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Demystifying: Event Food Options

Posted by Angela Christian on Apr 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM
Angela Christian

Next to drinks, food, in my opinion, is the second most important item at any event. Depending on the type of event you are hosting, your food preferences may change. Cocktail hour? You may be thinking small bites. Dinner? You may be looking at a prefixe menu. Confused by what these mean? Don't worry we have you covered. In our never ending quest to simplify the events industry, this week we are breaking down the different event food options for you. Never again be confused at a buffet vs. prefixe menu.

Seated Meal

steak and wine

A meal in which your guests will be eating a traditionally catered, formally served meal. With this food option, you can determine the number of courses needed for your event, as well as have various food choices. Typically, this meal option is designated for private dinners, board meetings, etc. There are three main options when it comes to a seated meal:

  1. Open Menu: The planner or host allows guests to choose any items from the menu, with nothing off-limits.
  2. Prefixe Menu: The planner or host works with the venue manager to set a menu in which guests will have only a few options to pick from for each part of the meal. Prefixe menus are usually for more formal events and are also a way to keep the cost of the event down.
  3. Family Style: The planner or host of the event decides on the menu items beforehand. Waiters bring your food to the table in large, communal dishes. Guests then pass around the dishes and serve themselves. Family style is geared towards less formal events that want to focus on guest interaction.

Buffet Style

Mini Burgers on a plate

If you have a large number of attendees at your event you can utilize the buffet-style meal option. Buffets offer a variety of food dishes and can be friendly for guests with dietary restrictions. Guest can both choose what they’d like to eat from the options and serve themselves.

Food Stations


Food stations are often served in combination with a buffet. Manned by one or more staff members, food stations allow for a more diverse and customizable menu. Think meat carving stations, or made to order pasta or stir fry options.


Appetizers being passed around

If you are hosting an event in which a full meal is not necessary than you have two standard options when it comes to appetizers.

  1. Passed Appetizers: A variety of small hors d’oeuvres are passed amongst guests by wait staff.
  2. Stationary Appetizers: Different unmanned event stations are set up around the room. Popular options include cheese or antipasto displays.

So there you have it, another week, another complicated piece of the events industry broken down for you. You can check out our other blogs where we break down appetizers and a drink guide, or click the button below to find a venue for your next event.


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Happy Booking,

Team Venuebook

Topics: Event Planning