The holiday season seemed so far off in the dog days of summer but the reality is that they are just moments around the corner. The mad dash is on to book and plan corporate and social holiday parties. Dates are booking fast but we do still have some prime dates available for this holiday season. The moment to plan is now.
HOW TO PLAN A SUCCESSFUL HOLIDAY PARTY
Caterers like Eggwhites Catering have decades of experience planning and executing “talk of the town” corporate parties and we know what it takes to pull off a most successful holiday party. The following tips will help you to lay the foundation of a great party.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Let your guest list guide your decisions on everything from date, venue selection and of course, the menu. What kind of environment, style and experience would your guests enjoy?
FORMULATE YOUR BUDGET AND MAKE A LIST OF MUST-HAVES
Consider what will make your guests feel most festive. Is the bar the most important element or is it all about a great DJ and dancing? Do your guests have adventurous palettes, or do they prefer basic, traditional comfort foods?
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS
Are you looking for unique ideas to create a festive environment for your guests? A full-service caterer like Eggwhites Catering offers complete event solutions. We can share ideas on event décor, flowers, activities and more and handle all of the logistics for you. With over two dozen years of experience as a caterer, we have established strategic partnerships with the most professional and proven vendors in South Florida.
DON’T SCRIMP ON FOOD AND BEVERAGE
What do guests remember most from a holiday party? That’s easy; the food! Guests not only want plenty of food but a great variety of choices. This is why cocktail parties with multiple stations are so popular at holiday events. When choosing your holiday catering menu, think about options that will satisfy everyone from meat lovers to vegans and vegetarians. Choose a few traditional standards and then give guests something new and exciting to try. Serve a few passed hors d’oeuvres. This gives guests who are engaged in conversation to get a few bites as well.
Depending on the length of the party, you may wish to start with passed hors d’oeuvres and a festive craft cocktail to welcome guests to the party. Once the party is in full swing you may wish to open your food stations for the main meal and then close with passed sweets or a late night snack to let guests know that the party is winding down. Will there be speeches, awards, a raffle or other activities at your party? At this time you may wish to pause food and beverage service to ensure that you have a captive audience!
TIPS FOR PLANNING A UNIQUE COMPANY HOLIDAY PARTY
Corporate holidays are a special type of event unlike others that happen during the year. They offer companies the chance to celebrate the year’s successes, reward employees for their hard work or give thanks to very important clients. Holiday parties are also an opportunity to let the personality of the company shine through.
Shake up your usual party plan with some creative ideas to complement your plentiful food and drink (which never goes out of style!).
Look at ways to celebrate conscientiously such as offering a charitable activity, serving food on sustainable dinnerware or reusable vessels like glass jars.
Consider donating leftover food and flowers. Orlando-based Play with a Purpose offers the “Ye Olde Toy Shoppe”activity where groups can assemble and decorate a variety of children’s toys and furnishings, which are then donated to a local charity.
Find out what your caterer does with the leftovers. Eggwhites Catering has partnered with Chapman Partnership to make sure that the food we prepare does not go to waste but nourishes people, not trash receptacles. Find a local flower donation charity like Petals with Purpose who serves Broward and Palm Beach counties.
BONUS: Did you know that if you donate your flowers post-event, your florist bill is tax-deductible?!
For more eco-friendly party ideas, see https://eggwhitescatering.com/blog/going-green-eco-friendly-wedding-ideas/
Break up with your old fall back of candles and poinsettias! You can incorporate traditional holiday hues with sweeping greenery adorned with just a few red roses to create a classic holiday look. If you live in a warm climate, embrace your natural climate. Use succulents in lieu of greenery as centerpieces.
Create a modern look with just a few berry branches in an elegant vase. Add Christmas bulbs for a touch of glimmer.
Consider edible adornments such as pomegranates, plums, walnuts, figs and grapes to showcase the abundance of the holidays. Incorporate citrus branches or regional fruit into a centerpiece of holiday blooms.
HOLIDAY MENU IDEAS
Nothing spreads holiday cheer like a well thought out holiday menu. From holiday classics to fun and festive creations, from a sit-down dinner to a menu to please a crowd, menu planning dues not have to be stressful. The holidays are brimming with opportunities to gather and enjoy delicious food and drink together. We welcome the opportunity to develop a special menu to punctuate this special time.
Nothing quite says holidays like cranberries and pomegranates. We like to put throw them into our salads, transform them into delicious chutneys, spreads and fillings and even put them into our cocktails!
Holiday parties deserve fun, festive drinks. Welcome your guests with a Christmosa or Winter Wonderland Margarita. Our Jingle Juice recipe is inspired by regional flavors so think of this as a citrus sangria.
Find our recipes below!
1 750 ml bottle white wine such as sauvignon blanc
1 ½ cups unsweetened apple cider
16 oz. 100% pure pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
1 large ripe blood orange cut into wheels
1 honeycrisp apple cored, halved and sliced
Add all ingredients to a large pitcher. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight for a more citrusy, cinnamon flavor. Serve chilled.
Orange liqueur (Triple Sec)
Your favorite Sparkling Wine
Fresh cranberries and small sprigs fresh Rosemary for garnish
Fill champagne flute 1/3 full with cranberry juice. Add a splash of orange liqueur. Fill remaining 2/3 glass with champagne. Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary.
WINTER WONDERLAND MARGARITA
1 ½ oz. Silver Tequila
½ oz. Cointreau
1 oz. coconut cream
1 oz. coconut milk
½ oz. lime Juice
Splash of half and half
Splash of simple syrup
Lime wheels and pomegranate seeds for garnish
Sanding salt for rim (optional)
Shake and strain into a glass and serve on the rocks with a lime wheel.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A CATERER FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY
Planning a successful party takes a tremendous amount of planning, effort and commitment. There are a number of time-consuming tasks that are required before, during and after an event. While it can be tempting to follow a DIY approach, there are many benefits to handing over the reigns to a seasoned professional.
WELL-ROUNDED HOLIDAY CATERING MENU
Working with a caterer gives you much more flexibility to create a versatile menu that your guests will enjoy. A professional chef will bring their expertise to the table and will create delicious cuisine using seasonal ingredients and adhering to the latest trends. Your caterer will not only work with you to ensure a balanced, enjoyable menu but will help you time your food and beverage service appropriately. They will also ensure that each dish is timed correctly and comes out looking pristine and beautiful. They can cater for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free, non-GMO and even children’s meals. As the host, you can ensure any guests with special diet needs can fully enjoy their meal.
THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT AND STAFF
One of the biggest roadblocks when planning a holiday party on your own comes when it is time to determine quantities needed for food, beverage and equipment. Professional caterers know exactly how to shop for the menu, they have the right equipment and know exactly what to order when it comes to rentals such as china, glassware and silverware. You never have to worry about running out of food or over-buying your beverage.
Professional caterers also employ well-trained, skilled and experienced staff members who work as a team to ensure your guests enjoy a seamless holiday party experience.
SIMPLIFIED CLEAN UP
Post-party clean up may feel extremely daunting. It would put a damper on any host’s ability to have a good time with such a formidable task looming ahead. Imagine having all those dirty dishes go right out the door when your caterer leaves! You can expect a good caterer to leave your event venue even more pristine than it was when they showed up!
ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY WITHOUT THE STRESS AND MESS!
You deserve to experience your party along with your guests! And your guests want to celebrate with you! Not to mention the fact that you will gain back days - maybe weeks – of time planning and preparing for the event.
For more holiday tips and tricks, read our earlier blog post on catering for the holidays - https://eggwhitescatering.com/blog/holiday-party-catering/
Call Eggwhites Catering today at (305) 892-2066 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Jones writes for Eggwhites Special Event Catering, a Miami-based luxury catering company.