The Pros & Cons of a Plated Meal for Your Event

One of the most important details to consider when planning your wedding venues Orange County and other special events is the choice of food and how it's served.

Most event planners will tell you that is one of the most common questions clients ask. Let's take a look at the options and the pros and cons of serving your guests a plated meal. 

What Are the Options for Meal Service?

Most venues and events operate under three possible meal styles. These include the plated, family-style, and buffet. No matter if the event is catered, prepared on-site by chefs and staff, or cooked barbeque style by friends and relatives, these three choices in service remain. 

The family-style consists of large bowls and platters of food on each table. Guests pass around the separate items, helping themselves in the process.

A buffet-style meal means that guests will pass through a line and let the servers know which selection they'd like to enjoy. Other venues let the guests help themselves to their preferred food.  

Plated style consists of guests that are seated and served their meals by wait staff. While this style is often considered the most elegant, there are both pros and cons to this type of service for prom venues Orange County and other types of events. 

What Are the Pros of Plated Style Meal Service?

Elevated Guest Experience

Plated service has long been considered the right choice for elegant and upscale events. To some extent, this notion has altered as buffets have morphed into beautiful, visually appealing displays. While not as formal, buffets can create a charm and sophistication all of their own. Waiting in line, while potentially viewed as a negative, can give guests the opportunity to converse with other event attendees. 

Plated service does, however, provide the service guests expect at an upscale event or restaurant. No need to stand in buffet or bar lines as meals and drinks are served by charming wait staff.

For those that would like their guests served an aesthetically appealing visual work of art, plated service is the only choice. 

Engage Throughout the Meal

When guests are served at the same time in banquet halls Orange County CA, they're able to chat about the meal or event without interruption.

Events can also be laced throughout the meal at specified times. A toast before the main meal or a speech before dessert. 

Temperature Control

If your meal consists of items that need to remain at a specified temperature or does not do well in chafing dishes, plated service maybe your best option. Steaks that guests like at set temperatures can be better served on a plate as well as frozen desserts. 

Portion Control

Portion control is one of the biggest pluses when considering plated service for wedding venues Orange County.  Chefs or caterers know the exact count before service, leading to little leftovers or waste.

What Are the Cons of Plated Style Meal Service?

Guests Send In Meal Requests With RSVP

While this may not seem like such a negative aspect of plated service, most of us have friends and family that are a little slow to respond, if ever. Having to decide for them or continually request their selection can get a little tiring. 

Less Variety

Unlike a buffet in which guests make their way down a long line of food options, a plated meal means that your guests get what they get.

Uncle Harry, a strict carnivore, may not touch his salad or the beautiful array of select vegetables adorning his plate.

Extra Work

Plated service requires that you or your event helpers will need to keep track of the entree choices by each of your attendees.

When the big event arrives, place cards with entree symbols will need to be placed at each seat. It's also important to make sure that the entree symbols are clear and easily decipherable for wait staff.

Expect the Unexpected

The unexpected usually occurs in the form of guests that bring a plus one without notifying you. No big deal when the meal is served banquet style, but a very big deal when there are multiple plus ones and each meal has been accounted for. 

Is Plated Service More Expensive?

Whether plated service is more or less expensive than a buffet at banquet halls in Orange County CA is dependent on the type of food, if catering was an option, the venue, and the comparative costs of chefs and waitstaff. 

In a plated service event, guests have usually placed their orders ahead of time. The one exception to this rule is the duet option in which half portions of two different types of meat are included on the same plate. While this option saves on having to remind guests to RSVP and let you know their meal choices, it also means that Aunt Betty may get the fish she despises. 

For traditional plated service, entrees are counted and determined ahead of time, which means that costs can be calculated well in advance.

Buffet service requires that chefs or caterers need to make sure there is enough for everyone, including the several guests that take more than they can eat or come back for seconds. These additional portions often mean overpreparation, leftovers, and extra costs.

The type of food also weighs in on the plate or not-to plate decision. Fine dining items such as lobster tails and filets may best be presented on a beautifully designed plate that features your fine dining choices.

Of course, on-site chefs and staff needed to prep plate and garnish, and servers come at a price. It's best to discuss the different costs and options with your event planner before coming to a final decision. 

Why Choose Mile Square Banquets?

At Mile Square Banquets, we pride ourselves on ensuring every event exceeds our client's expectations.

Our event planners will discuss your many options and which ones may best suit your vision as well as your budget.

For a complimentary consultation and a tour of our beautiful event facilities, contact us at Mile Square Banquets