Setting the Scene for Hosting a Soirée This Spring and Summer

April 1, 2024

Consumer Trends

Warmer weather is approaching, meaning the season of al fresco dinner parties and backyard BBQs are upon us. While hosting a gathering for friends and family can be overwhelming, there are ways to minimize stress and overcome common hosting conundrums. Below is some of the best advice we’ve learned over the course of 30 years in the hospitality industry to help you become the host with the most!

Plan Ahead

Eliminate stress when hosting an event by planning your menu well ahead of time. Knowing exactly what you’re going to prepare and having a game plan on when to prep, cook and clean up ensures that both you and your guests will feel comfortable and at ease when it comes time to party.

Creating the Perfect Guest List

Keep the guest list manageable by not inviting more (or less) people than your space and vision can accommodate. Do not try to cram 25 people into a dining room for an intimate dinner party or fill a backyard soiree with five guests. Also, invite a guest or two who you know gets along with anyone. Having a “life of the party” on hand can help tremendously when you’re handling day-of logistics and have to step away from hosting duties for a bit.

Keep The Menu Simple

Quality reigns over quantity when it comes to hosting. Do not try to master too many dishes or make something new for the first time when throwing a party. Stick to what you know and curate a menu with a few standout items that you’re comfortable and confident preparing. Additionally, avoid unfortunate situations by confirming any allergies or dietary restrictions in advance. This will allow you to plan a food and beverage menu that has at least a few options for each guest.

Outsource Help If Necessary

It’s well worth the investment to hire a bartender if you’re planning to serve alcohol at your event, especially cocktails. This removes a lot of the pressure of making sure mixers are stocked, wine bottles are uncorked and that you have enough ice throughout the day, freeing you up to mix and mingle with your guests.

Create Backup Plans

Prior to your event, think of any element that could go wrong and what the alternative plan is. Consider the season of when you’re hosting and if weather will be a factor. Have a backup option for an outdoor event if it rains. If you’re having entertainment, prepare a party playlist in case they fail to show up. Have premade, store-bought dishes in mind in case of last-minute cooking catastrophes.

Bonus Tip for Guests

Unless an event is specified as a potluck, do not bring food. This can throw off the vibes of the menu that the host has worked hard to curate in advance. It’s much more appropriate and appreciated to bring a bottle of your favorite wine as a gift to the host!