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Planning Tips
The Key to a Success Event
The key to a successful event is ORGANIZATION & ANTICIPATION. Regardless of whether you have 20 in your home or 200 in your backyard, planning and anticipating is the key to success.

If you are a novice you'll benefit from these tips. If you are a Party Pro, you know that the services you engage will be asking for this information.

Hor d'oeuvres
Make sure the cooking trays, serving trays, condiments, dips, toothpicks, napkins are in place. When the food comes off the cooking tray or out of the oven the serving trays should be stacked up and ready. (Doilies are an inexpensive nice touch and absorb oils.... remember to purchase or request them). Where will your guests dispose of dirty napkins/plates? Have conveniently placed receptacles available for your guests or rent collection buckets for your wait staff to collect debris.
Sternos should be lit and hot water should be placed in your Chaffing Trays about a half hour before serving time. When setting up remove lids from the sterno cans. Think about renting an URN just for hot water and rent a metal coffee pot also.

Appropriate serving utensils should be placed in front of each tray. (Many caterers do not provide utensils. Be sure to ask!) Butter, salt, pepper and any other condiments should be ready and in place. Don't hold a line up with hard butter. Take it out a few minutes early to soften. Order rolls sliced or slice rolls in advance to keep your buffet line moving. (Cover with plastic wrap to keep fresh and remove just prior to opening buffet). Anticipate requests such as Parmesan Cheese, Horse Radish etc. Have it readily available, with a spoon. Think about how your dinner will be cleared. If guests are to dispose of their own debris make it convenient. If you hired wait staff, discuss this in advance.

Dessert/Coffee/Tea Service
Large Coffee/Tea Urns take time to heat up. Find out how much time you need based on the number of cups you are making and turn them on or plug them in in advance accordingly. Have sugar/milk creamers filled if possible, or readily available for filling. Spoons/forks/plates/napkins also need to be readily available. And don't forget serving or slicing utensils! If you are serving frozen goods, remember to take out to soften for easy serving. Dipping a metal utensil in hot water can help. Have a metal bucket available for this (metal helps retain the heat). Again, think about renting an Urn just to keep water hot for this (and for filling the chafing trays).
Children at Parties
We're not just business people. We're parents too and enjoy the inclusion of our kids at social events when invited. As parents, we know how easily accidents and mishaps can happen. If children will be at your party it's wise to plan accordingly!
First and foremost think safety!
Think about how you logistically set up buffet tables and how you plug things in. You don't want wires that children (or anybody) can trip over. Purchase a roll of duct tape to secure electrical cords to the ground. Coffee/Water Urns should be set up in a safe place, out of traffic. (Yellow tape will stand out better in dimmed lighting.) Rent child-sized tables and chairs, or high-chairs. If you are serving hot soup, make an announcement! "Soup is being served, please secure your kids so as to avoid an accident". If you have separate tables for the kids, ask us about alternative table settings.
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