‘Let’s do lunch!’.
It’s a phrase that often gets bandied about when it comes to staying in touch with friends.
There is nothing better than catching up on news, sharing stories, laughing together and idly gossiping over a delicious meal and some wine.
If this is something you would like to do, in this article we will highlight how best to organize a lunch party.
Follow these tips and your next social get together is sure to be a raging success.
Why organize a lunch party?
We all have busy lives, what with work, the kids and our home responsibilities, not to mention trying to keep fit and maintain our hobbies.
So, when we do have free time to catch up with friends, we want it to be fun and enjoyable.
Organizing lunches is an excellent way of maintaining and strengthening friendships. They also provide a great way to relax and de-stress from the pressures of daily life.
Food is a love language too, so hosting lunches is also a lovely way to show people you care about them.
It is also very satisfying and rewarding when you are responsible for giving your friends or loved ones a very good feed.
Tips to Plan the Perfect Lunch
If you are wanting to organize a lunch party for your friends, here are some top tips to providing your guests with an experience they are sure to enjoy.
Create the setting
When it comes to organizing a lunch, a great way to start is by creating the setting, as this is the first thing people will notice when they take to their seats.
Décor and ambiance are very important, as this sets the scene for the meal, and often gives a hint of what type of food to expect.
For instance, if you are planning to serve Indian, Chinese, Mexican or Thai food, it’s a lovely idea to incorporate colors and artwork associated with these countries into the room where you will be dining.
Other things you should do to create a good atmosphere is to play soft background music – again maybe even from the country on which your meal is based.
Lighting also plays a critical role in the dining experience too, if you are hosting it indoors. Make sure plenty of daylight illuminates the room. If you are planning for your guests to still be with you in the evening, you can even dim the main bulbs, and add fairy lights to the equation too, for an extra touch of sophistication.
Plants always add a nice touch of color to any setting (be sure to ask if your guests have allergies) while it is also important that the room temperature is just right too – so turn the air conditioning or heating on to an appropriate level as required.
Finally, ensure there is plenty of room between diners at the table, so they can eat in comfort, and make sure the nearest restroom is meticulously cleaned, and offers fresh towels and good toiletries.
Choose the menu wisely
For any lunch party it is important to serve the right food otherwise it could end up as a disaster.
Sure, you might love Ethiopian or Korean food, but if your friends are fussy eaters that stick exclusively to meat and three veg, then the chances are they will not enjoy the dining experience.
Try to judge your guest’s palates and serve them something they will like, and you will be proud to give them.
Typically, a proper lunch meal incorporates three courses – a starter, main meal and dessert. All of which are accompanied by wine(s) that complement the dishes.
When choosing your meal, it’s a good idea to follow this template, which has been proven to work time and time again.
Starters: If you are planning on dishing up a substantial meal try and keep the starters quite small. Where appropriate cold appetizers like prawn cocktail or salmon and spinach roulade are a particularly good idea, as it gets the taste buds going in preparation for the next course.
Main meal: Try and serve something that has a few elements to it, namely two options for main meals and a couple of sides. If serving Indian food this could be a meat curry, a vegetable curry, rice and naan bread. Or, alternatively, if plating up Chinese food, be sure to offer up a noodle dish, a rice dish and a nice soup.
Dessert: After enjoying a big lunch, your guests would probably appreciate a dessert that is light and refreshing. Something like a fruit trifle, Crème Brûlée, cheesecake or profiteroles always goes down well. Especially when served with good quality tea or coffee.
Whilst devising the menu, it is important to be aware of any food allergies, lifestyle choices or general dislikes your guests may have (be sure to ask them in advance). The last thing you want is to have to call an ambulance because one of your party members has gone into anaphylactic shock as a result of eating peanuts that were used to make their dish.
Double check if they are vegan or have any gluten, dairy or other intolerances. Also, as a courtesy, ask them if there are any foods they do not eat. Be mindful too if there are children attending, and present them with child friendly options, as they might not like to eat spicy meals.
When it comes to drinks, ensure that wines, cocktails, beers, sodas and plain water are all available.
Serve food in the correct fashion
It goes without saying that food should be served in the correct fashion.
The most important thing is to ensure that the meal is presented at an appropriate temperature. This may require you utilizing heating plates or warming racks.
Drinks too are usually best served cold, or at room temperature, depending on what you are offering.
Don’t forget to adopt a proper cutlery setting too, complete a uniform dinner set and the appropriate number of knives, forks and spoons, as well as tissue papers and napkins.
As well as the setting, inserting a dress code can also add to the overall dining experience.
Be sure to let your guests know if you plan your lunch to be a dress up or casual affair. Or if you are invoking a ‘themed’ outfit rule, give them plenty of notice to source something appropriate.
At the end of the day your guests need to be comfortable in what they are wearing. So don’t insist they adorn something that you know they won’t enjoy putting on.
We hope you have found our recommendations of how to organize a lunch party for family or friends very useful.
While LA has plenty of dining options, you might prefer to stay in and host a get together for them yourself.
Although there is a lot to think about, it is important to remember that lunch parties should be about having fun and socializing with the people you care about. So, try not to get too stressed or caught up in the details.
After all, to host a successful lunch party all you need is good planning and strong execution.
But if you do find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the preparations, you can always organize some professional help as well.