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Five Steps to Hosting the Perfect Dinner Party

Tips on Planning Your Next Gathering

BY: MACKENZIE GOODMAN | MAY 2018


Whether you volunteered to host or were nominated for the task, just remind yourself to stay calm. Hosting a dinner party doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, we’re hoping we can convert you into a full-blown party hosting advocate with our updated catering menu and five easy-to-follow party tips:



  1. PLAN THE MENU:
    Figure out what kind of dinner party you want to host, then consider the people you’ll be inviting. Do you run with a ravenous, meat-hungry group? Best to go with heavy entrées and sides including plenty of protein and starches. On the other end, maybe your crowd tends to eat light. With light eaters, you may actually consider skipping entrées altogether and going for a variety of appetizers instead. Use our new catering guide to find menu inspiration perfect for any group


  2. PREP THE KITCHEN:
    Before any guests arrive, be sure to empty out the dishwasher and take out the trash. As the host, you don’t want to spend any unnecessary time trying to fit new dirty dishes in with old ones or lugging heavy trash bags through the middle of the party. Are you anticipating leftovers? Stock up on Tupperware, tin foil, and recyclable zip bags. Does your menu include a lot of sauces? Set aside plenty of napkins, rags, or disinfecting wipes for those inevitable spills.


  3. PORTION IT OUT:
    Consider the size of serving utensils and tableware you’ll have available for your guests. Want to make sure there’s enough soup for everyone to get a taste? Skip the industrial-sized ladle. Don’t want guests piling their plates two feet high? Stick to smaller serving tongs. Little things like this will help encourage guests to be mindful of how many portions they’re dolling out for themselves.


  4. PARTY IT UP:
    Get out there and enjoy the night! Remember that hiccups are normal and to be expected. Be prepared to accept that drinks may spill, ice may melt, or a glass may break. Just try to stay calm and have fun. Chances are your guests won’t remember the little things that didn’t go quite right.


  5. PACK IT IN:
    This is where all that prep work comes in. If it’s a casual group, offer to send your guests home with a variety of leftovers in that Tupperware you set out. Or, if you prefer to keep the leftovers, organize what you can and set it in the freezer. Now you have ready-to-go meals for the next few days. Just heat and enjoy! We can even get you started with a quick and easy recipe for breakfast fried rice.

 


Hosting the perfect dinner party

Still not convinced hosting can be simple and easy? Let us handle the cooking. Our new P.F. Chang’s Catering Menu has meal options for everyone with thoughtful packages and per-person pricing that won’t break the bank. Head to our catering page for menu inspiration, tips on ordering, and more.