Re: food service
From: TomMOENCH (
Date: Sat, 21 May 94 13:03 CDT
Judy Baxter wrote:
Since everyone is so quiet, I'll ask a question, especially for those of you
already living in CoHousing.  What is your experience of buffet/cafeteria
style vs family style (each table gets serving bowls, platters, etc).

I have been away from Cohousing-L for some time and having a dickens of a
time catching up.  This seemed a good place to jump in.  We in the Winslow
Group have 30 households with 49 adults and 28 children.  We must range from
25- 45 per meal (although we had a great sit down passover seder of 65).  We
are similar to Muir Commons and I would concur with most of what David
Hungerford shared.

To elaborate, we had a steam table and served cafeteria as well as family
style for the better part of two years.  In our relentless attempt to make
our common house work better we engaged Chuck Durrett who helped us focus on
our kitchen/dining relationship.  Six months later we got around to finishing
the programming, sold the steam table, and ended the cafeteria approach.  Now
we do either primarily family style with some buffet.  We  set the tables
beforehand with silverware, plates, glasses, and beverages.  Family style is,
well, family style.  For buffet style you go get your plate off the table and
get your grub at the buffet.  For me personally it is much nicer to come into
the dining room all set up (not so with cafeteria style).  As a cook family
style/buffet seems as easy if not easier than cafeteria style.
 Clean-up-wise, I find family/buffet much easier than cafeteria (those awful
steam table pans to scrap).  And by having people sitting down to family
style dinner there is less traffic, noise, disturbance, and spilled messes
than with cafeteria or buffet style.       

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