Hosting a dinner party at your home can be an intimate and exciting experience—however it can also be a great deal of work. This is why choosing to host an event at your favorite restaurant or bar can be such a great alternative. There is less stress, less work and less cleaning up when you are done. However, there are still a few steps that you should take in order to make sure that your dinner party goes off without a hitch.
You can host virtually any type of party in a restaurant, if you just do a little planning. Little, simple yet effective tips like this can make all of the difference in the world when it comes to hosting your perfect restaurant dinner party, whether you are hosting a casual family gathering for a few people, or a formal reception for a large group.
Set Your Expectations
A dinner party at a restaurant can typically be as casual or as formal as the host or hostess wants. You can simply reserve a table ahead of time, or you can go all out and rent out and decorate a private room. Either way, before you get started you need to set your expectations for the party you are hosting. This way, you can be on the same page as the restaurant as you start to plan. Different people will have different expectations when it comes to private parties so the more that you can do to communicate your expectations the better.
Go Over the Details
The more detailed you can be with the establishment, the easier it will be to host a private event. Set up a meeting with the restaurant coordinator to discuss your event and make sure you are not only clear on your expectations but you go over any special requests you may have. Are you bringing in an outside cake? Are you decorating with flowers? Do you want candles on the table? These are little details that should be discussed ahead of time.
Keep the Restaurant Informed of Your Head Count
As you start to invite your guests to your dinner party, make sure that the restaurant is aware of your head count. They may need to staff extra waiters or an extra bartender depending on how large the group is. If you want to make sure your guests are getting the best attention possible, then you need to help the restaurant succeed so they can staff the event appropriately.
Curate the Right Menu
Of course, the key to any successful dinner party is having the right food. Depending on the type and style of dinner party you are planning on hosting, you may want to plan ahead and go with a pre-set menu. This is typically best for larger dinner parties so it can expedite the ordering process and help you manage the cost of the party as well. With smaller dinner parties, you may be able to stick with the restaurant’s normal menu. If you are ordering off the normal menu you may also want to think about ordering appetizers for the group so none of your guests have to think about it.
Don’t Forget About Drinks
Make sure that you take a moment to think about drinks when you plan this dinner party. Are you going to include drinks as part of the party? Are you going to limit the number of cocktails your guests order? Is open bar included? Are you just going to do beer and wine? Or, are you just doing wine service. These are all important questions that you will want to ask yourself when planning on drinks for your dinner party. Being prepared and letting your guests know what you decide can only alleviate confusion or awkward situations.
A great dinner party hosted at a restaurant can be the perfect way to celebrate any birthday, anniversary or special occasion. Simply keep these tips in mind to make certain your event goes smoothly and you are hosting a dinner party that your guests won’t soon forget.