
You must first study perfectly the buffet you want to offer in order to determine with the greatest precision all the elements required for the proper development of the service, for this it is convenient to make a list of all the needs according to the menu as well as the number of customers and of the available personnel in which the equipment such as barbecues, baskets, consommé carts, carts for carving and flaming will enter in this relationship, do not forget to include all the appliances and service utensils such as mobile isothermal containers to transfer food to the buffet in optimal hygiene and conservation conditions, especially if the journey is long or outdoors, do not omit the well-known cutlery and tweezers whose correct use is an essential hygienic measure. In case the pastry does not come fractioned, we must have appropriate utensils for it, as well as wedges to serve soups, knives and forks to carve etc. as well as all the cutlery for diners.
In the buffet, the smallest details must be taken care of, adequate lighting must be given to enhance its attractiveness, whether natural or artificial, it must serve both the buffet and the dining room whose lighting must coincide with that of the buffet in a harmonious and harmonious set. nice. As far as lighting is concerned, there are two factors to take into account: firstly, the quantity must be sufficient to highlight a special dish, allowing the rest of the food to receive uniform lighting and secondly, the quality is careful, the coloring of the Light must not detract from the natural coloring of the product. If it is an outdoor buffet, it should not be forgotten that the sun should not hit the food directly. 

Preparation of the buffet

  1. Preparation of the necessary material and this is where you must take care of all the hygiene measures established by current legislation, one of which is to achieve maximum cleaning and disinfection of all the material, equipment or utensils that are going to be used (lingerie, cutlery , dishes, glassware) all of them have to be subjected to treatments that allow them to achieve their asepsis and disinfection, generally through the combined application of detergent and heat. But the cleaning that we have referred to before can leave visible traces both on the glasses, plates and cutlery, so without altering the level of disinfection achieved through the processes, previously described, the operation called review is necessary. This consists of polishing with a clean cloth the surfaces of the pieces aided by water vapor in the case of glassware as a humidifying agent. 
  1. Later, and a little before the opening hours of the dining room, the tables are assembled with the necessary pieces that for a standard buffet is also composed of the tablecloth, napkins, bread plates, cutlery, glassware, and petit-menage The dishes, whether they are tureens or trincheros, are not necessary since the client himself will take them from the buffet to serve himself the food in them.
  1. In the dining room turned into a real anthill, the buffet is set up, a complicated operation that requires a great sense of operation from the operator.
  1. Each of the series of delicacies must be placed in a previously determined order that coincides with the usual way in which it appears on the menu and on the menu, starters, salads, hors d'oeuvres, soups and creams, etc. However, this order is not rigid but can be adapted to the requirements of the establishment in this setting, in addition, a very important rule must be observed, remove in the optimal time those foods that especially can be contaminated or those that have to be kept at a different temperatures outside the environment, previously and sufficiently in advance we will have heated or cooled the thermal plates in such a way that when the food arrives they are already ready. Tables and table linens must be ready to place dishes and service utensils; dispatch, place the food, make sure the appropriate heaters are in place, all following a rigorous order and impeccable logic.
  1. The mise en place of the buffet consists of the following steps:
  • Start the water bath or infrared.
  • Transport and decorate the decorative elements, both the general ones and those specific to an area.
  • Place the dishes for customers in the right places.
  • Transport all the dishes from the kitchen to the living room and place them on the buffet, respecting the basic rule of decoration and the desired order of consumption.
  • Place the plates of replacement In the right place.
  • Choose and arrange the service utensils so that they are easy to handle by the customer. 
To effectively distribute the different dishes, trays, saucepans, etc. on the buffet table and combine them with the decoration elements, it is necessary to possess a certain sense of aesthetics and knowledge about the harmony of colors, qualities that in many are innate but can also learning and developing in addition to all this will have to follow a few rules, for example if sauces and dressings are placed next to the food they should accompany they will get customers to choose well the combination of their meals. It is interesting in any case to have a little attention, the eye will first fixate on it and then discover little by little. The environment is also important that simplicity and clarity prevail.An overloaded object distracts the customer's attention and prevents him from appreciating the choice, do not hesitate to play with the different heights using tiered tables or simply placing a tray on a shelf, a block or face down plate making sure of course that it remains stable. A last glance at the buffet allows us to verify that everything is in order, the global perspective of it gives us the possibility that the optical effect has been achieved. Likewise, it will be necessary to verify that the necessary material is ready for rapid use, let's not forget that the loss of time of the clients in a buffet is something that should not happen precisely. One of the main advantages of this service is that it eliminates waiting times.
The color present in our daily life is also present in the food, either by the person who has the food or by the container that is presented, or by the frame where it is exposed or by the place where it is served, combine the colors A buffet is therefore not only an art but also a factor of seduction that is interesting to handle to attract the customer. It is not ballad to see that the colors red, orange, pink, brown, yellow and light green excite the appetite while lilac, violet, yellowish green, and olive reduce it. Properly using the colors in the presentation of the dishes is an intelligent formula but that proper use has certain rules to be achieved, it is necessary to avoid the profusion of colors and the combination of those that are considered incompatible, the classic decoration rules can be applied to buffets with the exception that the same extensions that we find in this field will also be discovered in gastronomy. There are no absolute values ​​or inflexible patterns and therefore, as in buffet art, genius can be found within the most absolute heteroplasmy.
Not all establishments have the same possibilities when it comes to setting up a buffet in those that a large number of diners are oriented to figures that can be around a thousand in several shifts, the decoration to give way in terms of priorities refers to the functionality It is evident that it is very difficult to achieve great decorative effects when hundreds of plates have to be placed, but the effort of highly trained professionals allows good aesthetic results.
On the other hand, every day the demanding hygiene measures are imposing new limitations and it is logical that this happens because the priority objective is to keep the health of the diner safe, that is why the trend is to see more and more functional buffets every day. and more protected, which will make the presentation of food progressively more sophisticated.
The Decoration from the buffet.
As far as buffet decoration is concerned, there are those who think that the final phase constitutes what is done in the assembly, the artistic distribution of the dishes and their accompaniment by decorative elements often sought at random and sometimes of doubtful taste of light dangerous in terms of food hygiene, the time when we saw a couple of dead partridges accompanied by a shotgun and a basket along with a stew of these pickled birds is over.
The decoration of a buffet should be done if possible with the food itself and at most with aseptic or edible accessories. This forces the decoration to begin with adequate planning and inevitably begin in the kitchen where all the work must take this aspect of the decoration into account. The same happens with desserts, these often, like cut fruits, have a translucent texture which will cause the light to shine on them producing special effects, an importance that must be taken into account for when they go out to the dining room, the Food in the same way inside the kitchen as outside it is something that certain professionals ignore, there is no color without light so the tone and intensity of this is a determining factor in the modification of the tones.
Therefore, it is important to choose the type of fruit to be used and the way they are cut, in addition to meeting the criteria of functionality, it must be aesthetic and harmonious.
One of the decorative accessories that we talked about before can be the fruit basket, a kind of natural still life not intended for consumption but rather to constitute a sample of all the fruits found on the buffet. Vegetables, fruits and vegetables properly worked constitute an excellent and cheap reason for decoration, as the arrangements made with them can be spectacular.
The ice motifs are spectacular: there are different types: the carved ones, those produced by freezing water in a mold that allows other elements to be inserted inside, in this case some pieces of seafood.
A skillful person can transform a simple tomato into a whimsical motif of buffet decoration, this apparent ease with which he works, however, it is not achieved without practice and probably a certain predisposition, certain vegetables such as cucumber are admirably suited for these functions. due not only to its texture that is easy to mold but also to the possibility of playing with the attractive contrast between its interior and exterior color.

To summarize the most important aspects of the buffet decoration:

  1. Having previously defined a style as well as having taken the necessary steps to plan the material aspects in which this style is intended to be reflected.
  2. Apply the basic rules of decoration of this type of gastronomic exhibitions. They must be harmonious in the combination of colors, they must have a clear three-dimensional effect dominating width, height and depth, they must give the sensation of richness, variety, and abundance, in the same way that there are very beautiful people. but with little attraction and there are other less graceful that are very seductive with their sexapil. The buffet to achieve that hidden factor that attracts the diner above any other consideration. There are great masters of the kitchen who have mastered this art without often knowing for sure where their magic touch comes from. This living grace is more important than a cold and erratic perfection and chefs who want to be artists have to advance towards this form of creativity that in a single profession can find the talent of knowing how to assemble and decorate a good buffet.

Some considerations of the service in the buffet.

During the service the personnel must be present in order to fulfill some functions such as:
  • Serving the diner in everything you may need
  • Undo the dishes
  • Remove empty trays and replace with full ones
  • In the case of an assisted buffet, either chefs or waiters stand behind the buffet table to serve some or all of the dishes to the clients, in this way the presentation of the food is better taken care of, the size of the portions is controlled and above all service is streamlined.
  • The chefs can provide the carving service so they must be people not only skilled in this type of skills but also competent to operate in front of the public, the latter has the possibility of choosing between the different types of meat or fish on display.
  • Another task that waiters usually perform during the buffet service is carried out in the dining room, in a breakfast buffet it is normal for coffees and infusions to be served, during lunch and dinner it serves drinks, previously chosen that are normally billed separately.
If you want to offer your clientele a barbecue service, a very successful formula must have at the disposal of the public a counter of raw meat or fish where each diner can choose their piece, sometimes in this type of buffet you have to pay a price supplementary by the same that consequently is not included in its global price.
At the end of the meal it is necessary to pay or sign the invoice, it can include the price of the buffet plus the extras and only the latter if the client is on alimony can also be done at the table. In higher-level establishments or to be completed upon departure, in those that want to speed up this process and impose greater control, even in others, the consideration of the drink is required at the same time of service, a formula that produces an image of a lower category . At the end when the clients have already left; the staff is still active, it is now necessary to dismantle the tables and leave the facilities clean and ready. This is one of the tasks that costs the most, it is an anonymous task without the stimulus of the presence that customers provide and you are already tired but you have to finish it.  
The success of a buffet depends on many factors, but first of all having carried out adequate planning and assembly, during these phases the necessary measures will have to be adopted to facilitate both the service of the staff and the comfort of the clients, they will have By studying the circulation flows, the food will have been arranged so that it is accessible while being protected from any contamination and the decoration will have been played with to achieve an inciting effect. But above all, above all else, the client will have been offered what he expects and values ​​the most, our hospitality, without which all of the above will have been a useless effort.


  1. Buffet means sideboard but nowadays we refer to a more or less wide display of foods in which the diner can select the ones they most want and consume them immediately, this being one of the advantages of the buffet.
  2. The buffet is varied, attractive and comfortable, it is not without its seductions.
  3. The buffet is a life-size menu in which the names of the dishes are replaced by their real image.
  4. In the buffet there is a great proposal of dishes in which the diner sees his possibilities multiplied
  5. The well-conceived buffet is characterized by the smooth flow of customers so that they can eat at their own pace
  6. The buffet does not mean lack of staff or attention, much less. Behind each exquisite and artistic dish is the concern of a team of people such as: Cook, Dependents, etc.
  7. The breakfast buffet considerably reduces the number of customers requesting this service in the rooms.
  8. There are different types of buffets: Breakfast, Brunch, Assisted and Partial
  9. LThe economic advantages provided by the buffet are diverse: Un faster service, which allows to increase the productive capacity of the establishments. A lower workload per unit of consumption, which enables the attention of this greater number of clients without increasing the cost of personnel.Although not always, an indirect decrease in the direct cost of raw materials.
  10. The advantages for customers are: Who enjoys the variety of choice of dishes. Phe can eat in a very short time. CIn general, he considers that his diet has improved.
  11. Consumers can select and consume any number of dishes from the display tables and pay a fixed price, except for the guests.
  12. High quantities of expensive dishes should not be kept on the buffet.
  13. Customers should not feel any psychological pressure when they want to repeat a dish
  14. Previous studies must be carried out before setting up a buffet, and it is convenient to set a percentage in the price on the sale price of each place setting.
  15. The final profit figure is important and will depend on the sales figure on what is applied and the fixed costs that have to be borne.
  16. In the design of the equipment for the buffet service, three factors must be taken into account:The buffet furniture must be dimensioned in a matter of the number of clients it is destined for. QIt must allow quick and easy access to staff, the service will gain speed and the replacement will be done with ease.That it encourages a good circulation of customers both towards the buffet and throughout it and around their tables.
  17. There are multiple advantages in well-designed and manufactured furniture to fulfill the buffet function:Be provided with plates that keep the cold or heat of the food.Adequate lighting to highlight the image of the product and not distort it.Respect the rules of safety and hygiene.It presents greater functionality and adapts to the space of the premises and the needs of the establishment.
  18. The possibility of finishing it and covering it with materials such as marble, granite, wood, brick, metallic mirror, ceramic, synthetic materials, etc., Allows you to adjust your image to the decoration of the room where they are to be located, so that a perfect harmony in the decorative style of the environment.
  19. The tablecloths for the buffet should be chosen as a fiber that is easy to maintain due to continuous washing and ironing. In addition, the tablecloth has to form a harmonious set with the rest of the dining room.
  20. The containers and complementary elements for the buffet service must be taken into account, such as:
Complementary elements:
  • Heaters such as the hot trolley for complete carving pieces that keep food at the proper temperature during service, are generally based on the shaving dish system.
  • Heating lamps equipped with a white light infrared ray system that is preferably used to keep foods such as pasta, rice and fried foods warm.
  • Equipment to keep hot or cold broths or soups.
  • Tureens, platters, bowls, etc.
For the proper development of the buffet, it is convenient to make a list of all the needs based on the menu as well as the number of customers and the available staff in which the equipment such as barbecues, baskets, consommé carts, carving and flaming carts will enter In this relationship, we must not forget to include all the appliances and service utensils such as mobile isothermal containers to transfer the food to the buffet in optimal hygiene and conservation conditions, especially if the journey is long or outdoors, do not omit the Known cutlery and tweezers whose correct use is an essential hygienic measure. In case the pastry does not come fractioned, we must have appropriate utensils for it, as well as wedges to serve soups, knives and forks to carve etc. as well as all the cutlery for diners.
  • Lighting is important in the buffet because it must be necessary to highlight a special dish, and the color of the light must not impair the color of the product. In the outdoor buffet the sun should not directly hit the food.
  • Among the advantages of the buffet service is the elimination of waiting times.
  • In the buffet you have to take into account the harmony of colors and lights, from the place to the food or vice versa.
  • The quality of food and food hygiene measures are two key factors in the buffet.
  • The decoration must be done with the food itself, although you can use aseptic or edible accessories.

The success of the buffet depends on:  

  • Proper planning and assembly of the same.
  • Adopt necessary measures to facilitate customer service and comfort.
  • Study the circulation flows of consumers.
  • Food must be accessible at the time and protected from any contamination.
  • The decoration should achieve an inviting and naturally pleasant effect.
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"