Party Planning Tips for Hosting a Potluck Party
The words “potluck party” probably conger up visions of your grandma or the old ladies from church having a party; however, in today’s busy times having a potluck can be a great way to get together with friends without anyone having to do too much of the work themselves.
Just as you are busy each day dealing with getting the kids to school, going to work, shopping, running errands, taking the kids to their own activities, so are most of your friends and family. But, if you want to get together and enjoy each other’s company for a day or evening, having a potluck party might be just the answer. A potluck allows the work of the party to be spread amongst many guests and a get together is much easier to plan this way.
However, to have a successful potluck, you need to do a bit of pre-planning upfront to ensure that not all of your guests all bring the same food, or the same type of food, to the party. While your guests might have no idea what they will bring, try giving each of them a category and ask that they choose something. Even going with random suggestions of drinks, main course, desert, or salad can help to ensure that you have enough variety in your foods so that everyone can enjoy their meal.
In addition to the course suggestions, there are a few other things which can make your party go much more smoothly. They are:
1. Ask all of your guests to prepare their dishes in advance and bring them in need of nothing more than a simple reheat in your microwave or oven.
2. Ask all of your guests to bring their dishes in containers which are easy to handle and will fit within the table space you have.
3. If you will be having a lot of people for your potluck, remind your guests that they do not have to feed everyone there, a normal family or 4 or 6 meal-sized portion of their food will be plenty. Most people will only take a small amount of the choices to be able to sample everything they want without being over-full.
4. Let your guests know that any simple dish is fine. Many people love to try other people’s family recipes and these work nicely for a potluck party.
As the potluck host, you will want to set up the table for all of the food. This should include both linen as well as potholders for your guests to set their hot dishes on. In addition you will want to have some extra serving platters, bowls, baskets, and serving utensils available as not everyone will come with their dish ready to be served.
One important thing which you do not want to forget is the beverages. You can either provide these as the host, you can ask everyone to bring their own, or you can have one person who will only be bringing the drinks.
In addition to the above, as the host of the potluck you get to choose what you will bring to the party. If you are hosting a large party, simply providing the location, plates, and silverware, should suffice. However, if you are having a smaller get together, then you will want to provide a dish as well. Many times the host will provide the main course, such as a turkey or roast, and ask the guests to bring along other foods such as salads and desserts.