One benefit to having housing in FFXIV is that you can place food items in your dwelling that, in addition to acting as decor, can provide player buffs to any player that uses them (assuming you’ve given them permission to raid your fridge!) As a service to our FC members, we keep a Buffet Table set up and stocked with some meals that can provide significant stat bonuses when used.
Each of the tabletop meals can be used up to 10 times. The effects last for 30 minutes. Each meal always provides the standard food experience buff (+3%), and usually grants a variable Vitality boost and Gear Durability Bonus as well. In addition, many (but not all) meals add a significant bonus to one specific stat.
The picture below shows the current tabletop meals available in the game (as of Patch 3.25) and what special benefit each one grants, if any. (Click the picture for a larger version.) All meals except the orange basket are craftable by the Culinarian class. The five marked meals are the ones I usually keep laid out on the Buffet Table, chosen to provide a good mix of special stats so that most battle classes can find something useful. Sorry crafters and gatherers — there are not yet any tabletop meals that provide buffs for your classes.
When all ten of the uses of a meal are consumed, the meal is replaced with a set of empty dishes. These dishes do count against the housing item allotment, so they need to be removed by an officer of Flame Guardian rank or higher to free up a slot so that more food can be put down. Officers of Stellar Sentry rank and higher can place fresh meals down if there is room in the housing item allotment for them to do so. If you are a member and you notice dirty dishes on the Buffet Table, please let an officer know so we can get the mess cleaned up and new food set out.
How to Maintain the Buffet Table
For those officers new to the housing interface, here’s a step-by-step guide to keeping the Buffet Table in good shape.
First, you may have to remove dirty dishes.
Go to your social menu, open it, and choose “Housing.”
This will put you into FFXIV’s housing interface. This menu appears:
Select “Indoor Furnishings” and the housing allotment list will appear, showing you all the decor items currently placed in the FC house. Your inventory will also open up, and any housing items you are carrying will be highlighted.
Click on the empty plate, and the housing controls will appear.
Confirm that you want to remove the dirty plates, and they will vanish permanently. (Too bad it doesn’t work like that in real life.)
Next, head over to the Company Chest and pick up the new meal to be placed. Head back over to the Buffet Table and open the housing interface again. Select the fresh meal, and choose “Place” from the menu.
The game will warn you that you are placing an item that cannot be retrieved once it has been set down. Click the checkbox and confirm.
Click on the Buffet Table to place the meal, then use the Move and Rotate Item buttons to get it exactly how you want it.
If you are a Culinarian and are interested in helping out by crafting meals for the FC, you can find the recipes at the Meals Recipe page. (Only the most common meals are on this page, but feel free to make some of the others if you like! Just remember that we have limited item space both in the house item allocation list, and in the company chest, so don’t go overboard.)