For large or more casual parties, the buffet-style food presentation is an easy answer, and it’s convenient for both hosts and guests – except when it’s not. The placement of your buffet table is actually quite important to the flow of your party, and I see it placed inconveniently at more parties than you would think! Here’s some easy rules for placing your buffet to ensure optimum party flow:

Try not to push the buffet table up against a wall – this way your guests can access it from both sides. To encourage this further, ensure you place plates/cutlery/napkins on both sides so your guests will understand that they can use both sides of the buffet table.

Place your buffet table as close to the kitchen as you can so that you can replenish the food easily without having to risk spills carrying food through the crowd.Remember – your guests will naturally congregate and mingle around the buffet table, which means that area will get crowded. Ensure there is enough elbow room (remove breakable trinkets, for example!), and if you have the space, place smaller tables nearby so that people can put down drinks/plates, avoiding the uncomfortable drink/plate balancing act. Any seating should be placed away from the buffet table. This will encourage people to spread out, and give those who need to sit to eat a place to go without feeling crowded (ever sat in a chair while everyone else stood around you? It’s horribly uncomfortable!).Keep it away from high-traffic areas, such as hallways, doors and, if you have one, the gift table and/or bar.