Which Catering Service Style is Perfect for Your Special Event?

You’re thinking about hiring a caterer, but you haven’t quite decided what type of service would be best. Should you hold a casual barbeque or a more formal seated event? It’s one of the first questions we ask when you call us to cater your event. To help you out, here are the most common options for catering…and a few extra ideas.

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Plated & Seated Catering Service

At this setup, each of your guests is seated at a table and receives a full meal served on a plate, along with a second or third service if you choose a soup course or dessert.  The entire meal is served and cleared by a waitstaff. At the plated & seated catering service, you offer your guests a limited choice of food options—meat, fish or vegetarian are common. Maison Culinaire can also accommodate special dietary needs like gluten-free or low-fat options if needed. Just let us know what you need.

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You’ll often see this type of service for presentations and awards ceremonies where the attention is on the speaker. It is also one of the most popular options for weddings, graduations, formal parties, corporate, and smaller events.

The most formal type of seated, plated service is called French Service. The food might be presented on a cart to the table and cooking or preparation is completed tableside, or the waitstaff presents the food on a platter and each guests helps themselves to the offering.

Buffet-Style Catering Service

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For a buffet-style service, the caterer sets up the foods on buffet tables and guests travel to the buffet to serve themselves.  Maison Culinaire takes pride in creating appealing tablescapes, using the food, lighting, dramatic levels and decorations to beautifully present your food for a more formal event. If you want something more casual, hot and cold foods can be arranged thoughtfully on tables.

Food stations are another buffet-style option. Your guests will love to watch as their crepes, crab cakes, omelets or tacos are freshly prepared before their eyes, for example. This offers guests the options of designing their own creations with the ingredients on hand.

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If your event is large or networking is important, a buffet-style service can be the best option.

 Hors D’oeuvres Catering Service

For pre-dinner cocktails or for events where guests are standing or networking, waiters can walk through your gathering and offer light or heavy hors d’oeuvres on trays. Small soups in shot glasses, canapes, and items on skewers, for example are easily handled by guests.

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A Few Extra Catering Style Ideas

There is no limit to the numerous ways Maison Culinaire can serve your guests. Here are a few imaginative ideas you might consider:

Waffle Bar

Who said waffles are just for breakfast? There are countless ways to serve and enjoy waffles, from sweet to savory.

Power Bowls

Power bowls and smoothies can make for a delightful catered breakfast that won’t slow your team down.

Candy Store

Fill large jars with candy and offer guests bags that they can pack with goodies. Theme the candy store to old-fashioned treats, savory and sweet lollipops, or the wedding couple’s favorites. Use your imagination! This makes a perfect take-home gift as well.

Ethnic Favorites

Choose a country’s cuisine, or mix and match International cuisines for a tempting array of tastes. As an International caterer, Maison Culinaire can suggest recipes from almost anywhere on Earth!

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Childhood Favorites

Take your guests back in time by offering a number of childhood favorites like sno-cones, s’mores or pudding.

For the Finest in Foods and Catering Service in Northern Virginia, DC or Maryland, Choose Maison Culinaire

At Maison Culinaire, we are experts at creating the perfect catered event for your special day or corporate gathering. Even if you don’t know exactly what service style you’re looking for, give us a call. We’ll be glad to discuss your event with you and offer our suggestions on style, foods and even venues. We work with numerous venues throughout the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Contact us to discuss your next event.