Serving Thanksgiving: Buffet Vs. Family Style

After slaving away for hours at the oven, you are finally ready to put down the turkey baster and pick up the fork. Thanksgiving dinner has officially been cooked for your party and everyone is ready to eat, especially you. But as the host of this holiday, your duties don't end when the turkey timer dings. It is your job to make decisions of behalf of your guests, from menu selections to music. While you may have thought of everything when it comes to prepping and cooking the meal, you may not have considered how you are going to serve it to your guests.

Click here to see Buffet vs. Family Style (Slideshow)

At first it seems like a debate that's not even worth having. After all, you just made your guests a great meal — what more could be left to do other than to eat it? But a masterfully cooked dinner deserves to be eaten in a style that is conducive to your group. On Thanksgiving, there are generally two ways dinner can be done: buffet style or family style. For those who are unfamiliar with the differences, family style refers to a setting where all of the food rests on the table and is passed around once everyone is seated. Buffet style means guests serve themselves at their leisure and return to the table with their own made-up plate. 

There are a number of things to consider when making a decision about serving styles. First, take a look at your potential guest list and determine a definitive number. Then you can take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of typical Thanksgiving dinner concerns like space and serving seconds. We invite you to take a look at our list of pros and cons to help you make a decision for your family table!