1. CHOOSE A FAMILIAR VENUE
Venue choices should always consist of familiar restaurants where the type of food is well liked and prepared, service is organized and courteous, and the space available for private events is aesthetically pleasing and appropriate to the type of party. Food quality should be the finest, prepared with consideration to the host’s specifications, and the servers working the even should be experienced, polite, and quick.
It is also helpful to have a rapport with the manager of the restaurant. If the managerial staff is difficult or unwilling to acquiesce to reasonable requests, a different venue should be chosen.
2. MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THE TYPE OF PARTY
Is the event formal or casual or somewhere in between? Will the party be held for a business or corporate gathering, or is the party for family and friends? Will it be a smaller event with room for everyone to be seated or will it be a larger gathering, requiring guests to stand? Before planning begins, these questions should be answered.
Answers to these questions can also influence other choices that will need to be made. Intimate gatherings may be more appropriate held in a private dining space, while bigger events may fit better if the entire restaurant is utilized. Formality or lack of should be considered when deciding upon the tone of the event. A celebration can be casual, but a wedding is traditionally formal. All aspects of the event should be examined to determine the best fit for the event.
3. WORK WITH MANAGEMENT TO PLAN AND ORGANIZE
Involve management from the beginning when planning an event. A good manager can help make the best choices when it comes to space usage, timing, food, beverages, music, and service needs. The planning phase is also the best time to pay for the event. Any additional charges accrued during the party can be tacked onto the credit card on file. This saves time, and it’s a classy move to not be presented with a bill in view of the guests.
4. FOOD AND DRINK
Planning the menu will occupy the most time. A well-thought out presentation of foods and beverages can make or break a party or event. Depending on the event, alcohol, cocktails, and beer can also be chosen. A wine list and selection of beer would be an ideal choice for a fundraiser, while an open bar is more appropriate for a wedding or bridal shower.
Food can be tricky. Making sure there are plenty of options is the key to a successful food spread. Food items for vegetarian guests and other specialty foods should be considered and made available. Barring allergies and other health concerns, food preferences should be taken into consideration. If there is a guest of honor, their tastes should be the jumping off point.