Buffet area on Celebrity Reflection, will the brand roll its small-plate concept back across the fleet from the Summit?The cruise industry’s standard buffets have evolved over the years, from offering large trays and plates to just big plates, and then smaller plates, as top-deck buffets turned from one line into various stations as ships got bigger and companies became increasingly concerned about food costs.

Now, Celebrity may be onto the next phase as it has rolled out a new program on the Bayonne, New Jersey-based Summit this summer.

“We are piloting the small Las Vegas concept, where everything is individually portioned,” said Chef John Suley, head of food and beverage operations.

This means trays are back for passengers, but all food is already portioned on plates.

“We are trying to do the dishes as individual portions,” Suley noted, adding that a passenger can take a salad, soup, risotto and cupcake and have a full (properly portioned) meal.

In the traditional buffet setting, he said passengers tend to put everything on one plate, mixing it together.

“The dishes don’t have an identity. This is visually appealing and easier for our chefs.”
In an interview with Cruise Industry News just days after the program debuted, Suley said feedback was positive, and overall food consumption in the venue was down.

“Guests are eating less, it’s all psychological,” he said. “It was human nature with a large plate to take the things you wanted to try. Now they are portioned and our guests are also thinking about the health conscious aspect.”

This article appeared in its full-length in the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine, Summer 2014 Edition. Subscribe Today - Click Here.