One of the greatest ways to get friends together is by throwing a potluck party. And guess what… it doesn’t put any stress or expense on just the one person that is the hosting the event. The responsibility of getting beverages and food is equally shared amongst everyone.
As a potluck dinner activity involves a lot of people, it is vital that everybody’s opinions are taken into consideration. Regardless of whether you are the host or a contributing guest, knowing the tips given below will help you make this potluck dinner a joyful experience for everyone attending it.
Potluck tips for hosts
If you are the host for the event it is quite obvious that the responsibility of organising it falls on your shoulders. So start arranging the meal by breaking down contributions into different categories. The food order should be salads, appetizers, beverages, main course and deserts.
Though it might not be the general rule, the main course is often prepared by the host. On the other hand don’t forget to talk to every attendee and list out the food that they’ll be bringing. This way, you can figure out if you need any additional food. If a guest asks you as to what they must bring, give them a choice to choose from two categories and ask if the food preparation fits their budget and timeframe. Also, inform your guests if the number of attendees increase or decrease so that they can prepare food accordingly.
Don’t force any guest to prepare and bring an expensive dish. For example, asking them to bring steaks or fruit salad for 15 people would put them under a financial burden, not to mention the hard work required for preparation. If they are bringing it willingly, then let them bring.
Remember, as a host you have to make sure that everyone is comfortable, so set a good ambience. If you are having party indoors, create an atmosphere by making sure your place is shiny clean, well lit and that designer radiator maintains the perfect temperature for guests. If you are hosting a party on your lawn, then make sure it is clean and properly mowed.
Potluck tips for guests
If you are deciding on what dish to bring to the party, then just think whether it will appeal all the guests or not. If you’re committed to bring a specific dish, then don’t replace it at the end moment. Since a particular order was decided as to who will bring which dish, it’s better that you stick to it. If you did agree to bring an appetizer, disposable pates or any other essential utensils, then you must be present there on time. Also ask the host if any of the attendees have allergy to any particular ingredient or spices, so that you can cook a meal that doesn’t require any of those ingredients.
Unless and until the host tells you to bring a bag of potato chips, it will not be an adequate contribution to the potluck party. It is generally assumed that whoever is going to attend has to put in some time and efforts to bring a dish. If you are invited for a potluck party, then you shouldn’t just attend and hog on to the food; make a contribution towards meal by bringing something of your own. For example, if your office hosts a potluck lunch as an opportunity for co-workers to socialise among themselves, don’t enter the canteen just to eat unless you are bringing something to the table.
Unless your hosts approve, don’t bring food that requires a little more cooking before serving. Make sure that your food is ready to be served as soon as you arrive at the party. If you bring an item that needs some last minute preparation, like a salad where you have to toss ingredients together, make sure that you bring your own tongs or serving spoons. Talk to the host whether they have an extra bowl or big platter that you will put your dish in. if they don’t have one, bring your own. Also, put a tent card next to your dish and explain the contents used to prepare it, as this will help the guests to identify what’s there in it and won’t end up consuming anything they are allergic to.
After everybody is done eating and if there are still leftovers, decide how everybody would want to split the food. We are sure some recipes will be shared and great memories will be made. We also hope the tips shared above help you in hosting or contributing to a great potluck dinner.