How to Start a Buffet in Three Simple Steps

Buffets are one of the most popular dining setups throughout the country. From weddings to all-you-can-eats, buffets are recognizable, accessible, and - best of all - profitable. But how do you get one started in the first place? After following the necessary steps to start your own restaurant , you can use the following suggestions as a blueprint to specialize in buffets. Step 1: Equipment and Dinnerware The equipment you purchase is critical to the success of your buffet. Regardless of whether you have a permanent indoor setup or a catered outdoor operation, almost every buffet will need chafers , food pans , kitchen spoons , and tongs , just to name a few of the essentials. But even though they have a few things in common, they require very different specialized equipment for successful operation. Indoor Buffets For an indoor buffet, you can go the extra mile by using an induction buffet table, an innovative way to keep food warm without the use of chafers or fuel. You can also look at more permanent dinnerware, such as melamine dishes , glass tumblers , and metal flatware . Last, one of the major advantages of an indoor buffet comes with the option to use tables, booths, or a combination of the two. Outdoor Buffets Outdoor buffets can benefit from items like banquet tables and cloth table covers , two necessities that form the foundation of your buffet while offering a chance to make a lasting impression on your customers. Outdoor operations will also need unpowered equipment, like food and beverage carriers , on top of disposable dinnerware and beverageware —and that's not to mention the trash cans and bags to go along with them. The best part of outdoor buffets are all the extras that can give your customers a memorable experience. Products like portable bars and beer dispensers can give an added impact to catered buffets, especially at weddings or conventions. For on-site cooking, you can even invest in portable outdoor grills for fresh-cooked food and an aut

Guide to Chafing Dishes

The most common chafer shape is rectangular or round. However, alternate shapes are available for a variety of purposes. Main entrees are generally served from an oval chafing dish or rectangular chafing dish, while sides and desserts are often served from round models. Rectangular: One of the most standard dish shapes, a rectangular chafing dish is commonly used for main entrees. An oblong chafer is less common, and used for appetizers and sides. Round: Another popular chafing dish shape, a round chafer is commonly used for side dishes, sauces, and desserts. A half-round chafer is used for appetizers and sides. Oval: Offering a more contemporary look than a rectangular chafer, an oval chafing dish is commonly used for main entrees. Marmite / Soup: A marmite, or soup, chafer is commonly used to hold warm soup, stews, sauce, gravies, hot cereals, and other liquids. Square: A less common shape, square chafing dishes are used for appetizers and sides. Drop In Chafer: A drop in chafer dish is permanently installed on your serving countertop or tabletop. It provides an upscale presentation at your hotel continental breakfast station, buffet, and other on site, permanently installed food service station. Chafer Griddle: Chafer griddles are ideal for keeping already cooked food items such as pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, and meat hot while being served. Place one at your buffet, hotel, and other catered cooking event to help emit the scent of food to entice diners! Coffee Chafer Urn: A popular serving option at hotels, buffets, and catered events, coffee chafer urns are used to hold and dispense coffee and other popular hot beverages. Avoid lukewarm liquid temperatures with one of these beverage chafers.

Steam Tables Buying Guide

What are steam tables? They're used by caterers, hotels, buffets, cafeterias, and anyone else who needs to lay out a delicious spread of hot food to serve a crowd of hungry guests while maintaining safe hot food temperatures. These tables hold hot food at ideal serving temperatures throughout meal service by way of either moist or dry heating, depending on whether or not water is used in the pan or well above the heat source. The popularity of steam tables among people in the foodservice industry has helped to grow the market, and thus, there are dozens of different styles to choose from to fit your culinary and budgetary needs.

Our Buffet Equipment will Keep Food Hot and Fresh in Your Service Line

Successful buffet service requires proper lighting and heating methods so your food looks and tastes fresh. Whether you operate a small catering company, a large banquet or family-style restaurant, or a hotel cafeteria, we’re sure to have the buffet supplies you need to serve satisfying meals to your customers. When you browse our selection of buffet equipment, you’ll find everything to serve, hold, heat, and cook entrées and sides for your breakfast, brunch, or dinner service. Read more

If you’re transporting pre-cooked meals from your kitchen to an off-site location, then be sure to have the proper buffet equipment to keep food hot. From chafers and chafing dishes to heat lamps and buffet warmers, we have what you need to serve meals at safe and desirable temperatures. You’ll even find ranges, carving stations, and other heating elements to cook or prep food on-site! And, to protect your cooks’ clothing and to maintain a professional appearance, browse our aprons, jackets, and other safety textiles.

It’s also important to set up an eye-catching food presentation to entice customers to try your signature dishes. Browse our selection of buffet supplies, including food pans, salad bar items, serving utensils, and display risers. You’ll even find bakery cases and other appetizer and dessert trays, as well as signs to label the featured dishes on your dessert table. Also, don’t forget to also set out dishware, flatware, and beverageware for serving customers or for guests to serve themselves.

We also offer the buffet supplies you need to clean up your event space thoroughly and efficiently. Check out our various bussing tubs, sweepers, and scrubbers to wash dirty dishes and floors. Dish room accessories and gloves also protect your staff members’ hands, and pest control products help you take preventative measures to keep rodents and flies out of your cooking and dining area.

Steam Tables and Cold Food Tables / Wells

Steam Tables and Cold Food Tables / Wells

Whether you need to keep cold food cool or hot food warm throughout your buffet service, you’ll find steam tables and cold food wells to meet your holding needs.

Place Setting Supplies

Place Setting Supplies

Create an impressive presentation with our place setting supplies. You’ll find everything you need from dinnerware and flatware to linens and lamps.

Bussing and Cleanup Supplies

Bussing and Cleanup Supplies

Make cleanup as efficient as possible with our bussing and cleanup supplies. We carry everything from bus tubs and scrubbers to pest control products.

Textiles

Textiles

Ensure your staff looks professional by outfitting them with our textiles. We have aprons, jackets, mitts, pot holders and dish cloths to choose from.

Stock up on buffet supplies and equipment to prepare and serve food at your buffet, restaurant, or event. From the hot entrées and cold sides, to the refreshing beverages and decadent desserts, you’ll find everything you need to serve, hold, and present your menu offerings. Not only will you keep food fresh, but you’ll create a decorative dining environment that will make your customers feel welcome. For even more great products to assist you with prepping for a large crowd, be sure to check out our canned vegetables, dry goods, and sauce pots and stock pots! If you're wondering where to buy buffet supplies, we have a large selection available at the lowest prices.