How to Help Guests Make Buffet Food Choices

Apart from providing great food and helping guests to steer clear of buffet bottlenecks, the best thing you can do is to help them make good choices! If you are holding a buffet, there will likely be many dishes on the table for guests to serve themselves from at any one time. As the host, you can't be in all places at once and you might miss the opportunities to help guests work out which dish is what. Save the worries by labeling them in advance. Here are some ideas.


  1. Image titled Help Guests Make Buffet Food Choices Step 1
    Make little "flag guides". Cut a small rectangle or flag shape from ordinary paper and write the dish name on it with a marker. Repeat as many times as needed to create flag guides If you would prefer to print it, follow the next step instead.
  2. Image titled Help Guests Make Buffet Food Choices Step 2
    Print the flag guide. If you prefer, create a table in Word and type out each dish name in a box on the table. A table with about three columns will create about the right width for the "flag". Print and cut out each box.
  3. Image titled Help Guests Make Buffet Food Choices Step 3
    Attach each flag guide to a toothpick. Use a little tape to adhere the tag to each toothpick. Put all the finished tags onto a plate for distributing later when the dishes are laid out.
  4. Image titled Help Guests Make Buffet Food Choices Step 4
    Attach the flag guides to each dish. Stick the flag guide into the center of each dish. Or, if you do not want it in the food, use tape to attach the flag to the side of the bowl, plate or other dish.


  • Another great alternative marker is place name cards. These stand up independently and can be written on neatly. Place one in front of each dish.
  • You can also use this opportunity to warn of ingredients that some guests might have allergies to, or dietary restrictions, as applicable to each dish. This saves guests having to ask awkward questions and will be appreciated more than you will ever know!

Things You'll Need

  • Labels - toothpicks with paper attached to them
  • Markers if doing by hand
  • Printer if printing
  • Tape

Article Info

Categories: Dinner Parties