Display Stands Buying Guide

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Looking to transform your tablescapes at weddings, birthday parties, galas, and other special events? Or maybe you need a portable and chic addition to buffet tables for your catering services? Whatever the case may be, display stands add the perfect touch to table settings at any special occasion.

When deciding which display stand is best for your business, there are several buying points to consider. Food display stands often come in a variety of styles, such as singular, tiered, or multiple-compartment risers. Displays stands are also made from a range of high-quality materials. Although most food display stands are designed for long-lasting use at your catered events, weddings, and more, there are key differences between them. This buying guide provides helpful information to simplify the process of finding a display stand that works best for your establishment’s needs.

Why Display Stands Work For Your Events

If you’re running a restaurant or catering business, finding ways to make your clients’ events unique is an important task when putting together their celebration. Display stands can instantly take traditional buffet tables and food stations to a whole new level. Depending on the display stand used, the added height, dimension, or texture to a standard tablescape will instantly upgrade the look of your food presentations and impress guests.

Display stands offer a multitude of benefits in terms of serving guests at celebrations. Guests can easily reach for hors d'oeuvres on a self-serve display stand which eliminates the time spent waiting for guests to enjoy their foods. Display stands also offer a large amount of room to create interesting dessert or snack presentations at tables. Using display stands made with the same material as other objects found at the venue also gives a cohesive feel to the design of your catered event.

Food Displays For Catering

Food displays at catered events play a huge role in the overall success of a catered celebration. Display stands can act as centerpieces or self-serve stations, depending on the way they are placed throughout the venue. Have a conversation with your clients on what they’re looking for in a food presentation, so you can find a display stand that fits their needs.

For more casual events, setting up self-serve stations encourages mingling amongst guests and doesn't require having several waiters throughout the venue. This could appeal to your clients looking for a subtle celebration, focused on spending time with their guests. Look for display stands that make foods easy to reach and offer stability when serving.

For formal events, using a unique display stand as the focal point or centerpiece of a buffet table adds a wow factor to any event. Consider offering clients looking to host a wedding or gala a tiered or multi-level display stand for their cocktail hour. Look for a larger than life display stand that can hold a large amount of food and adds height to tablescapes. Guests will love the unique way their meals are being displayed and it helps contribute to making the overall celebration even more memorable.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Display Stands?

When browsing through display stands, there is a myriad of designs and sizes to choose from. Consider the kind of table settings you use the most in your catering business or restaurant. Depending on your design needs, a display stand can add depth, dimension, and space to your food presentations. Below is a breakdown of the different types of display stands and their features.

Serving Stands

Serving stands are the most traditional kind of display stands and are made up of a singular, flat surface that's attached to the base. Depending on the exact measurements, the surface of these display stands provides ample space for plating all kinds of passed appetizers or dessert canapes.

Serving display stands can be placed on buffet tables or food stations to create classic food arrangements. Most serving display stands are lightweight and easy to set up and transport. To add depth to table settings at special occasions, consider placing tall serving stands as well as smaller displays throughout table settings.

Tiered Display Stands

Bring food arrangements to new heights by using a tiered display stand. Available in multiple sizes and levels, tiered display stands allow you to get creative in the ways you present foods at catered events. Tiered display stands are made from multiple connected levels that can be stacked on top of each other to create height for food presentations.

Tiered serving stands typically provide the most room for your culinary creations. Tiered display stands are often designed with 2 to 5 levels, but serving stands with 6 to 10 levels can create show-stopping displays that are ideal for large gatherings.

Multi-Level Display Stands

Multi-level display stands are great for bringing dimension and depth to tablescapes on special occasions. They are made up of several individual levels of different sizes that can fit inside of each other or be placed alongside one another.

These kinds of display stands provide the most versatile arrangements and functionality. Similar to tiered display stands, stands with multiple levels can add height to your table settings. Display stands with multiple levels are perfect for arranging dishes throughout your buffet table without overcrowding your tablescape, as they have a compact design.

What Kind Of Material Should I Choose?

Although you might have settled on the design of your display stand, there are a variety of choices when it comes to its material. Depending on the color palette, structure, and functionality of your tablescape, consider choosing a material that can undergo frequent use while complementing your table settings.


If you’re looking to create a minimalist yet enchanting appetizer arrangement, choose an acrylic display stand. The clear finish of these display stands makes your food presentation the focal point of any tablescape. Acrylic display stands resist against cracks or breaks to stay intact for frequent use.

To protect its transparent surface, acrylic buffet stands are scratch-resistant and durable. Tiered acrylic display stands often give the illusion of floating levels in your food arrangements. Great for quickly setting up tables at catered events, acrylic display stands are lightweight and easy to transport from venue to venue.


Wooden display stands are ideal for complementing rustic and natural tablescapes. Excellent for plating all kinds of appetizers and desserts, wood display stands are incredibly durable and built for everyday use. A wood display stand is the perfect addition to your catering services, as the natural surface of these display stands can be easily wiped down between uses.

Featuring premium varnished finishes, wood buffet stands are made to show off their unique graining and natural tones. Ideal for protecting their chic appearance, wood buffet stands are typically made to be stain-resistant and scratch-resistant.

Wooden display stands are most commonly made from these kinds of heavy-duty woods:

  • Bamboo
  • Birchwood
  • Acacia wood
  • Mango wood

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel display stands offer a scratch- and dent-resistant construction that guarantees their high-quality appearance is showcased at any celebration. To protect against tough stains and rusting in between uses, stainless steel display stands are highly corrosion-resistant to keep their surfaces looking spotless. Stainless steel display stands have a high-shine reflectivity that can easily elevate any table setting for a larger-than-life look. Although these steel buffet stands aren’t as lightweight as other acrylic or wood options, they are still portable for on-the-go events.

Which Display Stand Works Best For You?

When choosing display stands for your business, keep in mind that you want a display stand that is versatile, and fits your needs. Serving guests hors d’oeuvres at celebrations would benefit greatly from a serving stand that is easily portable and lightweight, so it can be set down at tables or carried through an event. For buffet tables at catered events, tiered or multi-level display stands provide a large amount of room for foods and dimensionality can instantly upgrade a standard tablescape. Consider the construction, height, and design of your display stand. Materials like stainless steel or wood can withstand heavy-duty use for years to come but might be not practical in terms of design and aesthetics. Display stands with multiple compartments or disconnected pieces are much more difficult to set up than a traditional serving stand, but offer much more dimensionality.

No matter which serving stand you decide to purchase, one thing is certain: display stands are the ideal and easy solution for elevating food arrangements. While a traditional table spread of appetizers and desserts is always a crowd-pleaser amongst guests, incorporating display stands into your table settings is a great way to impress them.

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