Catering Tips

Planning the Family Reunion – Family Party Ideas

When the subject of planning a family reunion comes up among family members many find it hard to agree on the location or activities. Does this dilemma often delay the planning process? Don’t be dismayed. You’re not alone. Most families experience the same challenge. When the well runs dry of good ideas for your next family reunion here are a few suggestions that will get your planning off to a running start.

Plan your family reunion with your West Texas catering service

1. Choose a Theme
2. Choose Theme Related Activities
3. Choose the Ideal Location
4. Create your Itinerary and Luncheon/Dinner Program
5. Event Planning Software

Choose a Family Reunion Theme

The first step in planning the event is choosing a theme. Your theme will help you determine activities, location and the items in your Itinerary and dinner program. There are a number of themes common to annual family gatherings. Themes are often centered on the family name, homestead and heritage. Other themes may be closely tied to the activities of the event such as the following:

Traditional Themed Gathering
Genealogy Homestead Tour
Family Fest
Family Reunion Cruise
Living Legends Ball

Theme Based Event Planners

Some event planning applications feature theme based planning. Each theme comes with a prewritten itinerary, dinner program and activities we well as logos and even t-shirt and invitations designs.

Choose Family Reunion Theme Related Activities

Now that your theme is established you can better consider activities that would be appropriate for this special occasion. Typical activities may include a visit to the old homestead, luncheon program on the premises, family history recital, story time, presentation of family quilt or other heirloom, honoring of family elders. Some of these activities may be incorporated in a dinner program.

Choose The Ideal location

Having established the theme and an outline of activities, choosing an ideal location should be much easier. The locations considered should allow for the enjoyment of most if not all activities listed.

Create Your Itinerary

Once the location is selected it is time to start putting together an itinerary of event. Create a simple list of activities and include the day and time each activity is scheduled.

Event Planning Software

As said earlier, reunion planning software applications make theme selection and associated activities a whole lot easier. When looking for such a planner choose one that provides a theme selector. Theme selectors guide you through the initial planning process by providing theme related activities. The application should provide a prewritten Itinerary and luncheon/dinner program. Other important features would include a timeline planner and attendee roster. Even better are planners that include a budget calculation application.

So if the well has run dry of good ideas for your next reunion, filling it up is as simple as selecting a family reunion theme and associated activities. A reliable theme based event planning application may be all that’s needed.

Mark Askew is the founder of Fimark Home Online at http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net, a family reunion planning resource that features event planning software, worksheets and applications, special occasion printables including poems, logos, flyers, invitations, banners and event planning tips.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_A._Askew

Event Venue Decoration Insights

Throwing an event is not usually an easy undertaking, given there are a lot of things that you have to consider; the food to serve, a location to accommodate all the attending guests, a theme for the event, and setting up everything in place. Regardless of all the tasks and pressure we face, we still throw events because we want to get together and celebrate something with friends, family, and colleagues. Events also give us the chance to meet new people. There are so many reasons to throw an event but with one goal in mind, to provide everyone with a pleasant setting, delicious food, and welcome company to enjoy.

Event decorations and your West Texas caterer

Event settings speak a lot about the host/event and it is one of the things that your guests will remember. That is why it is important to choose the right location for your occasion. When decorating your desired setting, it is important to think about your theme. What are you celebrating? Do you have a desired motif? Will the motif suit the settings? What mood do you want the decorations to create?

Once you have answered these questions, you have to decide which decorations you will include in your event. These will be items like candles, centerpieces, table and chair decorations, lighting fixtures, balloons, and whatever else you can think of that will suit the environment you want to create.

If you are within a budget and are looking to save on decoration costs, there are Do-It-Yourself kits you can purchase like lanterns or centerpieces. Additionally, something fun like a popcorn bar that serves different flavored-popcorn or candy/dessert will be much appreciated by the younger crowd.

Venue needs

If you are going to rent a place, ensure that the venue can accommodate your desired settings and decorations. If need be, you may have to ask for more equipment from the venue’s owner, like power plugs and cords for the lighting fixtures. It is important to visualize the space that you are going to fill. How many tables will you need and will they fit in your venue? Are you serving a la carte (according to the menu) or buffet style?

Answering these questions will give you a clearer picture of how you can decorate the venue. This way you will have everything you need beforehand, thus ensuring you don’t have to scramble at the last minute, or that nothing goes to waste.

Therefore, take the time to plan your event. Sit down and list the supplies and equipment that you need. Is there anyone who can help you with your event, like suppliers that can provide what you need? If you don’t have enough time to do everything on your own, rely on a West Texas Catering service to take care of everything. They will come up with delicious food as well as help you find the perfect place to host the event. This will leave you more time to concentrate on decorating the event’s venue.

Making Mom’s Day Fun!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and of course, there is no better way to do it than to make sure that a great day is planned out that will guarantee a smile in all mothers’ faces. There are numerous ways in which one can celebrate Mother’s Day. However, the best way to do so is to gather the family and share a great meal together. This gives everyone an opportunity to catch up and share stories, while also appreciating all the things your mom does/has done for everyone.

A special Mother’s Day with West Texas Catering Service

One option you can go with is to take your mom and family to eat out. Eating out eliminates the need to prepare things on your own and it gives you more time to plan out a day of activities with your mom. For example, you can take your mom for a drive to her favorite spots around town, or just accompany her to do activities she enjoys the most. The gesture itself will put a smile on her face. After that, you can eat at her favorite restaurant or take her somewhere she would surely enjoy a meal with her family.

Ensure that you make the necessary reservations days in advance before Mother’s Day as restaurants tend to be packed during such special days. Also, coordinate with family members to get a head count ready for the reservation. You can go with lunch or dinner, whichever accommodates your family’s schedule. If you prefer to do it in the morning, you can make reservations for brunch buffets.

Gathering at home 

If you prefer to celebrate Mother’s Day at home, you have to be prepared.

A home gathering saves you money and you get to choose the menu. [tweet this]

You can either prepare the meals yourself or you can maximize your family time by choosing a West Texas catering service to help you prepare your mother’s favorite meals.

Having a caterer do your event will help you focus on more important aspects of the event like interacting with family and making sure that all the mothers in your family are having fun. It is their day so you have to make sure that they are relaxed and free from their day-to-day responsibilities.

Don’t forget to work closely with your West Texas caterer for a smooth event and mention any favorite meals, dessert, and even where you want your meal to be held (outside, on the garden or indoors). Give your caterer a headcount and disclose if there will be kids around, so that any separate meals can be prepared for them to enjoy.

Whether you choose to eat out or prepare a meal at home, the important thing is to make Mother’s Day a very special one. Show your mother’s how much you appreciate her by being with her on this special day. Spend the whole day with them reminiscing about times you have enjoyed with them. Don’t forget to give them something that they will love, even if it’s something small. More importantly, make this another moment in their lives that they can look back and smile to.

Tips for a Remarkable Picnic

West Texas caterer tips for your next picnic

The best time for a picnic is not limited to summer. Remember that such an event is a chance for a family or a group of friends to bond over meals and share stories. Getting the time to celebrate reunions can be scarce; there is a need to grab opportunities whenever they come. So, if there is a chance for a reunion and the plan is to go outdoors, make the best out of it.

There are various ways to make a celebration with loved ones more remarkable. A picnic doesn’t need to become expensive. All you need is to be creative and sincere to make the event exciting and worthwhile. Texas abounds with different picnic locations, so going out is going to be a fun affair. Through preparation and a spark of creativity, the gathering will most likely end up successful.

Tips for a Successful Picnic in Texas

Potluck

Any invitee to the picnic should be engaged in making it a success. One of the best ways to do this is give everyone a meal task they should handle before the picnic. Communicate this in good time so that everyone involved has the time to buy and prepare their food. Involving everyone will make the meal offered at the picnic more diverse, which will only add to the fun.

If there are several groups, then the food assignment must be designated among the groups. Find a West Texas caterer if the time is limited, or the event is spontaneous. There are lots of caterers in Texas, so there’s no need to be anxious.

Prepare for games

People have their inner kid that’s ready to be let out when the opportunity presents itself. Even parents or old folks will be pleased to be part of the games. Anyone can be an entertainer, so prepare for a number of games. Some of the most entertaining games that can be done outdoors are potato sack relay race, shaving cream bead relay contest, photo scavenger hunt, mummy contest, Capture the Flag, water balloon toss game, hikes, watermelon roll relay, egg race relay, and the three legged race, just to mention a few.

Find game facilitators among the family members or friends so the game transitions will be easy, fast and fun. Prepare games for little kids and old folks so everyone can be involved in the fun and fulfilling experience.

Planning

Besides small talk, there is a need to plan about business or financial matters if it’s a family or a company outing. Ask everyone to bring papers and pens so everyone can draft and pitch ideas during the event. A secretary should be designate for the event, to note down any discussions, ideas, and declarations made at the picnic event.

Chipping-in

Preparing a large picnic can be a drain on financial resources, especially if the planning and preparation is left up to one particular person or group. Talk with the attendees before the actual date so everyone can have a consensus on the financial aspects. This will also give you an opportunity to give everyone a chance to contribute to the event.

Anticipate

Anything can happen during events, especially outdoors. Have extra money, outfits, and necessities such as first-aid kits, umbrellas, raincoats, extra tires, and other important valuables that can be needed in case of an emergency. Preparation will make everyone feel comfortable. Designate someone as the president or lead organizer of the event, someone who will ensure the event goes as planned, and will people can listen to incase of an emergency.

Catering to Your Outdoor Events

Events have different themes, activities, and purposes, and in many cases these factors rely on the event’s location to mesh well. With springtime here and the weather becoming a lot more enjoyable, hosting an outdoor event may just be the right move. However, there are a few things to consider when planning an outdoor event that will help keep the site clean, convenient, and secure for your guests.

Consult your West Texas caterer about your next outdoor event

A location that can cater to both indoor and outdoor events is ideal. Even though your event is an outdoor party, it doesn’t mean that the weather elements will follow along with the plan. Coverings such as tents and even trees are important to help keep your outdoor environment protected from the harsh sun and heat that comes with it. Ensure you have plenty of water, especially as summer approaches, to prevent any heatstroke or dehydration situations.

It is also advisable to have a backup plan in case the weather changes unexpectedly. If it gets windy, rainy, or even a storm gathers, you should be able to move the event to a covered location at a moment’s notice. When in an outdoor environment, it’s best to plan for all possible scenarios and keep up with the weather forecasts regularly.

Environmentally friendly

Disposable and recyclable dinnerware is the best idea for any outdoor event. The last thing you want is broken glass or a fork lost in the grass waiting to inflict damage to an unsuspecting foot, tire, or mower.  Because the environment is important and it’s a good idea to keep your party site as clean as possible, be sure you make trash and recycle cans available in as many locations as possible for the guests to have access to.

When you picture an outdoor event, it often seems like a great chance to invite the whole family- which sometimes includes pets. However, having pets around brings its own complications. Be cautious about including pets and make it clear whether or not your guests can bring their pets with them.

The right dish

Picking the right food for an outdoor event can be tricky. Buffets are often the most effective way to deliver a meal in an outdoor environment. Not only does it keep all the food in one place for safe covering and handling, it allows the guests to choose what they would like to eat.

Your food selection should also make it easy to eat on the move or while standing. Even if you have available seating, moving around from conversation to conversation will help keep the party going.

Make sure that the location is available for your West Texas catering service to easily access with their equipment. Don’t forget to discuss the locations features with the caterer too. What will they need to prepare for? Is there electricity to keep food warm or cool? In order to prepare the best meal for your guests, these are important topics to cover with your choice catering service.

When it comes to hosting an outdoor event, there are a few circumstances and possibilities to consider before you start sending out invitations and setting up your decorations. Be sure you’re adequately prepared for the outdoor environment and that your guests are kept comfortable, safe, and happy at your party.

April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month

The month of April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich month, and just about everyone is familiar with this favored pastime dish. Whether it’s a meal or a mid-afternoon snack for your kids, the grilled cheese sandwich has been around long enough to have earned its way into our national pastime.

Consult your West Texas caterer on different cheesy recipes

Cheese cooked sandwiches have been around for centuries, but they didn’t really become common until the early 1900’s. During the 1920’s the modern-day grilled cheese sandwich became popular as inexpensive American cheese and bread became abundantly available. It was in fact one of the choice menu selections during the Great Depression era, making it ideal for families to survive on even during the harshest times. But, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the grilled cheese sandwich began to include the top bread. Before that, it was featured as an open-face sandwich. Later, it found its way into military cookbooks, featured by Navy cooks preparing them by broiling cheese filled sandwiches for the service men and women.

Variety of looks

However, the classic grilled cheese sandwich isn’t the only way you can celebrate it this April. While we’re commonly familiar with the combination of a loaf of bread and a few slices of American cheese, there are some intriguing and exotic mixes you can prepare for guests at your next event.

One of the favored choices is the grilled “mac ’n cheese” sandwich, which is easy to prepare, but can get a little messy if one isn’t too careful. In its simple form, the mac ’n cheese sandwich features macaroni and cheese atop toasted or grilled bread of your choice. Adding such sidings as shredded rib meat or peperoni will add some flavor to the sandwich.

Another, if your tongue can handle it, is the Jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich for those that like things a little spicy. The classic popper is a choice recipe on its own, but turning it into a sandwich just makes things better.

For those that like to add veggies into the mix, a spinach pesto grilled cheese sandwich can be created by using grated graviera or gruyere cheese with spinach pesto added; all squeezed in between wheat bread for a healthy afternoon snack. Of course, if you want to start the morning off right, some sourdough bread, fried eggs, provolone cheese, and some pancetta slices can make for a wonderfully cheesy morning breakfast treat.

Sometimes adding a few extra ingredients or changing things up a little can turn old recipes into new flavors. Consider a grilled cheese sandwich laced with peperoni or perhaps a grilled cheese sandwich as a quesadilla (substituting bread for tortilla). They are easy recipes and can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month isn’t just about celebrating a classic recipe. It’s about coming up with new ways to emphasize an age old tradition of enjoying one of the simplest recipes in the cookbook.

Customer Service and Your Event

Businesses often plan special events for their employees and customers, offering them the opportunity to share and interact with one another. And while these events are often planned and organized outside of a workplace environment, it doesn’t mean that adhering to proper business etiquette is any less important.

Customer service tips from your West Texas caterer

In fact, one of the most profound characteristics of the business world is the very core of your event. It is the customer service skills that you exhibit to your guests that will ultimately allow them to get the most out of the experience.

Respond appropriately

Customer service at your event is one thing that you can’t afford to overlook. Consider what it is that the guests ultimately want from you. Is it an exciting event or plenty of attention, among other things? How do you deliver that? Well, it all comes down to how you interact with them.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to accept both compliments and complaints. So how do you plan to react to your guests? Do you have time to listen to an on-the-spot complaint? Perhaps there was a miscommunication about attire or certain parts of the schedule.

The key is to empathize with your customers regardless of the environment. To do this, you have to be ready to listen to them. It’s often true that organizing an event can leave you short-handed very easily. But if you balance the importance of quality customer service into your event, you’ll receive more compliments than complaints.

In many situations, listening isn’t just about what the guests are saying. One must also be able to ask: What aren’t they saying? Are your guests wandering around, appearing confused, and avoid confronting anyone? To display quality customer service, one must also be able to observe the customer and respond preemptively. Be aware of what is going on around you, and look out for signals, hints, and subliminal messaging.

Customer service all around

Listening to what they have to say isn’t just your task though. It’s important that everyone involved in the event is able to cooperate with you by practicing customer service that reflects your business practices. Does your master of ceremonies respond well to your guests? Do they know where to go to resolve an issue? What about the caterer? How do you make sure that your West Texas caterer also practices the customer service you need them to at your event? Do they have experience in this area? Do they practice good customer service with you?

Though your event’s services may be outsourced, it doesn’t mean outside parties are separate from your brand image during this event. So it is vital that they reflect well on your business and personal image.

Having an effective customer service response present at your event isn’t only up to your business. All those involved, from catering services to decorations and stage setups, should be able to practice good customer service, with both you and the guests at the event.

Organizing and Planning Your Wedding

Planning a wedding, whether you’re just helping or doing it yourself, is a job all on its own. In fact, there are many businesses dedicated to just this particular subject. So it won’t surprise many to discover that there is an array of different apps that can help the individual handle such a special occasion.

West Texas caterer for a special wedding celebration

Wedding Budget is the most practical app to start with. After all, planning often starts by knowing where and on what you can spend your hard-earned money. This app covers everything to do with your budget, keeping track of costs, where you’ve allocated them, and how much you have left. It even keeps track of when payments are due, notifying you so that the planning process goes as smoothly as possible. The best part is you can manage your budget through this app for free.

Fun Wedding focuses on one particular portion of your wedding – the entertainment. With all the wedding plans going on around you, it can be difficult to set time aside to plan a great song selection to keep the guests entertained and dancing the night away. This app offers song categories in bride and groom and even lists the top 200 most popular wedding songs from the 1950’s to present, helping narrow your selection down and choose the songs that match your event’s charisma. At just a dollar, it can definitely make generating a song list for your MC a whole lot easier, and the chances of them playing that one annoying song you forgot to put on your no-play list go right out the window.

Wedding 911 is a definite, especially if you’re new to the world of planning a wedding. Provided by The Knot, a renowned wedding planning website company, this app offers answers to just about any wedding planning situation. From etiquette to ways you can save some green when planning your wedding, if you have the questions, this app has the answers. The best thing is that you can download it for free, so there’s no need to charge it to your budget.

For those that are handling just about everything all at once, there is one app that takes the wedding cake. iWedding Deluxe is pricey for an app, costing ten dollars, but provides just about everything you need to plan your event. With basics in mind, it covers budget, venue location, and a to-do list. To help make things a lot simpler, it also offers photo storage for wedding designs and inspiration so you can share with others and build on ideas. Additionally, it also offers to hold on to contact information and guest list details to keep track of guest requests and dinner choices. And a nifty little aspect that will definitely be put to use are the tools to help you find nearby vendors for your event.

These are just a few of the many apps currently available, but are a great helping hand when planning your event and making sure everyone stays stuffed and excited about your special day. Of course, catering’s not an app but Gomez Catering is always happy to share best practices and ideas!

Refresh Your Menu

Food is often one of the main features of most events. Though it might not be the actual purpose of an event, it is the one thing that memorable ones have in common. Coming up with such an event entails being prepared with menus and party planning techniques that are effective. Going with the tried and tested methods is the name of the game when it comes to party planning. However, times are changing, and adapting to changes is crucial to the success of any event.

Your West Texas caterer knows how to refresh your event menu

Many planners tend to forget that changes are good for any event, and will stick to old, familiar routines. By going the ‘familiar’ route, guests are bound to pick up on it after a while, and may be unimpressed with the lack of effort. Sure, they will show up to the event, but they will just be going through the motions. As such, any party planner has to make sure they don’t get stuck in the ‘familiar’ rut, and change things up every once in a while.

Appeal to more than just appetite

Food at an event should be more than just something to keep the guests full. It should keep guests excited and set the buzz and tone of conversations. If you’re considering trending dishes, be sure to ask your West Texas caterer for some helpful advice that will help fill tummies and light up the crowd.

A great technique when it comes to food is to integrate it with your event’s theme and purpose. Is there certain subject content that you are trying to display or an underlying message that you want to deliver? Give it some thought, and use the food to communicate this. If all goes well, it will be unique and well appreciated.

Give them something to remember

The idea is to turn your event into something unique everyone will remember. In this case, though it may seem like you’re taking a chance on something new, you’re actually effecting change. It doesn’t mean that you have to take a big leap either. Just go with what the guests are going to like most. You can ask beforehand so you get ideas to work with. Alternatively, study what successful events did, and replicate this for your own gig.

Just because something worked before doesn’t mean it will work again. Remember, new trends are constantly coming up, so try and integrate these as much as possible, while still maintaining a unique perspective to the event. It is not easy, but if carefully planned for and put into action, it will leave guests saying, “That was one heck of an event.”

Previous events had their own themes and menus that worked then, but may not necessarily work now. And that’s the key element to any event. Guests reflect on each event as a unique part of their life, and if you find yourself delivering the same old dishes every time, your event is not going to make the impact you so wish. When it comes to impressing your guests, try something new and consider changing your menu.

Cutting Your Event’s Carbs

Have you ever been to an event, whether social or business, where carbs-loaded snacks were the bulk of the menu? Think cream, cinnamon, and raisin bagels, jam, cookies, and any tasty treat known to man. At the time, you may not have given much thought to what the carbs would do to you, but you might as well have.

Your West Texas caterer knows how to balance carbs in your event meals

With such types of snacks, one gets an immediate rush of energy, but soon drowsiness sets in. The fact is that current event meal trends are heading for a more interactive event, boosting attention and energy through healthier meals. So for your upcoming event, you may want to consider keeping the audience’s attention to you and less on what is on their plates.

Breakfast

Starting off in the morning can be difficult without a cup of coffee or sugary treat for some. The bad thing is that it will have your guests feeling drowsy later. The ideal breakfast (the most important meal of the day) is one that energizes the body with proteins and nutrients. Therefore, rather than offering a table full of donuts, bagels, and pastries doused in cream cheese, consider a scrambled egg burrito with a corn tortilla, mixed with fresh vegetables. Fresh fruits and the classic fruit salad are also favorites, due to their sweet nature, and are simple and easy enough to prepare. For some extra nutritional benefits, yogurt should be included too.

Dinner

The main course is something everyone looks forward to. Because it makes up the bulk of the evening’s delights, delivering the right food to satisfy the crowd is very important. One of the most popular dinner dishes is grilled chicken. It is high in protein, very tasty, and can be prepared in so many ways, thus making it the perfect choice.

You could always try some Hawaii chicken kabobs if you want to make things interesting for your guests. Other dishes would include pork loin, which is also low in carbs and definitely has an attractive flavor. If you want to take healthy eating to a whole new level, grilled salmon is a great choice, presenting excellent source of nutrition and flavor for your guests while keeping the carbs out of the picture (omega fatty acids present in salmon help the body metabolize carbs efficiently).

To accompany these dishes, steamed vegetables or a vegetable platter will add a much appreciated flavor (and less carbs) as compared to chips and potatoes. Be sure that you take the time to consult with your West Texas caterer to make sure that your guest’s dishes have the right mix of flavor and the least amount of carbs.

While some of these items will add more costs to the event’s budget, the reward is that guests will be more attentive and pleased at the variety offered to them. Happy guests will make for a memorable event.