These buffet food warmers are ideal for setups that change regularly. Caterers might take them out on location, or an event hall might use them to turn a countertop into a temporary buffet. They can be transported easily and plugged in anywhere power is available to create a warming surface. These are not meant to cook or rethermalize food, and should only be used to help maintain the temperature of food that is already warm. Because the heat is only being applied to the bottom of the pan, food products on a countertop buffet warmer will need to be stirred regularly to help ensure even temperatures.
Countertop buffet warmers have options available that can make them safer and easier to use. Some units come with pans included to make it easy to get started, some of which also have plastic lids to help protect the food and maintain the food's temperature longer. Similarly, sneeze guards can help protect the food pans from germs and debris. Some sneeze guards are available with a light built into the underside in order to better showcase the food being offered.
To find the right buffet food warmer, consider how many pans of food you will need to keep warm at once. There are models that can hold as many as three full-size pans, but if you need more than that you will likely need multiple units.