What Is Family Style Service & Why Is It Great?

If you’ve been looking for a caterer, you may be wondering: what is family style service? And why would I choose it for my event? 

Family style service lies somewhere between a plated meal and buffet service. It’s like a plated meal in that your guests will never need to leave their table, since our staff will bring everything to them. But it’s also like a buffet, because instead of individually plated meals, we serve hearty, beautifully curated platters that guests can pass around their tables, as if they were sitting down to a family meal at home. For our clients, family style service prices range between $45 and $60 per person for food and beverage costs.

From the atmosphere that this service creates to the cadence it supports for your event, there are numerous reasons to choose family style catering.

Photo by Michelle Boyd

A Family Style Meal Invites Conversation

One of the best ways to help conversations flow is to give people a common task. Something as simple as passing a platter of delicious food around a table doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a great icebreaker. It provides an easy and clear focal point for the conversation to start with, whether tablemates are family members or total strangers.

It Creates a Warmer Atmosphere

As conversations pick up, family style catering creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. This charm goes beyond breaking the awkward silence at a table of strangers. It also evokes memories of meals shared with family and friends over the years. Beyond the warm fuzzies, sharing food is scientifically proven to facilitate the trust and cooperation with others, which will help your guests feel even more comfortable and at home.

It Supports a Better Event Rhythm

Family style catering also creates a better overall cadence for your event. There are no tables waiting for their plates. And since no one is crowding the buffet line, everyone gets their food in half the amount of time. With a much more efficient service, the rest of the festivities are easier to plan and fit into your timeline, which can be especially valuable for restricted venue windows.

It Helps Guests Have the Freshest Food Possible

This unique service style also minimizes the time it takes food to travel from our mobile kitchen to your guests’ forks. Since we are already cooking meals at your venue for maximum freshness, you can be sure that your guests will rave about the vibrant flavor of their meals for years to come.

Family Style Service Can Save Floor Space

If floor space in your venue is too limited for buffet tables or stations, this service style can help you create an efficient layout while maximizing your budget. Since family style doesn’t require extra tables for service, there’s more space available for guests!

Of course, plated and buffet services are a great fit for plenty of weddings. But we love the memories and familiar atmosphere that family style catering can create. If you’d like to learn more about our family style offerings, please contact one of our consultants today!



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