Unit of competency details

SITHKOP003 - Plan and display buffets (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SITHKOP401 - Plan and display buffets•Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. 02/Mar/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 03/Mar/2016


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110101 Hospitality 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110101 Hospitality 09/Aug/2016 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to design, plan and display buffets. It requires the ability to consult on buffet requirements, design the total buffet concept, plan and document operational requirements, display a buffet creatively and supervise food service.

It does not include the preparation of food items for buffets which is covered by the unit SITHCCC015 Produce and serve food for buffets.

The unit applies to all hospitality and catering organisations that serve buffet food including restaurants, hotels, clubs, and event and function venues. The buffet could be a one-off for a special event or function or a series of regular buffets offered by the organisation.

This unit applies to those people who operate independently or with limited guidance from others such as senior and supervising cooks and chefs, catering supervisors and managers.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit

SITXFSA001 Use hygienic practices for food safety

Competency Field

Kitchen Operations

Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Design and plan a buffet.

1.1.Consult with others  to determine requirements and design of total buffet concept.

1.2.Design buffet menu according to season, budget, occasion, and customer requirements.

1.3.Identify quality, price and customer requirements, and plan the purchase of a range and quantity of food items.

1.4.Plan layout and display of buffet according to type of food, occasion and theme.

1.5.Incorporate design of showpieces and decorations to enhance buffet display.

1.6.Produce food preparation lists and display plans for use of operational kitchen personnel.

2. Prepare for buffet.

2.1.Supervise preparation of food.

2.2.Select appropriate service equipment, service-ware and linen to display food and decorations.

2.3.Plan food service points for efficient and safe customer and staff accessibility.

2.4.Install and present appropriate buffet showpieces and decorations.

3. Display food items and supervise service.

3.1.Display buffet food items to create customer appeal.

3.2.Display garnishes and accompaniments to enhance visual appeal.

3.3.Supervise buffet service to ensure replenishment of food items and neat and attractive display throughout buffet service period.

3.4.Ensure appropriate service standards for all food items.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • read and interpret supplier information to decide best purchasing option.

Writing skills to:

  • write comprehensive food preparation and display plans.

Numeracy skills to:

  • calculate required quantities of buffet food for expected customer traffic
  • calculate supplies for food production.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • recognise potential customer traffic flow issues and design a layout for efficient and safe customer and staff accessibility.

Initiative and enterprise skills to:

  • develop creative ideas and explore a range of designs for the display of buffet foods.

Teamwork skills to:

  • invite and consider the input of staff members and external professionals in the buffet planning and production process.

Planning and organising skills to:

  • access and sort all information required for buffet design and coordinate a timely and efficient planning process.

Technology skills to:

  • use computers and software programs to produce food preparation lists and display plans.

Range of Conditions

Specifies different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Range is restricted to essential operating conditions and any other variables essential to the work environment.

Others  must include consideration of the following:

  • customers
  • display artists and decoration wholesalers
  • event or function coordinators
  • event stylists
  • floral stylists
  • food and beverage managers
  • interior designers and decorators
  • other cooks and chefs
  • service staff.

Unit Mapping Information

SITHKOP401 Plan and display buffets


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=68c40a93-e51d-4e0f-bc06-899dff092694


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Not applicable.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • design, plan and display at least one buffet for each of the following:
  • indoor venue
  • outdoor venue
  • breakfast
  • lunch or dinner
  • event or function
  • the above buffet must incorporate use of at least six of the following hot and cold buffet foods:
  • breakfast foods
  • meat or poultry
  • seafood
  • salads
  • breads
  • fruit or vegetables
  • cheese
  • smallgoods
  • dessert and pastry items
  • accompaniments
  • glazed foods, galantines and forcemeats
  • themed foods
  • foods selected to meet special dietary requirements
  • present buffet with artistic flair, incorporating at least six of the following main elements:
  • candles or lighting
  • showpieces and decorations
  • linen
  • food and food items
  • service equipment
  • service-ware
  • table arrangements
  • themed foods
  • document operational requirements and supervise food preparation and service for above buffets
  • prepare above buffets:
  • within commercial time constraints and deadlines
  • reflecting required quantities to be produced
  • following procedures for portion control and food safety practices when producing, displaying and serving hot and cold buffet food
  • responding to special customer requests and dietary requirements.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • suitable types of foods and dishes for buffets and their characteristics:
  • culinary terms for a variety of classical and contemporary buffet items
  • appropriate conditions and temperatures for display and service to maintain optimum quality and food safety
  • appropriate portions
  • presentation techniques for food items that make up a buffet
  • design considerations for buffets:
  • appropriateness of food items for buffets
  • balance of dish types
  • colour and style
  • costing issues
  • nutritional value of food
  • operational constraints
  • themes of occasions
  • use of showpieces and decorations
  • showpieces and decorations for buffets:
  • bread
  • candles
  • carved, moulded or assembled items
  • chocolate
  • decorated, display and special occasion cakes
  • edible or non-edible materials
  • floral arrangements
  • fruit and vegetable displays
  • glassware and service-ware
  • ice, fruit or vegetable, chocolate, salt or margarine carvings
  • special theme items
  • sugar.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in an operational commercial kitchen. This can be:

  • an industry workplace
  • a simulated industry environment, such as a training food and beverage outlet servicing customers.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a buffet display and service area with:
  • buffet showpieces and decorations specified in the knowledge evidence
  • lighting for buffet
  • linen
  • specific equipment for buffet service:
  • chafing dishes
  • display crockery
  • serving equipment
  • food and food items for buffet
  • computers and software programs to produce food preparation lists and display plans
  • organisational specifications:
  • food preparation lists
  • display plans.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors; and:

  • have worked in industry for at least three years where they have applied the skills and knowledge of this unit of competency.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=68c40a93-e51d-4e0f-bc06-899dff092694