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A bit of thought about the best layout for your restaurant buffet at Ramadan can avoid long lines of impatient, hungry diners. It’ll make them more likely to return to your restaurant. You and your staff will be able to run the buffet more efficiently too, so less potential stress. 

Plate up properly

Place a large pile of plates that shouldn’t need restocking at the beginning of the food line. That way, diners won’t be left waiting for a plate before they can move on to the dishes. And it’ll stop your staff having to go back and forth to the kitchen for replacements too. Make sure the plates are reasonably small, though, to stop customers taking a lot of food.

Cutlery and condiments

Put cutlery at the end of the buffet line, so customers don’t have to juggle knives, forks and spoons while trying to put food on their plates. This will probably cut the amount of time you have to spend cleaning up after them, too.

Make sure there are plenty of serving utensils – ladle, tongs, spoons – alongside each dish. And place olives, sauces and pickles in several different locations around the buffet so you don’t get long lines of people wanting to use them.

Keep dishes distinct

Make sure your vegetarian dishes, meat dishes and appetizers are in clearly labelled, separate areas of the buffet. This will make it faster for guests to find what they want and for your team to refill items that have run out. Put a good amount of space between the most popular dishes to stop groups of diners from building up around them, too.

Clever placement helps speed up flow

Clever placement helps speed up flow

Leave a good distance between the buffet and the nearest dining tables. Otherwise, the buffet queue may be forced to squeeze past people trying to eat, slowing it down and ruining your restaurant’s ambience.

Think about drinks

A separate table for beverages is a must to keep the food queue moving and provide you with easy access for refills. Pitchers of water and Lipton Fresh Brewed Iced Tea at diners’ tables reduce traffic around the drinks area, too. Check out one of our many beverage recipes, from Iced Mint and Green Tea Latte to Zesty Green Tea Infused with Aniseed, if you’d like some inspiration.

Don’t let bread be a bottleneck

Try using sliced bread instead of loaves that require cutting to keep customers moving and avoid waste. Flat breads, such as fatir and pita, can be quicker for customers to grab and more cost-effective to produce, too. But make sure you have a good range of options, such as healthier brown bread and gluten-free varieties, on display, to meet customers’ dietary requirements and stop your staff having to go back and forth to the kitchen fielding individual requests.

Don’t forget dessert

Rather than putting puddings in big communal serving bowls, create individual portions. They’re easy for diners to pick up and take to their table. They can also be cost-effective to produce and produce less mess for you to have to clear up. Try our delicious but quick and inexpensive Karak Tiramisu and Lime Ice recipes