We are inviting “X” but half are the graduates’ friends and we have no idea how many will show. How the heck do we plan for food?
Aah, we get it! As a host, you are trying to create a menu that appeals to multiple age groups. The graduate and their friends often have several parties to go to in one day. You don’t want to run short on food, but also don’t want to be eating leftover burgers and dogs for the next two weeks!
A few tips to keep everyone happy!
There is nothing like receiving a beautiful printed invitation, but this is one time it is much better to use electronic invites. The young crowd will be more likely to respond to an email, and the built in reminder feature takes the nagging off of your to-do list. Evite and Paperless Post both have options for printed versions as well, allowing you to mail copies to those less tech savvy relatives.
“Slow and Low” - Design your menu around items that can sit out without getting dry or soggy. No one wants to be stuck manning a grill for hours on end, but BBQ items such as pulled pork, BBQ chicken and beef brisket all can be held over heat for an extended period of time without losing any of their flavor or texture.
Have a “Hook” - Let it leak that the Nona's Ice Cream Truck will be arriving at a specific time and you are guaranteed that all of the young people will be there! Or schedule entertainment such as a corn hole tournament with a prize - keep your buffet out until shortly after it starts and you will know that everyone has been fed.
Bring on the breakfast! Brunch is a great option for a grad party - be the first party of the day and serve crowd favorites such as French Toast casserole, Mini Breakfast sliders, fruit smoothies and bacon. All of these also make great late night options for parties that go into the wee hours!