If you are going to self-cater or hire a professional, decide ahead of time where to serve your foodstuff. Let’s take a look at beverage, cake and main meal locations. Keeping congestion and bottle necks out of the reception area will keep your guests much happier. “Make it Flow ~ Foodstuff Organization” is a great discussion topic you need to have with your “in charge” of reception person.
Beverages will be served all through the night so this area is important. If you are serving alcohol I would put this table in a separate location from the other beverages. Usually a 6 ft. table is good for the coffee, punch, water and tea. You’ll need to have cold cups, and hot cups for the coffee and maybe some napkins. The alcohol table might need to be large if you plan to display the different kinds of wine or beer. If you choose to have a keg more room might not be needed. There will be cups for wine and keg beer. Place a garbage container near the beverage tables. Make sure there is easy access to and from your beverage tables.
The cake, cupcake or other dessert table needs to be in a place where there will be room for guests to gather around to watch the coveted cutting ceremony. Maybe you even have an area where the table can sit up a bit higher which makes it easier for everyone to see. The cake table usually sits off by itself, is decorated very beautifully and also holds the plates, napkins, forks and utensils that are used in serving. More room makes it easier for everyone to form a nice line or just stand until moving forward to get their yummy slice.
Depending on guest count you will need two 8 ft. tables or three 6 ft. tables for your main meal food area. If it is a large crowd, I suggest that you set up your tables so that guest can go down both sides. This requires that the food can be reached from both sides. If it’s a small group putting the tables up against a wall will work fine. We have found that bugs don’t bother the food as much if it is in a more open area; when air can move around. Leave plenty of room at each end of the table, for starting the line and then at the end for ease of returning back to the guest table. Remember to put garbage containers in visible areas that are easy to get too.
“Make it Flow ~ Foodstuff Organization” takes a little planning. But, in the end your guest will thank you for keeping your pathways open. That way everyone can move around without bumping into someone at every turn.
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