"There is no sincerer love than the love of food." - George Bernard Shaw
Dinner functions are a great way to gather your family and friends in order to let them know how much you care, or simply just to create an avenue for catching up. It can be to celebrate something big, or something not at all. Nevertheless, a good dinner function takes good planning, proper execution and of course, the perfect location. Use the guide below to help you discover the best catering hall for your next dinner function.
Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
Knowing what region you do or don't want your dinner function to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. This fact may be very welcome to some overwhelmed party planners, but may seem frustrating to others who look forward to being given a variety of catering hall options. A good compromise is to first limit your geographic area to a very specific area. If you are not pleased with the choices of catering halls in that region, then slowly expand your search to the surrounding areas until you are happy with the number of choices being offered, as well as with the distance.
Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. Knowing exactly the type of catering hall you would like to use can help organize your event quickly and efficiently. However, being flexible with the type of catering hall you choose can often result in a unique event that impresses all of your guests, including yourself! Of course the type of hall you end up choosing will rely largely in part to how large your dinner party will be.
What is the date of your dinner function?
This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your dinner function. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. In order to make sure that most of your dinner party guests can attend your event, you may want to ask your guests to save the date, or clear a proposed date with your intended guest list before securing a location.
How formal an affair do you want your dinner function to be?
The level of formality of your dinner function doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. Instead, it can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. If you were hoping for a more laid back affair, then perhaps a formal hotel ballroom isn't the perfect catering hall for you, despite the large number of people it can hold. An outdoor location may be ideal for your dinner function, depending on the weather.
Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
Selecting a theme for your dinner function could really enhance the overall experience for the guests of honor as well as for everyone else. For example, perhaps you would like to feature Asian food at your dinner function. It might be a nice idea to host the party at an Asian restaurant, or decorate a larger catering hall in an Asian theme.
How many people will you be hosting at the dinner function?
The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number. This is true in terms amount of space and the pricing per plate of food. Depending on your budget, this could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at.
Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests. Additionally, if the catering hall of your wishes allows onsite food catering, but not the type of food that you wish to feature, then you may be able to work out a deal with the catering hall's management in order to bring in the type of food you would like to feature.
How much do you expect to spend per plate?
As mentioned earlier, where your dinner function is located will largely - if not completely - depend upon how much you are able and/or willing to spend per plate. If you are especially interested in a specific catering hall, but the cost per plate is higher than you were expecting, you may need to either rethink that catering hall or the number of people you invite to the event.
Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. If this is a must for your event, make sure your catering hall choice has this option.
Will you be requiring a full service bar or food stations/carving stations for a cocktail hour?
Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event.
Will you be requiring a catering hall that provides party favors?
Perhaps not surprisingly, these days many catering halls automatically offer you a selection of party favors to choose from in order to streamline your party planning. If you are not happy with the selection of party favors that are offered, or if you would like to present your guests with additional favors, check to see if the catering hall of your choice has any suggestions. Also keep in mind how you would like to disseminate the party favors at your dinner function. Would you like the favors arranged as part of each person's place setting, or would you rather offer them the favors at their departure? This can largely affect the flow of the event, and even the overall presentation of the party.
Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand.
Will you be requiring a party planner?
If you book your dinner function at a catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location.
Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your dinner function. Neighboring events could distract from a calm celebration or compete with a high energy celebration. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low and could even fuel the party spirit. In any case, as the party planner, you should be aware as to what types of events may be going on simultaneously to ensure that your dinner guests are comfortable.
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