If you’ve found yourself in the position of party-planner for your family, company, or group of friends, the task can seem intimidating. Choosing to have the party at a restaurant can immediately mitigate some of the concerns you may have. Here are a few tips you should know before you begin planning.
Know What You Want
What is your vision for the party? Will it be formal or laid back? Gourmet or casual? Deciding on the desired “vibe” of the party is the first step in knowing where to head from there. A cocktails-and-hors-d’oeuvres party, for example, will take place in a different location than if you wanted a fun beer-and-karaoke event.
The Scouting Mission
Once you have decided on what you want your party to look and feel like, do a bit of research to find suitable options. Ask people you trust for their recommendations and look around online for popular venues that offer the ambiance you want. Once you have a few ideas, go to the locations on a scouting mission to see how it looks and feels in person. You may also want to have a test-meal to see if the food is what you’re looking for as well.
Once you decide where you would like to hold the party, make friends with the people you’ll be interacting with on the night of the party. Start with the bartender and servers; be pleasant and conversational. Then go back a couple of nights later and discuss your plans with the manager. If you’ve already got the bartender and servers onboard, the manager will be less likely to decline your party proposal.
Figure out the Details
If you’ve received the go-ahead from the restaurant manager, set up a time to meet with him or her to discuss the details for your event. Make sure to ask what would be included by the restaurant, like food and drinks, and what you would like/need to provide, like decorations or music. You’ll need to get approval for all of your ideas in advance.
The invitations are a crucial element to any party. Of course, it lets the invitees respond to whether or not they can attend and gives necessary information like the date and time. However, it also gives important other information that attendees might like to know in advance. You should indicate if the event is paid for or if guests are required to pay for their own food and drinks. This will eliminate any potential embarrassments or disputes, so make sure the information is clear.
Make the Menu
If you want to make your party a bit more exclusive than the regular restaurant menu, work with the chef to come up with a carefully crafted menu to suit your needs. There should be a few appetizers served for every table family-style, and three or four different options for starter, entrée, and dessert. If your party is more formal, include wine pairings.
If the restaurant manager has approved your decorations, take a few hours before the event to start setting up. Balloons, ribbons, flowers, or centerpieces will add an extra layer of fun or elegance to your party, depending on the mood you are trying to create.
Communicate with Staff
We suggested earlier that you take the time to befriend the restaurant staff. This will come in handy on the day of the party if there are any changes to your plan. Having that open line of communication will make sure your event goes smoothly.
Be A Good Host
Even though you don’t own the restaurant, you are still the host of the party. Make sure that all attendees find their way to the reserved tables or room, and make sure to take their coats or indicate where they can put their belongings. Make any necessary introductions and keep circulating to make sure everyone is having a good time.
Don’t Forget to Tip!
At a restaurant-based gathering, tipping is crucial. Show your gratitude for the hardworking staff by offering a healthy tip to the bartender and servers. A few days after the party, you may want to even send a thank you note to the manager for their generosity in letting you host your party with them.
By following these tips, you will definitely be able to plan a great party at your chosen restaurant. If you’re ready to get started, contact STRIP by Strega to reserve your private dining space today.