Okay just so I see straight.....
900 covers, 4 stations, 2 servers per station, 2 meat choices,. That's aprx 225 per station.
Guests hit a self-service buffet first, then go thru the meat line with food already on their plate,
where a server asks their meat choice, then plops it on their bread or plate.
Do I have that right?
If so, assuming its a "ready-set-go" service, in other words when the caterer's ready to serve,
guest are sent up as a group all at once.....(as opposed to them straggling in over an hour or 2)
then I would guestimate you can have all 900 served in 20 to 30 minutes. 40 minutes tops.
This depends on a few important factors:
1) Having at least one "runner" to replenish the buffet items and the meats as needed.
(And he or she WILL be busy!)
2) Logistics are very important: So its crucial both the self buffet table, and any stations after the
meat line (like condiments etc) are separated from the meat serving stations by at least 15 or 20 feet.
(even if you have to put it on the other side of the room)
While it looks great when the place is empty, having your setup close together is what causes bottlenecks.
5 minutes into serving you can just FEEL your serving line screeching to a snails pace.
But when it's run smoothly, it kicks butt-- I regularly fed 250 to 300 people with that setup: 1 station, 1 server,
and 1 runner, and choice of 3 meats.....in 20 minutes or less. Which brings up:
3) Your servers can't let the guests "dawdle" and take time mulling over their chooice of meat. (Ergh this happnened
ALL the time with BBQ chicken) It's up to THEM to keep the lines moving, and not let themselves be delayed by
I would also note that with 4 serving stations, its also VERY useful to have someone (a runner is fine)
"directing traffic" , telling people out loud, "this line is shorter, and all the stations are the same food" etc.
keeping the flow working well, much like a supermarket checker walking to your basket saying
"I can take you over here" .
Hoping that was helpful.