Potluck parties are an ideal way to plan a large, informal get-together or family gathering because it allows for expenses and work to be shared among the invited guests.
As the host or hostess, you have a few options:
- Assign what your invited guests are responsible for bringing, such as whether they bring an appetizer, side, main or dessert. You can also include paper plates, cups and plastic utensils as a category as well as alcohol if that is appropriate for the party.
- Create an email with an electronic signup sheet with each category listed, including spaces underneath, where invited guests can sign up for what they want to bring and add the name of the recipe they are bringing.
- Take a chance, inform guests you are hosting a potluck and they can bring whatever dish they wish to bring. You could end up with too many appetizers and not enough mains or any combination but usually, it all works out.
Regardless of how you choose to plan or organize the potluck, what your guests choose to bring is always a pleasant surprise.
Tips for Potluck Parties:
- As a host, it is important to be receptive and appreciative of your guest's contribution to the meal.
- Ask guests to label all serving dishes and containers that they bring (wine writers work well for labeling). This will help at clean-up time so that all guests leave with their serving dishes or containers.
- Potlucks are best arranged as buffet dinners. Depending on the size of your party, you might need more than one serving table. Place all dishes except dessert on the serving table or tables at the same time. Dessert, tea and coffee can be brought out when the main part of the meal is over, and the table is clear.
- Set up a separate beverage table. Decide what you want to serve ahead of time, such as pop, pitchers of water, punch, tea, coffee and alcohol.
- Make sure you have enough serving spoons and forks or ask your guests to bring some for their dishes and to label those as well.