With so much emphasis on developing the perfect menu, it is easy to overlook one of the most essential aspects of food planning. Well-planned table presentations highlight each menu option that is offered while enhancing the overall experience of your guests. As you get ready to roll out your food, keep these benefits of table presentation in mind for pulling off a professional event.
Develop Trust Among Guests
When your guests arrive, you can bet that they pick up on every detail. Clean table linens and an organized food display make it clear that your crew cares about making sure that each guest is treated to a high-quality dining experience that includes sanitation and food safety in the plans. While your guests might not get a glimpse into the kitchen, your table display speaks volumes about the detail that goes into executing each meal.
Help Guests Identify Their Options
Many event attendees have special diets that require them to pay careful attention to the food that they eat. For this reason, your table presentation should include strategies that make it easier for guests to identify the foods that fit into their diet plans. For instance, you might place placards identifying food as gluten-free or vegan-friendly on buffet tables. For dinners that involve a serving staff, add notations on the menu that let your guests know about meals that are designed with special diets in mind.
Simplify the Serving
Large events often call for buffet-style setups that allow guests to serve their own food. Yet, there is nothing worse than seeing your carefully prepared dishes fall apart at the serving line. Always organize your buffets to flow in the order of the menu with appetizers being served first and each new course following after. If you have a double-sided buffet, then make sure that each side matches up completely so that your guests do not have to reach over food to serve from the other side.
Augment the Theme
The most effective table presentations should include décor that enhances the theme. For instance, a few vases of fresh cut flowers on a white linen tablecloth elevates a basic buffet to a formal dining experience. Alternatively, you could place silverware in buckets at the end of the tables to accent a rustic theme. For corporate events, try including the colors and logo of the company into the table presentation to make it all come together.
Enhance the Sensory Experience
Dining experiences involve more than just your guest’s taste buds. The textures, colors, and aromas of your food all affect the taste. Try to pair items that work well together side-by-side on the table. You can also use color to add flair to the table. For example, colorful taco shells entice guests to get into the spirit of a fiesta-themed event. Finally, keep in mind that fresh-cooked food always gives the best aromas so time your presentations carefully to ensure that hot foods are served just before your guests plan to eat.
At the table is where all of the elements involved in your event’s food preparation all come together. Include proper table presentation in your planning so that every guest is treated to the ultimate dining experience.