Food stations can be an excellent idea if you want to do things differently or if your venue choice doesn’t have enough space for a formal seated service. You can make these stations as compact or open as you like, it just requires a bit of creativity. Here are some fun examples to give you some food station inspiration and allow you to wow your guests with minimal stress on the event budget
This gourmet grazing station is eye catching and fun to entertain your guests as well as spark conversation over dessert! Individual donut hangers allow you to alternate and add different flavours together and you could also incorporate donuts in your theme colours to make it stand out further. Plus, the creative types could recreate this themselves for a frugal alternative for different functions.
Credit: The George In Rye – Weddings
If you are looking for savoury snacks to serve, this pretzel bar is perfect and not only offers the salty kind hanging up but has some chocolate dipped options below, as well as other customisation options. It is both interactive, delicious and can definitely get attendees talking.
Credit: Ashley Stanton
Veggies and dips are out, shooters are in! With this quirky idea you can provide a range of different vegetables with their own dips in individual cups to avoid lurking around the salad bar to go back and double dip! Plus this way, attendees can grab their shooters and focus more on networking than a clear line to the salad table.
Credit: Trumpet Vine Catering
Food Art Dessert Bar
This stunning idea turns an up-lit dessert table into a work of art that attendees can select and choose from! Be warned it is so artistic you might find guests don’t want to disturb the display. Then again they do look delicious so will they be able to resist?
If you are short on space, staggered bars are a fantastic idea and can also help separate different food elements for your station, for example this bruschetta bar which has a range of wines, meat, cheese and bread for attendees on different levels.
Credit: Back Galley Cafe
Taco Deli Station
Make tacos more gourmet with this deli idea that has pre-made tacos available for guests. You could opt to make them smaller canape sizes for easy handling and a budget friendly idea too, to make the food go further at larger events.
Credit: Monique Simone Photography, Buonanotte Traiteur, Loft Hotel Celebrations Group, Joe’s Prop House
Veggie Garden Salad Station
A build your own salad station that is designed to look like a vegetable garden is clever food styling, making it look a lot less deliberate than it is. It will certainly go down a treat with your guests and can easily accommodate larger groups with ease.
Credit: Chef Jon Cochin, The Rittenhouse
Neon Dessert Wall
For the techy foodie, this is a perfect combination and a unique food bar idea that can showcase gourmet desserts. Creating more of an experience, this dessert wall also changes colour so it can suit the changing moods and tones of your event.
Credit: Damien Taylor
French Fry Bar
A simple idea that is both kid friendly and a crowd pleaser! Smaller portions of French fries can be easier to cater with and carry in these handy cones, as well as spruce up a comfort food favourite!
Make Your Own Coconut Station
Using personalised coconuts as bowls is an excellent unique branding or sponsorship opportunity that also leave attendees with a keepsake once they have topped them with sweet treats and goodies at this interesting food station.
This idea is a great way to make your food station more diverse by offering food that can be a snack or customised into something more filling. Adding different types of tortilla chips also adds colour and keeps it interesting as well as allowing guests to experiment with flavours.
Candlelit Grazing Table
This grazing table would be perfect for a buffet style service without the heavy food and you can provide snack items, breads and smaller canapes for your guests instead. The tall candelabras and candlelight also add an element of sophistication which could compliment your event themes and lighting choices.
Credit: Bespoke Awb
LED Fruit Tree
Your fruit station doesn’t have to be forgotten about if you turn it into a fruit tree! This is a fun idea that also showcases the beauty and large variety of fruit on display. The addition of the LED up-lighting helps to not only make it more appealing but also highlight the artistic design of this food station.
Credit: Sweet Candy Dreams
For breakfast and brunch events this is a classy station idea that can suit both the health conscious attendee or those with a sweet tooth by providing a selection of fruit, chocolate, nuts and sprinkles it is a build your own to suit your own taste. A great early morning meeting catering idea!
Credit: Table Top Rental Shop
Seafood Ice Display
Incorporate an ice luge or sculpture into your station and double the function by serving chilled food underneath! This is both functional and eye catching and could also be illuminated for extra effect for evening events.
Credit: Joe Rimer / Ice Pro
Who doesn’t love pie!? A fantastic option with plenty of possibilities such as this wedding pie bar with both traditional larger options and smaller bite sized treats depending on the needs of the attendee. The flavour options are endless and pies can be savoury or sweet. You could even request attendees bring a pie of their own to contribute, Jacob’s join style, as a budget event idea and see what collection you end up with!
Credit: Pie Bar
Cook Your Own Waffles
This fantastic idea allows you to avoid wasting food and provides attendees with a way to cook their own waffles just the way they like them. Adding a plain, wipeable tablecloth also adds a fun and frugal way to label the instructions and by adding different topping options at the end it means attendees will be left with their own creations to please themselves.
Credit: Ashley Lloyd
Add a touch of nostalgia to your event with a mini s’more station like this that allows attendees to toast their own marshmallows over tealights and add to chocolate and mini crackers! Fun and interesting and reminiscent of those campfire days.
Credit: Matthew & Matilda Levao
Hopefully, these fantastic food stations have inspired the food presentation and service for your future events. These ideas are both delicious and quirky and provide not only a talking point but also a great photo opportunity to be shared on social media. Ultimately, it is important to remember that a food station is about creating a different event experience using food while helping you as an event planner to navigate space or venue restrictions, save on cost and still impress your guests.