Food and Buffet Warmers: A Guide to Warming Stations

Restaurants, caterers and event planners have long relied on chafing dishes to keep food warm for guests, but the effectiveness of the classic chafing dish has made it a victim of its own success.

For years, banquets have trotted out the same food and buffet warmers, and sometimes this makes the design of an event feel a little flat. That’s why we have completely overhauled the design of our food and buffet warmers so that your events aren’t forced to compromise on style anywhere.

Here is everything you need to know about designing an event around our stylish buffet warmers, and how to get the most out of your food warming stations.

The Psychology Behind Perfect Buffet Design

A key element to any party or event is where you put the food, and how you arrange it. Remember, people like to congregate where the food is, so you must account for traffic patterns. Sometimes, this is a good thing: Small plates and small bites invite guests to mingle. For larger meals, however, you want to design your warming stations so that there are no bottlenecks.

This, of course, will be dependent on the type of event and the food served. People usually grab and go from the Sunday brunch buffet. At a wedding reception, however, the buffet area might simply be one of the social zones in the room, so you might need to space out your warming zones so people can linger comfortably.

A Solution for Every Meal

No matter the type of event or the food served, there is a food warmer that will fit your needs. A portable food warmer works nicely if you need to break down a buffet mid-event — say if organizers need to make room for a dance floor.

For events in the middle of winter, guests love a warm soup to combat the cold outside. A soup warmer is a must, then. These will keep soups the right temperature for hours, so anyone coming back for seconds (or thirds) will enjoy soups as hot as if they had just come off the stove top.

When you have limited space — or if you’re strategically setting up mingling zones — a countertop food warmer can be a good way to let people with similar tastes (literally) come together around a specific dish.

food and buffet warmers in a wine room

The Role Design Plays in This

First impressions are so important at banquets and events. When you can wow your guests with your presentation, you set the tone for the rest of the meal and the rest of the day.

It also shines a big spotlight on the food. Our burner stands have eye-catching finishes such as brushed steel and black matte to put a sturdy foundation of style under your warmers. Additionally, our acrylic and glass surfaces will elevate and display the food with style and elegance.

In an effort to cater to any need and any situation, we have warmer systems that come in various shapes, colors, sizes and designs. Whatever your needs, we can put together a collection of food and buffet warmers to give your guests a great experience.

Keeping Safe When Using Food and Buffet Warmers

One last element of the guest experience is simple safety. An unattended flame or a poorly-placed warmer could burn someone. Here are a few tips to help:
• An 8 oz. can of sterno will burn for at least 2 hours. Keep this in mind for shorter events (you’ll have to extinguish them) or longer events in which they would need to be replaced.
• The ideal temperature for food in a warmer is above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but not above 160 degrees.
• Don’t leave open flames unattended, especially when children are around.
• When lifting the top of a chafing dish, soup pot, or anything else containing hot food, open carefully so the escaping steam doesn’t burn you or anyone else.

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