You can make them in early prep, cool them, and then cut them. Doing so you generally don’t want them to have as much water (not dry you just want the cold grits to retain all of the water so they’re moist when you cook them again). This gives clever options for pan frying the grit cake or turn them into something else. But cakes often a part of higher end establishments because the process is harder to pull off imo.
You can make creamy, porridgy grits. This lends itself well to super cheesy or buttery grits or, hell, both at the same time. it doesn’t save as easily so it’s a more popular option for immediate service.
There are a number of combinations that work the middle ground. You can save cheesy grits it just makes more steps or time. You can precook drier grits and then add a couple ounces of cream right at the end. You can shoot for shapes or for flavor, or go for gold and hit both.
Hell, with a lot of work you can use grits to make tortillas.
Grits are also known as hominy sometimes. It would be more accurate to say grits are made FROM hominy, but this isn’t always true for every form of production. The biggest, coolest thing about grits is that they absorb so much flavor and can take cool shapes as they cool. You want to PAM spray some dinosaur grits? Hell yeah, take the leftovers, roll them out again and cut some more. Want to cook grit cakes off the griddle? They’ll absorb maple syrup like a dying lumberjack. Want to make high end, savory dinner grits? They absorb those spices just as fast.
You may also find polenta or hominy can do all these things. Polenta is a bit firmer, and holds shapes better. Hominy is a bit more absorbent, because hominy has been alkali treated (which strips off the casing of the proteins inside) whereas a lot of store bought grits are stoneground. But like I said, grits are often just further ground hominy too. None of this a rule, and much of it has as much to do with region of origin or tradition as it does gastronomic difference or weird taxonomic variation.
Ultimately, the best advice I can give for the corn meal family is go fucking nuts. They are a fantastic starch, they take a lot of flavors well and only have mild sweetness. Chopped onions, jalapenos and cotija in grits are going to give you a wildly different experience than butter, maple syrup and bacon. But grits will happily work with both. And it’s worth finding how you like your grits. They’re super cheap and easy to work with.