People love an excuse to hang out together and have a great time. You may meet up with long-lost friends at a downtown restaurant or go to a coffee shop with your best friend every week. While it’s fun to go out on the town, it’s also nice to invite everyone over sometimes.
You’d love nothing more than to relax on your couch with all your favorite people. Whether you got together to watch a movie or play cornhole in the backyard, you don’t need to wait for the holidays to host a party. Before you send a group text, think about how you’ll feed everyone once they arrive.
Read on to learn about catering etiquette for a girls’ night in. You’ll discover everything you know about how to prep a meal for people. When you use these tips, you’ll prepare yourself for any sized party so everyone has fun together.
1. Send Out a Questionnaire
If you invite your two or three closest friends over, you probably know what they’d like to eat. It’s harder to know for sure with larger parties. Someone may have a food allergy they haven’t mentioned before because they’re embarrassed or it never came up in a conversation. You don’t want to leave anyone out just because of an allergy.
Send out a questionnaire to anyone invited to your girls’ night. Ask if they’re allergic to any food or have dietary preferences. The responses will help you round out your menu choices and include something for everyone.
2. Pick a Theme
Once you know what everyone can and can’t eat, it’s time to put your menu together. There are so many dishes out there to consider that you may not know where to start. It’s easier to figure out what you’ll serve if you pick a theme for your party.
Serve pizza or nachos for movie night. Eat wings and chips while you all watch the big game. You can also order creative salads or veggie wraps if you know your friends will want something lighter and healthier while you don face masks and paint your nails.
3. Choose Your Appetizers
It’s easy to assume you know what your friends will want to eat, but don’t go all-in on one food. Put out the chips and salsa you have in mind and pair it with fresh veggie trays or other healthy options. Talk with your caterer about their appetizer options or make your own at home so you know there’s something for everyone once they start arriving.
4. Buy a Little Extra
Before you place your order or start cooking, figure out portion sizes so you know how much food you’ll need per person. This helps gauge if you’re on track with your budget and also shows you when you can order extra food. It’s smart to get slightly more food than what you need in case people are extra hungry or they all prefer one dish and it runs out quickly.
5. Don’t Forget the Drinks
It wouldn’t be a party without something delicious to drink alongside your entrees and appetizers. Stock up on beer and wine if your friends enjoy that or get creative with cocktails and invent something new for them to try.
Don’t forget that some people won’t want an alcoholic beverage because of personal beliefs or their lifestyle. Get extra options like sweet tea, lemonade or sodas for anyone who doesn’t want to drink alcohol.
6. Buy To-Go Boxes
If you’re planning a girls’ night in for more than six or eight people, you may want to buy to-go boxes. At the end of the night, you don’t want to get stuck with more leftovers than you can eat. Send food home with your guests so none of it goes to waste. Include a few boxes for any desserts you serve as well.
Think of Their Needs
Put yourself in your guests’ shoes to think about their needs. Would you want to inform your host about your food allergies upfront? Would you walk in hoping for food that matches a theme? If you consider your guests’ needs and order a bit more food than you think you’ll need, you’re bound to throw a great party everyone will enjoy.
About the Author:
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!