by Edited by Lisa A. Grimaldi | December 13, 2011

empty plateTo avoid running out of food too quickly during a reception or buffet, instruct the catering and wait staff to "stagger" the food service. "Putting it out all at once will lead to some people cleaning out all the food before others get to it," says Kateri J. Harried, principal of Washington, D.C.-based Klover Events ( "I tell the catering team to bring the food out in small amounts -- perhaps a fourth of it to start with, until they see the line go down."