Create your menu. Layout your table. Pick your serveware. Do all the things you can beforehand so you can enjoy your time with guests!
Here at Le Plat Co., you will hear the word prep often. We love to prep everything we can in life to make things easier and more streamlined and to be able to enjoy the moment, and when it comes to hosting, this is our number one tip! Of course, we are not saying you need to have everything planned down to the exact millisecond, but by having ideas in mind, easy things prepared, and the inevitable backups ready, you set yourself up to have a great time no matter what.
Create your menu:
This menu depends on what kind of gathering you have, whether planned or unplanned, sit down, a casual event, or a celebration. No matter what is going on, you should always have a rough idea of the menu in your head or written down for reference. This “menu” is what you plan to make, what you have on hand, and what you can serve in a pinch. So make sure you think about the things below.
- Quantity of guests (Approx.)
- Food aversions or diet restrictions of guests or possible guests
- The setting, Formal/ Informal
- Time of day
Layout your table:
Or at least have a rough idea of where you are serving. This layout can help the overall flow of the gathering. If you don't have a set table, the guest will be roaming or congregating in a specific area. Knowing what is easiest for you to get items out, adding finishing touches, and presenting food and beverages/ puts you ahead of the game. Here are some quick things to consider when layout out your “table” space before serving.
- Where guests are or where you would like them to be. You create the flow; they will come for food.
- Proximity matters with what you are serving. Does it need to stay hot/ cold or need to be refilled?
- Remember the company that surrounds you. Stay at your comfort level and theirs!
Pick your serveware
The easiest thing to do beforehand should be picking your serveware. We believe you should always be thinking about your serveware, using it often, how to utilize it in your day-to-day and not just for occasions, and using it as decor, so you see and use it more often. These are all excellent practices to lead up to when you are serving and need/ want to use your serveware. You will already know what will work best! Just make sure you think about some of the things below.
- Sizing is everything. Do you want to fit it all, or do you have to / want to keep refilling?
- Location, think about where you are serving. Outdoor, indoors, or by a pool, make sure you think about the material and clean up of the serveware you choose.
- Clean up. Depending on the number of people, make it easier on yourself by always utilizing dishwasher and disposable options when you can!