As much as we love to talk about place settings and centerpieces here at Southern Living, we know that the hardworking star of most get-togethers is the buffet. It’s where the munching, mingling, and general merriment of the party kicks-off. But it can also be the site of traffic jams and head scratching (Am I really supposed to use this little tablespoon to scoop out salad? ) No more. We’ve masterminded the anatomy of the perfect buffet. Hang on to the annotated figure above and use it as an easy reference the next time you entertain. Your guests will thank you!