Grad Party Tips
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These tips come from over 15 years of grad party experience. It’s an indispensable guide to hosting a great event! Want more tips and ideas? Contact one of our catering experts near you!
1. OVER-BOOK AND UNDER-BUY!
Not every guest you invite will come to the party. Save money by not over-ordering on food. May and June weekends are busy for everyone. As such, many guests will just stop by and not eat because they have dinner plans. Offer inexpensive snacks like pretzels, cheese or veggie trays for those who feel obligated to eat something. Have enough of the main menu for the close family and friends you know will be attending. Stragglers that come late will not complain if you only have snack foods available toward the end of the party.
2. DON'T OVER-THINK IT!
OC offers lots of choices for meats and side dishes, but some are better suited for parties than others. Your guests will love what you select and not lament what you didn't Therefore, choose sides that hold the best and stretch the longest! We recommend pulled pork, chicken, baked beans and coleslaw for an authentic barbecue theme.
3. SERVE SNACKS, NOT A MEAL
Guests are often party hopping on graduation weekends. Some local schools graduate 500 seniors! Serve smaller portions instead of whole meals so guests can nibble. Slider buns are great for barbecue and allow guests to nibble to their heart's content! A full pan of pulled pork makes about 60 full sandwiches but closer to 100 sliders!
4. STRETCH THOSE SIDES
Baked Beans, Green Beans, Creamy or Vinegar Coleslaw go a long way. You many get almost 80 servings out of one full pan. On the other hand, starches like Mashed Potatoes and Mac & Cheese tend to be scooped in larger portions. Depending on your guests, you might get less than 60 servings per full pan.
5. SERVE IT HOT!
Most grad parties are open houses where guests come and go over an extended period of time. Wire-rack chafing dishes are an inexpensive way to keep food hot while helping to make the buffet line look clean and organized. Remember, a water pan is required between the fuel and the food.
6. COOLERS KEEP FOOD WARM, TOO!
Extra pans of food can be kept warm in your oven on the lowest temperature setting. If you need extra warming space, use a large cooler with a tight seal. Just make sure not to open it before you absolutely have to and use the extra pans in the oven first. The food danger zone is between 40 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Food will spoil after 4 hours in this zone.
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