I was at an event this evening and the caterer, Marcey Brownstein, had food served both by passed waiters and buffet style. But instead of the traditional buffet, she set up these cubed bookcases, which I'm pretty sure are from IKEA, and created an "Automat."
The party's theme was the 1920s so an automat fit the theme well and guests were able to help themselves and waiters refilled the cubes from behind as needed.
There were several cubes with votive candles and there were signs next to the food so you knew what you were eating.
When working with your caterer ask them about alternatives to stations and traditional buffet set-ups. They may have a creative idea that you'll love!