When the sun comes out and the days warm up, gatherings with friends and family increase. While attending a great BBQ can be a lot of fun, hosting one can quickly get expensive. If you’re planning on hosting a get together at your apartment community, one of the easiest and cheapest ways you can do it is by throwing a “potluck.” Although this may conjure up images of the 1970’s, potluck parties can be a great way for everyone to show off their culinary prowess while offering a veritable feast for all who attend.
Want to host a successful potluck? There’s just a few simple rules to keep in mind:
Start With a Guest List
Depending on how much room you have in your apartment, or if your apartment community has a party space you’re able to use will dictate how many people you can have over. Don’t worry, it’s possible to throw a great party even if you’re in the smallest studio apartment. Just keep in mind how many seats you have and mingling room, and you’re halfway there.
Create a digital guest list so you can keep up with who’s coming and who isn’t. For example, using online invitation sites such as Evite, or creating an event with Facebook can really help manage your list and lets you communicate with your guests at any time.
Find Out About Allergies and Food Preferences
Food allergies have become a huge part of modern life, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have someone who will need to know how a dish is prepared. Additionally, vegetarian, vegan and those with religious dietary concerns should also be considered. Ask your guests if they have an issue, and be sure to communicate this to your other guests bringing dishes.
This doesn’t mean that every dish needs to be nut-free and vegan. Ask your guests to bring a small card that lists out ingredients and then everyone will be able to make a choice that’s right for them.
Figure Out the Food
Unless you do a little pre-planning for your potluck, you run the risk of ending up with 10 bowls of potato salad and some chips. An easy way to handle this is to assign categories of food. You can do this as simply as using their last initial, saying A-C bring appetizers, D-F bring salads and so on. Additionally, you can simply ask your guests what dish they would like to bring and fill in the holes yourself.
Bring the Bottles
There are few things that really run up the bill quite like trying build a bar full of drinks. While many guests will probably opt to bring a bottle of wine or beer, you can always suggest that folks bring a bottle of something to share, and that you will also be providing some drinks. Be sure to have some soft drinks on hand for your designated drivers. Additionally, it’s a great idea to have the number of local taxi firms or online ride services to ensure your guests get home safe.
Potlucks make for great parties, allowing you and your guests to sample many different kinds of food without breaking the bank. Do you have an ultimate potluck dish?
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