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What’s Your Service Style?

Not so long ago, the celebratory meal of any wedding – regardless of the style or size – came down to the choice between only two options: seated or buffet. The buffet-style reception was looked upon as the more economical option and the formal, seated dinner was considered the gold standard of elegant weddings. To attain a luxe atmosphere, many couples stretched their budgets beyond their limits to pay for a seated dinner. We at Simply Delicious Catering are thrilled that the options of service styles have multiplied and each one can be designed to fit your wedding style, from simple to over-the-top and everything in between. When even the most lavish weddings are featuring buffets and food stations, you know that the rules have changed.

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Talk with your caterer about ideas to make your meal a unique mix of dishes that offer something for everyone, compare the different modes of service, and decide which style is the best fit for your wedding and the vibe you wish to create.

Confused by all of the options?  Here’s a crash course on service styles:

·      Cocktail Receptions are a popular party option for informal yet intimate weddings, and feature beautiful assortments of tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and bite-sized desserts as perfect accompaniments to your wedding cake and the cocktail selections.

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·      Performance Stations, also called chef-attended performance food stations, are one of today’s top food trends. After all, what could be better than great food with built-in entertainment? Your wedding guests will be excited to choose their favorite cuisine and watch it prepared from the freshest ingredients.

·      Family Style Service is a casually festive yet still elegant option to the traditional buffet and makes for a conversation-friendly, intimate ambiance for your reception. Guests serve themselves from platters and dishes of your menu selections, which our servers have placed at each table.

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·      Chef Carts are an innovative and crowd-pleasing service trend that can accommodate a wide variety of tastes, styles and types of cuisine. These rolling carts enthrall guests with choices from carving stations and sushi to street food favorites – and Simply Delicious specialties — like gourmet seasoned French fries.

·      Traditional Buffets can vary in scope and size, but consist of a presentation of chafing dishes containing the hot main dishes, vegetables and side dishes, along with at least one type of salad and other cold offerings such as fresh fruit and cheese assortments.


·      Seated Meal with Entrée Choice is the traditional, formal, sit-down meal service, which requires each guest to pre-select their entrée from the choices you provide, typically including at least one meat selection and a fish or vegetarian selection. Logistics are a factor here, as this type of meal service requires table and seating assignments for your guests.

·      Seated Meal with Entrée Duet follows the service formality above, but omits the need for meal pre-selection, as each guest is served a duo of slightly-smaller main dishes on one plate.

·      Small Plate Concepts follow the trend of the small plate, or tapas, menus of the restaurant world. Small plate dishes and taster shooters allow guests to partake in a wide sampling of menu items rather than one type of cuisine. The choices continue further — small plate meals may be served by chef carts, at food stations, or as seated courses.

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No matter what type of service style you choose for your wedding, having such a bevy of options is definitely a plus. Today’s catering trends make receptions more interactive than ever before, adding fun and social elements to any venue.

{photos provided by Simply Delicious Caterings}

Simply Delicious Caterings

767 East Brookhaven Circle, Memphis, TN


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