When I recently co-hosted an event with a family member, we chose a favorite local restaurant for the celebration, instead of my home. It was more convenient for our out-of-town guests who were staying at a hotel nearby and lessened the burden for us who were planning the event. Although I prefer to entertain at home, there are ways to make restaurant entertaining feel like you’ve given it your personal touch. Read on to see how I was able to transform two different events into a cozy space for these special celebrations.
For a larger party, you will most likely be working with a banquet or catering manager. Establish good communication with him or her and let them know what you are planning. They want you to have a positive experience, so they will more than willing to help make sure things go smoothly for your event.
Restaurant Entertaining Guidelines
Good Items to Bring:
- Paper Products
Avoid Bringing these:
Having flowers delivered or bringing them yourself to the restaurant is perfectly acceptable, but give the manager a heads up. Just make sure they fit on the table – you don’t want to crowd your guests’ plates, or have an arrangement that’s too tall. Generally speaking, 12″ is a good height for a table centerpiece.
Providing your own napkins is a nice touch, especially if you want to add some color to the table. Consider leaving your pricey/heirloom napkins at home. There’s a chance one of the servers could pick one up accidentally while clearing plates and once it’s gone to the kitchen, it may be hard to recover. Instead, use napkins that you won’t mind if one disappears.
One of my favorite paper tabletop stores is Hester & Cook. They have just about everything for any theme, color, and idea you can think of. Their tree ring paper chargers, checked table runner and matching place cards were perfect for this party.
A pre-printed menu is always a nice detail for your guests. If you have a set menu, this allows you guests to see what is available and make their choices early. You may even ask the restaurant to print one for each guest.
Just because you’re hosting an event at a restaurant doesn’t mean you can’t give it your own touch and make your guests feel just as welcome as if it were in your home. I hope I’ve give you some inspiration to personalize your next restaurant entertaining event!
To see how I threw a holiday party at a wine storage facility, check out my post here: Holiday Office Party