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What should I consider when designing a hotel buffet counter…?

There’s a lot of factors to consider when it comes to designing a hotel buffet counter. Below we’re outlining all the questions you need to ask yourself, to design the work top that’s right for you.

  1. Service Operation: At which food service will the buffet counter be used? If you are going to be using the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will need to consider how much space is needed for the hot and cold service options at these three times of day. Generally speaking, the breakfast service will use more hot display area than the lunch offering.
  2. Space: It will always be beneficial to maximise the space available for a buffet counter. Give your consumer enough room and comfort to find everything they need, whilst also ensuring there’s enough space to move around in a sensible flow.
  3. Under Counter Space: Don’t waste good storage area underneath your buffet counters. These are ideal locations for plates and some ambient stored foods. Alternatively, they can be made customer facing and offer more ambient food products for the consumer to choose from.
  4. Heat Lamp or No Heat Lamp: For open topped food that doesn’t have a fast turn around time, heat lamps are effective. They’re also easily available on the market that will fit into almost any style of buffet design.

The hot and cold combined food display plate from Catertherm can get around the majority of issues designers and hotel general managers come up against when designing a hotel buffet. Providing each plate has a 25mm gap between, every plate can be controlled at a different temperature and work efficiently. This is ideal if, for example, the breakfast service uses a majority of hot display but the lunch service needs half hot and half cold.

Another huge benefit of the hot and cold combined unit is the required depth underneath the counter: only 150mm, leaving a huge amount of space to be used for whatever storage is required. This is much different to most frost tops on that market that need all of the area below to store the compressor. We can supply a multi-functional heat lamp that can be hot for when the plate is turned over to hot, however can be operated as light only when the plate is switched to cold.

If you need any more information on this product, please contact our sales team on 01636 679415 or email