How to Decorate a Buffet Table

Setting up a buffet table requires planning for both convenience and appeal. In essence, your buffet is the centerpiece of your event, so you should put a lot of time and effort into making it engaging. If you are looking for ways to set up a buffet table successfully, then consider the following steps.


  1. Image titled Decorate a Buffet Table Step 1
    Arrange your buffet table in a convenient location. It needs to be present but not in the way. If you have a lot of guests and your room is large, set the table away from any walls so that your guests have access to the table from both sides.
  2. Image titled Decorate a Buffet Table Step 2
    Plan your buffet table arrangement beforehand so you are not wasting time rearranging it. Decide where you want your guests to pick up their plates and what direction you want them to follow. You should set up a logical journey along the table by setting your dishes out in the same order you would eat a meal. Therefore, your appetizers and salad should be first, followed by the main course. End the journey with utensils wrapped in napkins.
  3. Image titled Decorate a Buffet Table Step 3
    Elevate some of your dishes to make them more visible and accessible. Adding height to some dishes is also aesthetically appealing and adds life to your table. You can easily elevate areas by covering secure objects such as boxes and upside down containers with cloth. Just don't exaggerate the elevation, as this not only looks chaotic, but it can be dangerous. You table should have subtle rises and dips.
  4. Image titled Decorate a Buffet Table Step 4
    Decorate your buffet table display with elements that reflect the occasion or season, but don't overdo it. Ideally, the food should be on display and any d├ęcor around the table should enhance the look of the food, not hide it or overwhelm it. Create a centerpiece that incorporates a theme using fruit, flowers, props and candles, and then add hints of that theme around the table. Ideally, you should use edible garnish and flowers to decorate the table, such as lemons, lemon leaves and cinnamon sticks. Avoid sprinkling the table with glitter or other non-edible decorations as these usually end up in people's plates.
  5. Image titled Decorate a Buffet Table Step 5
    Place all the empty dishes that you will be using for your food on the table so you can get an idea of the end result. By doing this you can also make sure that your buffet presentation is aesthetically pleasing, that you elevated dishes are safe and that the items are placed conveniently. You can also ensure that you have all the dishware you need to serve the menu items.


  • Take into consideration the temperature of the various food items. Try not to put hot and cold right next to each other. Additionally, you should make a point of maintaining certain temperatures while they are on the table. Cold items should be set on ice and hot foods need to be in chafing dishes or food warmers..

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Categories: Dinner Parties