1. Separate the bar
Whether it’s the soda serving or cocktail making area, you want to keep it separate from the food. You don’t want bodies blocking or hanging around the food area where people are trying to get grub. By separating them, the cocktail makers won’t have to worry about being rushed.
2. Move buffet out of the kitchen
We all have the relatives that like to poke at the food and pick as you are preparing it or serving it. Keep the hovering members away from the prepping by moving the buffet from the cooking area. You can also cover anything you’re not ready to serve.
3. Designate a starting point
When you have a buffet, you want to create a specific starting point, so people aren’t grabbing and cutting others. To avoid conflict, stack plates at one end of the table. People tend to pick up the plate with their left and serve themselves with their right. End the table with napkins and cutlery to free up hand space for your guests as they serve themselves.
4. Elevate dishes
If you’re afraid the food won’t all fit in your serving area, try elevating some dishes to make room. Tiered displays and risen platforms will take up less room and leave more for the bigger dishes.
5. Scatter stations
Don’t cram everything on one table. Create stations for any cheese and crackers, warm food, cold food, and sides around your home. This allows for everyone to find what they want without cramming into one table looking for the dish they like best.
6. Protect your surfaces
There is bound to be a spill at some point. Put down a waterproof covering and keep heavy matts beneath dishes to avoid burning cloths or tables. Even put out saucers for condiments spoons to leave the temptation out of placing it on the tablecloth.
7. Safety first
You’ll have lots of bodies surrounding your home and tables. Keep tall tapers in the back of the room or table to avoid an accident. Low votives should be kept behind dishes, and try to get the correct size table cloth to avoid a tripping hazard.
8. Seating arrangements
Where you’ll sit everyone is all up to strategy. Don’t hesitate to borrow or rent extra tables for extra seating. Also, consider TV trays for people to set their drinks and plates. Decorate them with place matts to add the Thanksgiving/Christmas decorations to the trays.