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Buffet

Buffets and smörgåsbord offer patrons a selection of food at a fixed price. Food is served on trays around bars, from which customers with plates serve themselves. The selection can be modest or very extensive, with the more elaborate menus divided into categories such as salad, soup, appetizers, hot entrées, cold entrées, and dessert and fruit. Often the range of cuisine can be eclectic, while other restaurants focus on a specific type, such as home-cooking, Chinese, Indian, or Swedish. The role of the waiter or waitress in this case is relegated to removal of finished plates, and sometimes the ordering and refill of drinks. In Italy, a kind of semi-buffet is featured in either a tavola calda, serving hot foods, and a tavola fredda, which serves cold food. Either can be found in bars and cafes at meal times or in dedicated sites, sometimes with seating and service at a counter.