AYCE supper in Toronto that can support a corporate meeting of 200 people
Looking for an AYCE supper in the City of Toronto (if it's outside of the city limits, it must be within a block of the city limits)
The location has to have a single room capable of seating 200 people for a presentation, and have slide/powerpoint facilities (electrical outlets, projection screen).
Hotels and banquet halls are out of the question; previous meetings have been held at such places - at $20-25 a head for a catered set-course of standard Euro-wedding fare (roast beef/chicken breast, soup, iced desert).
Rather than be served bland ho-hum food by catering staff, at tables with linen napkins and centerpieces, I've been suggesting that people be given food that they will enjoy, with the ability to choose what and how much to take, and to dispense with the linen and black tie waiters.
At the moment, I know of only two places that are able to host such a large gathering in one large room:
Frankie Tomatto's (a block north of Steeles)
China Buffet King (Warden and 401, if still open)
Some of the larger Chinese restaurants can hold large parties, but a proper Chinese banquet would be akin to eating Offal for over half the attendees.
AYCE's, whether Indian, Chinese, Sushi, Italian, or what-not, is usually sufficiently average to not offend any palate, and offer enough pizza/french fry/fried chicken/junk food to satisfy even the most die-hard meat-and-potatoes-is-as-exotic-as-it-gets diner.
If you know of any AYCE's in Toronto (the area bounded by Steeles, Morningside, and Kipling Avenues, approximately) that definitely can support such a large group, please let me know.
Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham, and Brampton are not of any interest (yes, I know there are places that fit the bill there - but until those cities rename themselves Toronto, it's no-go).
Ah....AYCE's, the bane of my food nerdy existence. However, perhaps this info might help: The Buffet King at Warden/401 is gone, replaced by another AYCE Chinese buffet called the Jade River. http://www.jaderiverbuffet.com/
You might also check out the Dragon Pearl on York Mills Road (near Don Mills Rd): http://www.dragonpearlbuffet.com/
Good luck trying to get a block of 200 seats for supper at either place!
I'm surprised you mentioned Frankie Tomatto's as I didn't recall any large room to suit your needs....but its been such a long, long while since I've been there.
I realize you have already sald "no" to banquet halls, but I thought I'd mention the food at Paramount, Spirale and Paradise Halls is decent and probably better than the food at Frankie Tomato's (I haven't been to FT), if you get the Antipasto Bar and/or choose to have a buffet with mostly Italian and Greek dishes (so the guests only take as much as they'd like), rather than the choosing a mangiacake chicken breast via table service. Of course, a buffet or food stations with the best options at Paradise, Spirale or Paramount is going to cost closer to $50+/ person. I don't remember the servers wearing tuxes at Paramount. If you'd rather have paper napkins instead of cloth ones, and prefer that the staff wear something other than tuxes, I'm sure that most halls would oblige for a 200 person party.
Woo Buffet (is it still open?) near the Eaton Centre has a huge space, and probably could seat 200, but I think you'd need to do a buy-out, and the space is awkward for powerpoint presentations. Not a fan of Woo's buffet, but thought I'd put it out there as an option.
Jerusalem on Leslie also has a large buffet. It's a relatively large space, and includes non-Middle Eastern dishes like lasagna, but I doubt that they can seat 200, and the space is a little awkward for a presentation with slides and powerpoint. http://www.jerusalem-restaurant.ca/4777/ I think a buffet at a better banquet hall, or at a hotel with banquet facilities, is likely a better bet than an AYCE restaurant that's open to the public, but for $25 a head, you're not likely to get much foodwise anywhere in TO. I organized a dinner meeting recently, and the 3 course dinner with coffee was closer to $70/person.
4777 Leslie St, Toronto, ON M2J2K8, CA
China Buffet King
9737 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C8S7, CA
Woo Buffet Restaurant & Lounge
Toronto, Toronto, ON M5B 2G9, CA
hotels and banquet halls do ayce buffets as well as plated lunches/dinners. what you ask is best suited for those venues, av equipment, size of room, ability to customize the menu....you can work with the events teams to get rid of the centrepieces etc....linen napkins very much preferred over paper-don't you think? your venue, food and style should help set the tone for your meeting-paper serviettes?
Good luck trying to find a AYCE venue for the price point and conditions you're looking for. The reality is that AYCE survive on volume. Get them, get them feed, and get them out. Next.
As some of the other posters suggest, go back to a banquet hall and get a buffet instead of a sit-down dinner. You have the room to yourself and can set-up your equipment, etc. Otherwise, I would be surprised if you can find an AYCE venue under the parameters that you're requesting. Bon chance!