Plated vs Buffet Service: Which One Is Right for Your Wedding?

August 3, 2022

Plated vs Buffet Service: Which One Is Right for Your Wedding?A wedding is one of the most important and memorable events in a couple’s life. To avoid stress on the day itself, it should be planned properly. And, aside from the wedding dress, venue, and theme, you also need to consider what kind of catering service to have. 

This decision boils down to choosing between plated vs buffet service. This is a difficult one, and the one you choose shouldn’t be based solely on your preference. There are various factors to consider, such as what your guests would prefer, what your budget is, and more. All these should be taken into account before making a decision. 

To help you out, here is an in-depth comparison between plated and buffet services:

What Is a Plated Catering Service?

A plated catering service is a dining option wherein guests remain at their seats throughout the entire meal. Each course is prepared on individual plates and served to each guest by staff at their respective table. 

Pros of plate catering service

Here are the pros of having a plated catering service for your event: 



A plated catering service style is more elegant. Every beautifully plated food is conveniently served to guests, which makes it luxurious. If you have a more formal occasion, choosing a plated service can be the best way to go.  

Every guest is seated and served at the same time in an organized manner. Executing a plated catering service style can be challenging, but you don’t have to let it deter you. If you choose an experienced caterer, like Juan Carlo, you can keep your plated wedding reception flawless.  

Equal Food Portions

Equal Food Portions

With a plated catering service style, you can make sure that everyone is served equally. Each plate will have a fixed amount of serving, which is typically 1 salad, 1 soup, 1 main course, and dessert. However, you should also remember that this limits the food choices of guests. 

Eliminates Wait Times

In other catering setups, your guests will usually need to line up to get food. With plated catering service, your guests won’t need to stand up and wait to be served food while carrying a plate and glass. They can mingle with others instead of lining up for food. 

However, with plated catering service, the preparation of food can take up some time as well. As it requires portioning and garnishing every plate according to a specific measurement. 1 to 2 servers plus food attendants need to prepare and serve the food. 

What Is a Buffet Catering Service?

With buffets, the food is presented in chafing dishes and guests walk along the side of it to serve themselves food. There is also an option for buffets to have staff assist guests at each dish. 

Pros of Buffet Catering Service 

Here are the pros of having a buffet-style catering service for your event: 



Buffets are more popular for wedding receptions because of the benefit of variety. Guests can pick which dish they would like to eat, and how much.  

Guests are encouraged to mingle and visit friends from other tables. Staff will continue to replenish the chafing dishes quickly. You don’t have to worry about running out of food as well if you hire an experienced wedding catering team. 


Another big advantage of buffet catering service is affordability. While some people believe that buffet service is more expensive, you can save more money with it, because you only need a few staff for attending each buffet table. 

Typically, plated services are also about 20% more costly than a buffet service with a similar menu. Why? Plated catering services will require more people. Every dish will need to be portioned, garnished carefully, and served. At least 1 or 2 servers will be needed per table plus chefs and food attendants. With plated services, you will need to pay more for staff and food presentation, instead of the amount of food served. 

If you have a budget in mind, the buffet catering service is more affordable.  



With a buffet catering service, you can be creative with displays. You can have carving stations, a grilled seafood display, or even food bars. There are also endless design options for serving plates, silverware, stands, trays, etc. Your buffet station can be outright stunning, stylish, interactive, and unique. But remember to choose a reputable caterer, so that you can have a buffet setup that is perfect for your wedding theme. 

Key Takeaway

A quick search can easily reveal horror stories about weddings that were bothered because of choosing the wrong catering style. Make sure to choose the right one for your wedding! There are pros and cons between plated vs buffet service. The choice between these two catering styles will depend on various factors such as budget, number of guests, convenience, and how you envision your big day. 

Experienced catering services in the Philippines, like Juan Carlo, can help you navigate through your wedding with the right catering style! At Juan Carlo, we offer plated service and buffet service as well for all kinds of events. Click here to contact Juan Carlo today!





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