The exploration of food & beverage combined with theatrics, has indeed taken the buffet presentation to a new level.
Food is the essence of life, the art of creation, and a daily event bringing people together for centuries. Food deserves a creative twist and a lot of recognition, so do those who create it for our pleasure! What better way than a buffet station for all to marvel at your spread of gluttony delights.
More than ever before, the industry looks to the notion of the buffet as a canvas ready to be adorned with theatrics, using visual ques to entice excitement and set the mood. It's now a tool to unite guests in a chorus of conversation and generate movement within the space.
So what’s happening with buffets in 2017? Here are our favourite picks from the trend bunch:
DIY Beverage Stations:
Guest expectations are higher, as we succumb to the age of the millennials driving different concepts when it comes to service and more importantly - choice. The buffet style of presentation is not going to fade out anytime soon. In fact, it has evolved into the trending DIY concept, which offers more than choice - It offers creativity and personalizes the guest experience. It also welcomes flexibility for the event coordinator and beverage staff.
Creative, fun, and satisfying even the most particular of guests, a DIY beverage buffet is an easy solution for any sized event. Anyone can create their own concoction! Just watch out for grandma at the cocktail station, she might overdo it with the spirit to mixer ratio! In saying this, consider chalk boarding a few ideas as a step-by-step guide at each ingredient, and invite the guest to truly interact for a unique and intimate experience.
A great example has Whisky as the recent DIY fav on the beverage scene. From the UK to Iceland, with shipments across to Vegas and beyond, as whisky flavors diversify and grow, so are its theatrics. Whisky carts are on the move between events with their own versatile style. Tailor-made beverage carts are also on the rise to truly capture sought after unique styles. From built-in beer taps, ice-wells to unique rustic finishes, the stage is set for any experience.
Theme the Station:
The industry has become bolder with blending flavors and experimenting with texture and produce in its natural state. All this comes to light through the story of presentation and the overall theme.
There are traditional themes based around special days of the year, sporting themes, wedding themes - and themes within themes! From your choice of buffet equipment to edible decoratives and risers, the decorative elements matter. Think rustic style with old-style wooden boxes for an authentic approach or colored acrylic LED blocks for a sleek and ultra-modern presentation. The options are endless when it comes to presentation, but we'll get to the theatrics further down.
As for the delights themselves, guests want to be guided through new experiences and what better way than with bite-sized flavor explosions already matched. Fancy a little cheese? We know we do! And what a fantastic trend, matching natural, rustic flavors with complementary tones. Match small tasting glasses amongst wheels of flavor, adorn with fruit shasliks as ideal combination suggestions to please the newly refined guest, or even create a new generation of cheese and wine lovers.
Because theatrics are a must:
Setting the scene with theatre behind any presentation, will make or break the communication between palate and overall experience. Don’t be shy to harness the passion behind your creation with the right combination of visual and sensory queues.
Traditional elements including garnish bowls, tables filled with color and uniquely shaped delights, add an abundance of wow factor. In this case consider lighting for enhanced impact, coupled with tiered presentations to guide the experience. Engage the guest with interactive touch points and authentic decorations, from themed signage to product placement.
Equipment also lends itself to flexibility in presentation and theatrics. Think unique equipment that transforms from bar to buffet, and take your station to an entirely new platform. Whatever you want to create, you can, and the experience you deliver will create more than just entertainment, yet lasting memories. The theatrics are endless, so brand your experience today!
Have you got a great buffet idea to share with the industry?
Share your ideas with IHS so we can share with the industry - Contact firstname.lastname@example.org