Guide to Planning a Brunch on Long Island

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"From here it sounds great to say we'll all get together soon, but all I know is this: you can call me fifty days or fifty years from now and I'll be glad to see you." ~ Richard Hooker

Whether it's for a particular occasion or for no particular reason at all, you don't need an excuse to get some of your favorite (or not-so-favorite) people together for brunch. Brunches, or heavy meals that traditionally take place after a morning event, or before an afternoon one, are meant to replace both the breakfast and the lunch. It's a fun way to start the day, and as the party planner, you have a lot of choices as to how - and where - you want your brunch to be held:

  • Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Knowing what region you do or don't want your brunch 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! Brunches have special flexibility in terms of how big, small, sophisticated or laid back you want to go. Once you determine the overall feel that you want your brunch to emit, you can then begin narrowing down the specific catering hall types.

  • What is the date of your brunch?
  • This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your brunch. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. Most traditional brunches are held on Sundays. Perhaps more importantly is the timing of your brunch. Usually brunches take place mid-morning, so that it can easily take the place of a breakfast and lunch.

  • How formal an affair do you want your brunch to be?
  • The level of formality of your brunch 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.

  • Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
  • Selecting a theme for your brunch could really enhance the overall experience for the guests of honor as well as for everyone else. Of course, the theme of your brunch could very well be the very event you are hoping to celebrate. For example, if you are hosting a "Mother's Day" brunch, then perhaps you could choose a catering hall that is of some sort of sentimental value to the mother(s) you are honoring. Or, maybe the catering hall you end up selecting serves that mother's favorite dishes.

  • How many people will you be hosting at the brunch?
  • 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. If you are hosting a smaller number of people, then you may have more options in terms of unique catering halls.

  • 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. Since the whole premise behind hosting a brunch is undoubtedly the food - you should pay special attention to the quality of food provided to you. Be sure to schedule a food tasting before making your final decision of which catering hall to choose.

  • How much do you expect to spend per plate?
  • As mentioned earlier, where your brunch 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. Keep in mind that buffet service or food stations could drastically help cut your costs.

  • 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?
  • 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. You may want to inquire whether or not your brunch drink service will include alcoholic brunch beverages, such as mimosas.

  • 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. Most of these favors, however, are geared for wedding parties, and may not be appropriate for brunches. If you are not happy with the favor selection, see if the catering hall of your choice can offer different ones.

  • 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 brunch at a formal 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 brunch. 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. Usually the chances that other events would go on simultaneously with brunches are low, but you should nevertheless inquire about the possibility.

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