How To Arrange A Beautiful Holiday Buffet

When having family and friends over for the holidays, the dining room table can quickly become overcrowded. Setting up a buffet table can simplify serving and free up some coveted space on your dining room table. Here are our serving tips to help you arrange a beautiful buffet for your holiday party.

Designate your buffet table.

12-14-18 RTA2-Cambridge Kitchen Island in Cherry

You don’t have to have a traditional buffet table to serve guests buffet-style. If you have an open concept kitchen, you can use utilize your extra countertop space or kitchen island in the same way. Those with smaller homes can also invest in a portable island or cart, which can serve as a pop up buffet table when you need it. The RTA Store has a variety of affordable options made with solid wood cabinetry and beautiful finishes. You can shop by size and color to find the perfect style for your home.

Create a festive foundation.

There’s no need to go crazy with the décor, but a few small tweaks can turn any countertop into a festive spot for your holiday buffet. Start with either a tablecloth or runner. If you want to go with a seasonal pattern, that alone should suffice. Alternatively, you could do a solid color (such as red, white, or even pink) and sprinkle on a little holiday confetti. For a few dollars, you can get a pack of holly and berries or winter snowflake confetti, and the little extra sparkle will liven up your holiday buffet.

If your buffet table is extra large and you want to fill in some empty spaces, use can use tiny figurines, snow globes, greenery, or a string of Christmas lights. Just don’t overdo it and make it difficult for guests to navigate around your decorations when trying to get their food.

When arranging dishes on your buffet table, stagger plates so all is seen.

12-14-18 RTA3-Staggered Plates

Stagger plates to optimize room and keep every dish in plain sight. You don’t want your guests overlooking your famous sweet potatoes because they were hidden behind the salad bowl. By setting up dishes at slightly different levels, you can fit more on your buffet table and make sure every item from your menu is visible.

Make the most of every inch by first setting out dinner and then dessert rather than everything at once. You can also help guide guests with their dinner decisions by grouping all main dishes (such as the turkey, ham or seafood) together at the beginning of the table and then following with your sides. This way guests won’t get to the end and wish they had made room for something they weren’t expecting to see.

Minimize surprises and avoid confusion for your guests.

Whether you set up your buffet on the kitchen island in your open concept kitchen or on your new solid wood cabinetry cart right in the dining room, make sure guests know. Make it clear where the food and drinks can be found and that they are welcome to serve themselves. You don’t want your guests sitting around awkwardly wondering if they should wait to be served.

Adding labels in front of everything in your buffet is also helpful. Just because you make your favorite spinach casserole every year doesn’t mean your cousin’s new boyfriend is familiar. Clearly mark every dish with a small label. You can quickly whip these up with some folded card stock and a pen, or get more creative. Either way, don’t leave the guesswork up to your guests.

At The RTA Store we help make your dream home a reality with RTA (Ready To Assemble) and Pre-Assembled cabinets and accessories. Whether it’s your kitchen bathroom, laundry room, home office, bar room or TV room, we offer the same (if not better) quality you would find at any retail store, but for a fraction of the price. Stop by our website or give us a call and let us make your dreams come true with the help of our free room design tool!