From the latest in mobile buffet tables to table top beverage dispensers, buffet bistro and function ware has never been so functional and stylish.
Carly Rowe, marketing coordinator for IHS Global Alliance, says many restaurants are upgrading their buffets making them increasingly interactive with indoor live cooking.
“Incorporating mobile stations to the buffet, from cold sushi and ice cream to hot pasta and shawarma, creates an exciting and entertaining atmosphere allowing the guest to experience a wide selection of cuisines,” she said.
Maintaining the buffet to be tantalising is imperative says Ms Rowe and should be achieved through constant replenishment of food and merchandising through elevation.
“Food safety is also a crucial element with accurate heating and cooling systems in place. Many buffets have suitable heat retention systems such as induction, however having a heat source from above is usually dismissed.
Heating from above and below maintains food at correct and balanced serving temperature,” said Ms Rowe.
“Our Cross Cube mobile buffet tables with scissor folding leg design and removable tops are the perfect concept for fast pace transportability and are flexible enough to cater to endless function types. Along with stylish designs, functionality is key with transformation from buffet to cocktail function, coffee break or dining available,” she said.
Naked buffets is IHS Global Alliance latest concept. Going green and choosing not to skirt tables, is a strong demand says Ms Rowe that offers alternative leg designs and table tops that beautifully complement interiors without sacrificing style.
“With trends and preferences evolving we were challenged by the industry to create quality buffet systems that encompass all essential aspects of durability, ease of use, green star rating, flexibility and style,” said Nick Polidoros, director of IHS Global Alliance.
Stephen Catterall national sales manager for SICO South Pacific says provision of both hot and cold live buffet stations gives patrons a guestexperience that provides memories and a point of difference for the hotel or resort.
“All Sico Deco and Ovations stations are fully mobile, allowing them to be utilised in all areas of the hotel, not just in restaurants and conference areas.
This mobility cuts labour costs dramatically. This allows the hotel to provide events in areas not previously utilised, providing additional revenue streams, and therefore are a tool for the hotel sales team to offer a point of difference against their competition,” said Mr Catterall. “The Green LED lighting supports themed events, offering presentation options, and along with the latest induction cooking technology, adds to the green credentials of the property. They can be viewed as elegant pieces of furniture, as well as being functional and flexible,” he said.
“Our new nested buffet sets can be utilised in a variety of formats and in conjunction with our mobile buffets, or as standalone units that will enhance any environment. Our buffet systems are an investment that has a return; it’s not just a cost! Our induction systems mean 90% of every dollar spent on energy goes into the pan,” Mr Catterall added.
While Katie Jones, marketing manager for Billi P/L says their products can also create a good balance to a hotel buffet while providing practical solutions.
“The Billi boiling and chilled, boiling and ambient, chilled or ambient only taps are available in different finishes and styles to blend with the surrounding design elements. A tap to be proud of, this is perfect for clients to self serve, as well as staff usage. The Billi boiling systems include a concealed safety switch, splash free technology and leak detection system for total peace of mind. Available with the Billi font for flexible positioning this unit can be used anywhere. Instant boiling and/or chilled water will impress with its efficiency and time saving benefits,” she said.
The Billi font, explains Ms Jones, is a great solution to having boiling and or chilled taps in foyer or outdoor areas without having to worry about sinks etc.
“The Billi font allows for taps to be positioned exactly where you want it. And practical options include a range of capacities to meet the demands of each different area and settings that will keep the unit on at all times so the water is boiling or chilled right when you need it,” she said.
Suzy Cohen, operations director of Tap2Table, distributes a tabletop beverage dispenser with a three litre capacity and rotating tap that is ideal as a table centre piece for any type of function as guests can self-serve from around the whole table.
Clients are always looking for something different for banquets and this is a new option in beverage catering says Ms Cohen. “It is suited to all types of events from weddings to corporate events – it can be filled with beer, cider, soft drinks or even just iced water. It frees up staff from endless glass/jug refills,” she said.
“We have recently introduced a cocktail buffet concept. A selection of cocktails is available for guests to serve themselves for example at a cocktail party or pre-dinner reception. Typically wait staff roam around with glasses and a limited selection on a tray. This way guests can view the selection and refuel at their leisure. The tabletaps are placed on a raised counter at a height that is easily accessible to guests,” said Ms Cohen.
The tabletaps are ideal for outdoor settings, poolside restaurants, bars as the ice chamber keeps beverages chilled and undiluted.
“They are a really stylish way to serve drinks and more practical than jugs in warmer situations as jugs of beer/cider or soft drink lose their fizz quickly and can’t be kept cold. It sets a great atmosphere for groups. The base is well weighted and stable and the drink chamber is made from commercial grade polycarbonate,” said Ms Cohen.
“The system can be used two ways. Ice can be placed into the ice chamber for beverages where you want to retain fizz and not dilute the drink like beer/cider/wine. For soft drinks and mixed drinks you can remove the ice chamber and ice can be placed directly into the drink to provide three litres… it really frees up wait staff and service areas,” she added.