Restaurants can be great places to host events—be it a birthday party for kids or a watch party for a football game.

In addition, there are plenty of benefits to hosting an event at a restaurant; one of which is the food!

Most restaurants offer a wide variety of dishes for all kinds of tastes and preferences, and the restaurant staff will make sure that all your guests are well taken care of during the event.

But if you want to make your event a big hit, you need to make sure you have just the right menu. Let’s dive into how you can choose the right menus for events at restaurants.

What to do when choosing menus for events

The following are a few things you need to do when choosing a menu for your event:

1. Determine the Guests’ Preferences

The first step in deciding on the ideal menus for events is to know who you’re inviting. Think about the age and the dietary restrictions of the guests and pass this information on to the restaurant.

The restaurant should have menus that can accommodate different preferences. For example, if you plan on holding a children’s party, ask the restaurant for a menu that has light foods, like hamburgers, hoagies, and wraps.

Also, if you’re expecting guests of all ages, try asking for multiple menus that will work for everyone.

2. Figure Out the Type of Event

Different events have different menus made for them. For example, if you’re planning on having a viewing party at a restaurant for a sporting event, you should choose a menu that can feed a lot of people. A pizza menu can work well for viewing parties and other casual events.

If you’re hosting a more sophisticated event, like a wedding, ask for a special wedding menu or a combination of menus that can account for appetizers, main courses, and desserts.

Also, the theme of the event should be taken into consideration. For instance, if you’re opting for a vegetarian-themed event, check if the restaurant offers a salad menu in addition to other vegetarian options—this can be like an appetizer menu.

3. Decide on Beverage Pairings

Along with the food menus, you should also consider beverage menus. Make sure to check if the beverages in the beverage menu pair well with the food items the restaurant offers.

Beverages that pair well with all kinds of dishes include soda, coffee, and tea (hot and cold). Some restaurants may also offer alcoholic beverages or they may allow you to bring your own for the event.

4. Think About Presentation

Even if a restaurant offers a great selection of menus, presentation is very important.

The food has to taste just as good as it looks so take a look at how the restaurant’s food looks.

The menu items must look appetizing and have color combinations that enhance the aesthetic appeal of the food and also make the food look tastier.

5. Find Out Whether the Restaurant is Flexible

Sometimes, you might not find all the food items you need in one menu. In this case, you should consider asking the restaurant if they’re willing to let you customize the menus to add dishes you want and remove those you don’t feel are right for your guests.

Other things to consider

Aside from the menu, here are some other factors to consider for your event itself:

1. Event Spaces

Some restaurants have dedicated event spaces for small gatherings, like viewing parties, wedding after-parties, and birthdays.

Check with the restaurant of your choice if they offer private event spaces. These event spaces aren’t as big as those of hotels, so consider keeping your guest list small.

Also, see if the restaurant has decorated spaces, like banquet halls, for more formal events, like weddings. Some restaurants may even provide audio/visual equipment for your event if you ask them in advance.

2. Hours of Operation

Consider the time you want to hold your event. This is important because your event needs to be in line with the restaurant’s opening and closing times.

Most restaurants will not open early and close late for events—they expect the event to fit into a time slot that they’ve given you. For instance, you may not want to hold a breakfast event at a restaurant that opens close to noon, but this can be ideal for a brunch event.

3. Quality of the Food

Many restaurants have a huge selection of menus with all kinds of different foods, but this could be a sign that they may be going for quantity over quality.

Take a look at online reviews to get an idea of how good the quality of the food a restaurant makes is. Also, try visiting the restaurant before the event for a quick meal to experience the quality of their food yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions we receive from customers:

1. How early should I book a restaurant for an event?

You should make reservations at least two weeks ahead of time. For big events, like a wedding, consider making reservations a few months in advance.

2. Can guests take food home after the event?

This depends on the restaurant’s policy, as not all restaurants will allow guests to take leftover food home after an event. But you can always ask the restaurant about this before making reservations.

3. What if I want to cancel the event?

Unless it’s an emergency, you should inform the restaurant as early as possible of the cancellation. Most restaurants have cancellation policies that may require you to pay a cancellation fee.

Choosing the right menus for events is everything

Food can bring people together and make events so much more enjoyable. When you’re booking a restaurant for any event, always make sure to check what kinds of restaurant menus they have along with the types of event spaces they offer. Make your next event at a restaurant a certified hit!