A Buffet is a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners generally serve themselves. It is a popular method for feeding a large number of people with minimal staff.
A Banquet is a large meal or feast complete with main course and deserts. It usually serves a purpose such as a charitable gathering, a ceremony, or a celebration, and is often preceded or followed by speeches in honor of someone.
Many of us that choose to cater for guests at home serving a menu with a selection of hot and cold dishes and often include platters and sweet selections and many refer to as a buffet or as you can see from the explanations above you could rightly name it a banquet.
What ever you decide to name your meal, one thing is known that it will take a considerable amount of time to plan and prepare if you choose to DIY. Not only will you need to write a menu and shopping list you will need to think of all of the extras such as serving plates and eating plates and utensils.
If you are feeling energetic and creative, have plenty of time and can ask a friend or two for help if catering for a large number of guests there are many great recipe sites you can explore to create a suitable menu and with many $2 shops around you can purchase extra equipment and utensils needed.
Most importantly if you do decide to DIY cater, make a list of everything needed to cater for your party well in advance so you are not running around at the last minute picking up the forgotten items when you should be preparing your buffet/banquet meal.
You will also need to set a budget so you do not fall short when purchasing all that is needed to create a special occasion. List and price everything including cleaning materials as you will also need to clean up after your event. This is where a few extra helping hands can be useful so ask before the event so it does not come as a shock to any guests.
For those who are time poor may opt to have a caterer who can do all of the planning, cooking and clean up for you. Ask for all of their buffet/banquet menus as most can also customize a menu to suit your needs and budget.