The Truth About My Job: Caterers

Do catered buffets cost less than plated dinners? We get to the bottom of this myth with Crave Culinaire's Brian Roland.

It's easy to judge another industry from the outside, with ideas formed by what we see on TV, hear on the news or experience through our friends. But not all stories and stereotypes are true. The best way to debunk myths about an industry? Turning to those who know it best.


THE MYTH: Catered buffets cost less than plated dinners.

It’s true you typically need less catering staff to produce a buffet than a plated dinner, but that’s not the only cost factor. “What people tend to not realize is we have to prepare an additional 20 to 25 percent more food for a buffet because we don’t have an accurate count of what everyone is going to consume, whereas with a plated dinner it’s a set
 number,” Brian Roland, executive chef and owner of Crave Culinaire, says.

THE TRUTH: While cost ultimately comes down to what’s on the menu, “it’s almost even when you consider the additional amount of food we have to prepare for a buffet versus a plated dinner,” Roland says. But if you want your buffet to include lobster tails and filet mignon, expect to fork over extra cash to cover those hot-ticket items.