In order to set up a buffet table, each dish should be divided into two platters, mirrored on either end of the table with plates stacked beside each. Dishes such as salads and vegetables should be twinned and placed at either side.
If the table is near a wall, the main dish and other plates should be amenable to likely traffic. A hot plate or tray is recommended for hot dishes.
Beverages should be placed on a separate table or sideboard, with glasses available for guests to help themselves. If serving wine, glasses should be at guests' places, but should never be filled prior to their arrival.