Potluck dinners at first glance look like the perfect solution to most party-dinner problems. You don't have to do the cooking, so they save time. You don't have to buy the food, so they save money. Win-win, right?
Anyone who'e ever invited people over for a potluck and left it at that knows that what you actually end up with is one large lasagna (that you made yourself), three different kinds of potato salad, five bags of chips, three store-bought and two home-made dips, at least one jello salad, and six plates of cookies. If you're lucky, not all the cookies will have nuts, and the ones that do will state so clearly, because there's nothing worse than dealing with food allergies at parties.
Successful potlucks only require one thing: organization. You don't have to be a control freak, either; it's just as easy to say "Bring an appetizer" as it is to say "Bring your Aunt Elizabeth's Delicious Taco Dip." It doesn't even have to be a food item - you can ask that someone be responsible for things like disposable plates and silverware, napkins, pretty much anything within reason, including staying after to help with the cleanup. Keep an updated list of who's coming, who's bringing what, and you've got a party!
One way to turn a "regular old potluck" into a memorable party can be to have the main dish catered. This is a case where a partial service caterer can help out in a big way! Perfect paella, prime rib, crawfish, bbq, any number of ethinic main dishes, crown rack of lamb and more are all dishes that can require specialized equipment or large investments of time to make. Why not have someone else take the work out of it for you? The added bonus is that when you know exactly what the potluck main dish will be, it makes it easy to give your guests an idea (or a request) of what to bring.
Organizing a potluck doesn't have to be an all-consuming, onerous task. Whether you take the reins or delegate the party coordination, someone has to be on top of deciding and tracking who is bringing what...
Theme Dinners can be lots of fun, and having people bring ingredients rather than dishes can make them even more so. Learn how to turn an ordinary potluck dinner into a special occasion...
Partial catering offers a huge variety of party food options that can save money on event planning. Get information about the best ways to order pre-cooked food and tips on cooking for a crowd in our Partial Catering section!
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