RE: food service
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 16 May 94 11:41 CDT
Judy  BAXTER asked:

  What is your experience of buffet/cafeteria style
vs family style (each table gets serving bowls, platters, etc).  I seem to
remember either Katie McCamant or Chuck Durrett saying somewhere that some
groups found cafeteria style too institutional.

I have experienced it both ways and my opinion is that a mixture works 
well.  The trouble with family style service is that it makes a lot of 
work getting all that food into serving containers, out to the tables, 
then all the clean up of the serving containers.  Things like soups are 
especially difficult to do family style in that their seems to be a 
fair amount of spillage and contrating that in one serving area makes 
clean up, which is a fairly significant chore, that much easier.

The trouble with cafeteria style is that you often have to wait in a 
line to get food and if you get behind someone who is elder or small 
and slow it really makes the line seem to go on forever.

What seems to be a good compromise is drinks and salads at the tables, 
main dishes at a double sided counter - A counter (or table) which you 
can serve from either side. This way you get two lines of people and 
those who don't want to stand in line can have salad at their tables 
while the line disperses.  Having drinks at the tables means less to 
carry. I think one element of institutionality are trays. If you can 
organize your food so that trays are not needed it may feel less institutional.

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