7 Reasons You Need Bread & Butter Plates at Your Next Catering Event

We’ve been hearing some alarming chatter this season:

“I think I’ll skip the bread and butter plates.”
“They take up too much room on the table.”
“They’re a hassle to haul to every catering event.”

So we’re here today to stick up for bread and butter plates because they’ve saved us when we’ve been in a bind more times than we can count! 

B&B plates are perhaps the most versatile dish in the dinnerware family.

Normally about 6” in diameter and placed in the bottom left of a place setting, B&Bs are named for buttering rolls, but that just scratches the surface of their potential. Don’t believe us? Read on!

1. Party Favors 

Many hosts like to give out party favors at events or streamers if it’s a celebration. It’s a great idea and a nice touch, but where do you fit them on the table? Rather than placing these extras on your guest’s dinner plates (which occasionally raises eyebrows), try tossing them on your B&Bs!

2. Lopsided Table

This is our favorite one! Whether it’s a restaurant, a fancy ballroom or a private venue, there will always be a table that wobbles -- it’s just a truth of the universe! We’ve seen hosts and guests try shoving everything underneath the leg of a table to no avail. The only thing that works like a charm AND doesn’t look like an eyesore is a B&B plate. Flip it upside down, wedge it under the short leg and voila! Your next event is wobble-free.

3. Saucy Drip Trays

If you’re serving a buffet style meal with chafing dishes, try dropping a bread & butter plate next to each one for the tongs or ladles to rest on, saving the tablecloth from sauce and grease. In the same essence, B&Bs act as perfect drip trays under coffee machines.

4. Appetizers

Small plates make sense when there’s “community food” to share. Salad, but no salad plates? Nachos, but no extra dinner plates? No problem. If small plates are your only option, use them with confidence. Simply drop some B&Bs on the table and your guests will do the rest.

5. Hors D'oeuvres

If you’re passing hors d’oeuvres, napkins are best to offer. But if you’re serving something a little messier such as meatballs, or if there is a big spread of hors d'oeuvres, leave a stack of B&Bs next to the station for less mess. Your guests will load up those little plates!

6. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Dessert

No matter the meal or time of day, bread and butter plates will come in handy. Truly versatile, they are never out of place. Whether you stock up on classic or modern styles, they’ll definitely get along with the rest of your dinnerware, glassware and flatware.

7. Coffee

Only veteran hospitality industry professionals can spot the difference between coffee saucers and bread & butter plates (hint: it’s the small indent in the middle to cradle the coffee cup). For this reason, they can easily double as coffee saucers if you’re running low at a specific event or if you’re looking to cut costs when you’re just starting out in the hospitality industry and don’t want to shell out for separate sets of dishes.


Here at IEP, we offer a few different kinds of classic and modern styles of bread and butter plates at wholesale prices. Check them out with the rest of our elegant china collections.


Did we miss any? We must’ve! Share some of your hospitality tips and tricks with your fellow caterers in the comments section below. Got a question for our event supply experts here at International Event Products? We’d love to help you solve your catering conundrums!