4 Tips To Set Up a Successful Self-Serve Food Bar


Whether you own a grocery store, buffet-style restaurant, or some other eatery, the way you organize your self-serve food bars can make the difference between having a long line of customers and throwing out pan after pan of food at the end of the day. Consider four tips that may help you determine the best layout for your cold and hot food displays.

1. Start With Your More Popular Items

Every diner who frequents buffets knows that a plate can fill up surprisingly quickly. Even so, many people may fail to save room for the items at the end of the line. To ensure your cuisine makes a maximally positive impact on each guest, place your best dishes at the front so no one misses out on them.

2. Place Condiments and Flatware at the End

While some materials, such as plates, bowls, and trays, are best stored at the front of the line, others are more at home at the end. Silverware, sauces, and spices, for instance, should be placed behind all the food because diners may not know which of these items they will need until they’ve chosen all their dishes.

3. Make Everything Easily Accessible

If your customers will be holding a tray or dish while they go through the line, they may only have one hand available to grab different items. For this reason, it’s important to make sure guests can easily get hold of napkins, straws, flatware, and similar materials with only one hand. Avoid overfilling the canisters holding these goods.

4. Ensure Serving Utensils Are Kept Clean

Finally, many diners may be bothered by the sight of a spoon plunged deep into a dish. No one wants to grab a sticky handle, after all. Make sure all of your serving utensils are sufficiently long and have a clear spot to rest so they remain tidy.

With the proper amount of planning and preparation, your food bar is sure to be a hit. After you’ve determined the best layout, all that is left to do is to produce your delicious dishes.


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