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Popular Food Items To Serve In A Buffet Restaurant

A buffet typically includes at least 10 to 12 items in a 5-course meal starting from soup, appetizers, starters, main course, and desserts.

Now you may wonder which type of buffet is more relevant to your business model and what popular buffet items should you serve in it? Before we get to it, let’s see what does a buffet business means?

What is a Buffet Restaurant Business?

Buffet restaurant can also be called an “all you can eat” restaurant.

A customer or a group of people have to pay a fixed price to get their plates filled with as much food as they like. In a typical buffet, there are up to 10 to 12 different dishes starting from appetizers to desserts.

The customer is free to choose whatever dish they like and eat it as much as they can. The buffet restaurant business is very cost-effective and satisfying for a large group of people such as family or friends.

Are you planning to open your own Buffet Restaurant?
Here’s a complete guide for you- How To Open A Buffet Restaurant Business In India: A Complete Guide

Now let’s get to the food items that you can serve depending on the type of your buffet:

1. Finger Buffet

A finger buffet ensures that the food served is easily consumable by your fingers. It focuses on features such as the food display. This buffet has no provision of seating. Guests can reapproach the buffet display to eat their meal course by course.

Items to serve:

buffet restaurant petpooja
  • Bruschetta
  • Finger chips
  • Samosas
  • Onion rings
  • Breadsticks
  • Potato chips
  • French fries
  • Flatbread
  • Nachos
  • Mini quiche
  • Pinwheels
  • Sandwiches
  • Mini Cheese balls

….. and much more!


  • Don’t serve food that needs to be warm and requires heating up
  • Avoid serving dishes like noodles, lasagna, or curry as they cannot be consumed by fingers
  • No need to hire a huge staff of waiters and table servers as this concept is self-serving

2. Fork & Spoon Buffet

This buffets consist of fewer individual items than finger buffets. This buffet has a provision of seating. In this scenario, the food that can be easy to consume and can be eaten with a spoon or a fork is served. No complex cutlery is provided.

Items to serve:

food buffet petpooja
  • Roasted Vegetable Tart
  • All kinds of Pasta
  • Hakka Noodles
  • Enchiladas
  • Salads
  • Keabs and tikkas
  • Tacos
  • Pizzas
  • Lasagna
  • Spring rolls, Manchurian

….. and much more!

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  • Avoid food that requires craving or any other kind that requires complex cutlery
  • Choose an open space or big area for hosting as there will be a display and tables to be accommodated

3. Seated Buffet

This concept of buffet focuses on a well-built display with different stations for salad, soup, desserts, and drinks. Guests are expected to come to the display to choose what they want to indulge in and then return to their tables to consume it peacefully. Table serving and waiting staff are heavily required in this buffet.

Items to serve:

breakfast buffet petpooja
  • All kinds of Biryani
  • Sabzi & Dals
  • Fried Rice
  • Thai Curries and rice
  • Pav Bhaji
  • All kinds of rotis and breads
  • Pan-asian food
  • Spagetti bolognaise
  • Saksuka
  • Sea food
  • Rissoto, Ravioli

….. and much more!


  • Choose an open space or big area for hosting as there will be a display and tables to be accommodated along with leaving enough room for the servers
  • Avoid keeping multiple courses of meal at one station
  • Make sure you have a large team of waiters and servers
  • Invest in large serving spoons and utensils as it will be needed

Additional tips for saving costs in your buffet restaurant:

  • Buffets don’t include drinks as a part of their menu. You can price your drinks 3-5x higher than its cost to compensate for other menu items
  • Use large serving spoons for items like rice and vegetable to make your guest’s plates gets filled with it
  • Use smaller spoons or tongs for stations like seafood, chicken and dessert
  • Always have a salad bar, if your guests start from salad it will mostly fill them up by the time they reach to your expensive items
  • Use small serving pans and utensils so you don’t put out huge quantity of food out at the same time and will also minimize your food wastage
  • If you’re serving something like pani puri, sev puri or turkey make sure you have a specific station for it where a designated person will give out the food in a controlled portion
  • Track the items that are being consumed quickly and replace the less-ordered items accordingly.

If you want more insights on running a buffet business and its profitability read it here- How Do Buffet Restaurant Business Stay Profitable?

Hope this helps! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more restaurant updates.

Fatema Rasiwala
Fatema Rasiwala
Content writer at Petpooja


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