Should We Get Buffet-Style Catering?

Should We Get Buffet-Style Catering?

by The Pizza Post
Back to all posts June 28, 2023

So here it is, the great debate, to buffet or not to buffet, that is the question. OK so it’s not exactly a great debate, but it is a question worth asking if you are considering using a mobile pizza van at an event you are planning – should we get buffet-style catering or not?. On the face of it, a buffet style serving may make a lot of sense, and other pizza van operators may well tell you that is the case, but we are here to dispel the myth once and for all.

At first glance, having a buffet style meal at your event, laid on by a mobile pizza van might sound like a good idea right? Wrong! There are actually a lot more reasons why you shouldn’t opt for the buffet style option than why you should. More con’s than pro’s shall we say? So, why would other mobile pizza van operators want to push you towards a buffet style meal? It’s quite simple really, it’s all down to oven size.

Buffet-style Catering

Smaller and less traditional style pizza ovens in mobile pizza vans make a lot of financial sense, as they take up less space and cost less to install. The problem with smaller pizza ovens is that they can only make a certain number of pizzas at any one time, so their real-time output is much lower than larger traditional style ovens. How do they solve this issue? A buffet style meal of course. Great for the smaller pizza oven owner, but not so great for the paying customers and their guests. We will find out why in more detail in this blog.

Now don’t get us wrong, there are some positives to a buffet style pizza serving, and we will share them with you too, but the negatives certainly outweigh the positives. Now all that said, if it is a buffet style you want and prefer, that is what we will give you, but read on first before you make that final decision. We are not here to sway your decision, just to share all of the facts so that you can make a fully informed one when the time comes.

So, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of a buffet style meal from a mobile pizza van:

On the positive side, a buffet style serving can be done in advance of the event, so the caterers are done and gone before the guests arrive. The food is made and on display, ready for the guests to tuck in. Sounds OK so far doesn’t it? OK is OK but wouldn’t you want your event catering to be fabulous and wow your guests? Of course you would.

The very first thing to bear in mind is that the pizza slices on a buffet will have been cooked some time ago. They will not be straight out of the oven and at best, will be cooling down, and at worst, down right cold. OK, OK, we know that a slice of last nights pizza the morning after the night before can hit the spot, but not during an event you have laid on for your guests. Under these circumstances, piping hot and delicious pizza is king. Pizza is much better hot, end of story.

Some Scenarios to ponder

Here are a couple of scenarios for you to create in your mind. Imagine you are a guest at a wedding where a professional mobile pizza van has been brought in to provide the wedding catering. In scenario one, you walk in and in front of you is a table of pre-cooked pizza slices. They look OK, a bit cool maybe, but you have no idea who cooked them and when. You try a couple of slices but they are rather underwhelming.

In scenario two, you walk into the event and are faced with a beautifully presented professional mobile pizza van, with a traditional wood fired pizza oven smoking away. Friendly staff greet you and ask you what flavour of pizza you would like. You tell them and then standing shoulder to shoulder with other delighted guests, you watch your pizza being lovingly prepared and cooked right in front of you. Once ready, it is handed to you piping hot and tasting amazing. Still fancy going back to that table of average pizza? No, we didn’t think so.

With a large number of mouths to feed and the food pre-prepared, the later guests are almost certainly going to be even more underwhelmed as the food is colder and there is less choice. The more popular flavours of pizza will already have gone, and what is left will be cold and rubbery. This is certainly no way to impress your guests. As the guests line up one by one choosing their pizza flavours, it can actually take longer than preparing the pizza’s to order. Providing the pizza oven is sufficiently large, the throughput of pizzas can be quite speedy, and the guests will be treated to the experience of seeing their own pizzas being freshly cooked right in front of them.

Freshly Pizza vs “pre-made”

When you think about it in these terms, fresh cooked pizzas over a buffet style version win hands down. A buffet style meal will always put quantity before quality. Pizzas sitting for extended periods after cooking, and before eating will lose freshness, taste and quality, no doubt about it. The whole experience of watching their fresh pizzas being cooked in front of them and handed to them in a custom pizza box, rather than a floppy paper plate will win hands down with your guests every time.

At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, we can cook far more pizzas per hour than other similar companies. Why? Because our mobile pizza vans are equipped with full size wood fire pizza ovens, allowing a much larger throughput than other smaller designs. On average, we can produce between 80 and 100 beautiful fresh and piping hot pizzas per hour, pretty impressive eh? Our all-time record is a massive 120 pizzas in an hour. That’s two piping hot delicious pizzas every minute! You can imagine that at this rate, all your guests will be fed, and wowed in the process in no time at all.

When you think about it in these terms, fresh cooked pizzas over a buffet style version win hands down. A buffet style meal will always put quantity before quality. Pizzas sitting for extended periods after cooking, and before eating will lose freshness, taste and quality, no doubt about it. The whole experience of watching their fresh pizzas being cooked in front of them and handed to them in a custom pizza box, rather than a floppy paper plate will win hands down with your guests every time.

At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, we can cook far more pizzas per hour than other similar companies. Why? Because our mobile pizza vans are equipped with full size wood fire pizza ovens, allowing a much larger throughput than other smaller designs. On average, we can produce between 80 and 100 beautiful fresh and piping hot pizzas per hour, pretty impressive eh? Our all-time record is a massive 120 pizzas in an hour. That’s two piping hot delicious pizzas every minute! You can imagine that at this rate, all your guests will be fed, and wowed in the process in no time at all.

Summary

So, lets summarise just a few of the many advantages there are to having fresh cooked pizzas at your event versus a buffet style serving:

  1. Your guests will be able to watch their very own pizzas being cooked in front of them on a traditional wood fired oven.
  2. Each and every pizza served will come hot and fresh, straight out of the oven.
  3. Your guests will be fed and left satisfied, after which they can drink and dance into the night.
  4. Don’t take our word for it. When surveyed, our customers guests told us that the whole experience of having their very own fresh pizza prepared in front of them was amazing. They felt they had been really looked after, and made to feel special.
  5. The overall experience for our customers and their guests is always extremely positive and stress free.

    So, we hope this blog has helped you understand the pro’s and con’s of a buffet style experience versus freshly cooked pizzas at your next event. If you still feel you would prefer buffet style (we doubt it) then of course we can cater for that, but let’s be honest, your guests are far more likely to be wowed by the experience of watching their very own freshly prepared pizza being cooked right there in front of them, each and every time.

    #thepizzapost @thepizzapost_