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3 Easy Dinner Party Serving Styles

There's nothing quite as welcoming and comforting as a pleasant meal to encourage a sense of relaxation and closeness among guests at a dinner party. When you open your home to friends and family, you do more than feed hungry people; you celebrate the personal interactions that make life special. Just a little bit of early planning makes it simpler to get the food from the kitchen to the table smoothly, and three easy serving styles you can consider are buffet style, family style and French style.

3 Easy Dinner Party Serving Styles -

Buffet Style

Buffet style is perfect for serving a large group of guests in a relatively informal setting. With buffet-style meals, everything is set out on a large area, such as a counter or kitchen island. Guests can then walk through, select the foods that appeal to them and take their seats.

It's a relaxed, friendly method of serving that leaves the host or hostess free to mingle with guests. The only disadvantage is that it is nearly impossible to maintain any kind of portion control, so more food gets wasted and the last guests through the line might not get to try everything they want to eat.

3 Easy Dinner Party Serving Styles -

Family Style

Family style is ideal for serving a relaxed, somewhat informal holiday dinner at a small- to mid-sized get-together. For a family-style meal to work best, the table should be large enough not only for everyone to have a seat but also to hold all of the food being served. With a big group, this can be achieved by scooting card tables or even a coffee table close to the main table to make extra room.

During dinner, each person takes a portion of the food that is in front of them, and passes the dish to the next person. Choose a direction for everyone to pass the food, usually clockwise, to avoid colliding dishes and to make sure everyone gets a chance to try each dish. The family-style method of serving a meal lets the host or hostess join the group and begin eating and conversing with guests immediately.

3 Easy Dinner Party Serving Styles -

French Style

French style is the most formal of the easy party-serving styles, though it is still geared toward simplicity and togetherness. With French-style serving, you have a counter or sideboard close to the table. Servers, or the host/hostess, present platters and serving dishes of food to the guests, place them on the sideboard or counter, and then distribute them to the guests. This allows for a measure of portion control, as serving guests ensures everyone gets an equal amount of the foods they desire.

3 Easy Dinner Party Serving Styles -

Serving Snacks as Party Favors

While not part of the actual meal, setting out snacks in decorative containers or placing small personal packets as party favors is another easy way to share food with your guests. The favors can match your party's theme or the decor of your home. This casual approach allows your guests to snack while chatting before or after the meal, without the formality of being served. Setting the snackable party favors out ahead of time gives you more time to visit with your guests, focus on the meal, or enjoy any entertainment you have planned for the evening.