How to Display Food Names at a Party

by Nan Kimberling ; Updated September 28, 2017

Displaying food information at a dinner or buffet party is helpful to diners. The host can order reusable table signage or create his own through computer templates or by hand, then display them on themed or traditional food-safe holders.

Group food into categories such as entrees, salads or casseroles. Display a large card holder or table sign with the food dish group information centrally located within each area.

Take into account the dish when choosing the placard or table sign. Do not place paper place cards near hot dishes on a buffet as they may become unreadable from steam. Laminate signage for display on a dish itself or on an anchored display fork or hanging holder.

Set up the signage throughout the buffet table so no hazards are created. Keep signage away from direct contact with heating elements, ice structures or ice-filled displays. If you are anchoring signage onto a dish vessel directly, ensure the anchor is food-grade-safe plastic or metal, which does not react adversely with acidic foods or high heat.

Place table-stand signs directly in front of the item and keep it shorter than the serving-vessel height. Center it so it is not in the path of diner serving himself. If you anchor the sign, place it at the rear of the serving vessel or anchor a hanging sign to the front of the serving vessel to hang down outside of the dish and out of the way.

Wash and sterilize all reusable buffet signage before using them again.


  • Dishes that contain allergens such as nuts, gluten and seafood and are not visually detectable are candidates to be pointed out on buffet signs. Information concerning food preparations, such as sugar-free items and kosher items, should be added to the sign.

Photo Credits

  • Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

About the Author

Nan Kimberling is a freelance writer and published poet writing professionally since 2007. Her work has appeared in "The Phoenix Nest," eHow, Travels and LIVESTRONG.COM. She specializes in travel industry, outdoor recreation, cooking, sports and science content. Kimberling studied comparative religions at Iowa State University.