Ditch the stress with our favourite dinner party catering hacks.

Having friends or family over for a meal is so special, and so many incredible memories are made throughout the evening. Don’t let stress and poor planning affect how the evening goes, and take you away from spending time with your guests.

Our advice? Hire the experts! We’ve got some perfect solutions to keep the stress to a minimum at your next dinner party - whether you’re the host, guest of honour, or party planner.

Keep the stress at bay with these dinner party hacks

1. Stick to what you know

Resist the urge to experiment with something brand new on the same day as your dinner party. This is just asking for trouble in the kitchen. Cook what you’re comfortable with and have had success with in the past.

2. Keep the menu balanced

Make sure not to feed guests too many heavy meals in a row (like savory tarts, chicken pie and then baklava – too much pastry!) or conversely, not enough substance (soup, salad and then fruit). Think about the balance of your evening and if you’re stuck, it’s best to start light and end heavier.

3. Make sure you communicate with your guests

You want to avoid any unforeseen mishaps by asking your guests if they have any dietary requirements or allergies. If you leave this out, you could serve something that a guest may hate, or even worse, be allergic to.

4. Schedule your time

Think about your meal and avoid choosing elements that all require oven time or time in a pan as you may run out of space and time or leave your guests hungry and host less.

5. Shop and plan seasonally

Serve dishes that highlight what’s currently in season and work with what grocery stores have to offer. This will save you money (not having to source ingredients that are out of season) and time searching for them. Want some more ideas for catering trends in Winter? Check out our previous post about five hot catering trends.

6. Make one course ahead of time

Save yourself the fluster in the kitchen by knowing that at least one of your courses are prepped and ready so you aren’t responsible for making a whole bunch over a few hours. This way, you can pre-make one of the courses slowly and at your leisure.

7. Remember you aren’t Nigella

Your guests aren’t going to freak out if a few elements aren’t homemade. Buy your bread, your spiced nuts, chutneys or pastry ahead of time, as there’s no time to do this all from scratch (unless you’re us, at Food Matters, of course).

8. Hire the experts

This is our best tip - whether you’re the guest or the planner, most times it pays to outsource your catering to a professional catering company that knows just how to make your dinner party a success, from planning to delivery. This will keep you out of the kitchen and remove the stress of worrying about serving your guests the perfect meal for your special night.

With these hosting tips in mind, your dinner party should be a roaring success! Remember, at Food Matters, we pride ourselves on being experts in corporate and private event catering, so get in touch and have a chat with us to find out more about what we can do for you. Using the freshest ingredients and years of experience, we’re guaranteed to wow your guests whatever the evening’s plans.

Not sure how everything’s going to get done for your next big dinner party? Here's our corporate catering ideas.