So you have a birthday to celebrate, an anniversary, or even a rehearsal dinner before your wedding. But how do you choose the perfect restaurant for your special meal? Well. A lot depends on the occasion. For some celebratory meals, a get-together at the local café is enough, and for meals marking landmark events in life, you’ll want a fine dining establishment. Here are a few points to consider when you’re looking for the perfect restaurant for your special occasion.
How Would You Like Them to Sit?
Check out the restaurant’s seating arrangements. Do they have communal tables, booths, or regular restaurant tables? Communal tables might be too intimate for your occasion, and booth seating might be too isolating with your party split up into smaller groups that don’t interact with each other because they are in their own individual booths. Ideally, the restaurant should have individual tables that can be rearranged to suit your group. Everyone should feel included and part of the celebration.
Location, Location, Location
Choose a conveniently located restaurant that your guests will be able to reach easily. If the restaurant is too far away, some guests might not want to come, and others might want to leave early because of the long drive home. Choose a restaurant that you know, or that you have heard about from someone with firsthand experience of the restaurant. If it is a local restaurant then you are more likely to have heard good or bad things about its service, cuisine, and hygiene. Another big advantage of choosing a restaurant nearby is that you can pop home if you have forgotten anything.
What is your Budget?
The amount you want to spend on your special meal will determine the type of restaurant you can afford. Choose the best possible restaurant that your budget will allow. And even if you have a small budget, don’t compromise on the quality of the food or the suitability of the venue. Phone a few of your favorite venues and ask them for a flat rate per person, or a group rate. Take into account whether the price includes drinks, whether you will be paying for drinks or whether guests will have to pay for their own drinks. The price can also vary depending on if the meal is served “Family style” with several dishes placed in the middle of the table for everyone to share, or whether each guest will be able to order a la carte.
Do You Want More Than Food?
Various restaurants offer different added extras. You could hold your special meal in a regular restaurant where the focus is food, or choose a restaurant where there is open-mic night, live entertainment, background music, or big screens showing sporting events. It all depends on the type of special occasion you are planning. You could consider holding your special occasion in a restaurant that offers a tasting menu, or a restaurant with an open kitchen where the preparation of the food becomes the entertainment. And if people will be giving speeches at your special event, ask the restaurant if they can provide a microphone or any other equipment you might need like a projector or screen.
What Venue Fits the Event?
If your event is a kid’s birthday party then a fun, fast-food-type place might be all you need. But if it is an anniversary party for your grandparents, then you’d be better off choosing something classic and high-end. You don’t want to be worried about kids spilling food and climbing on the furniture in a fine dining establishment. And you don’t want older guests to be uncomfortable on plastic chairs. If the occasion is going to go on for several hours then the venue must have the best restaurant furniture available. You need your guests to be comfortable for the duration of your event. When choosing the best restaurant venue for your special occasion take into account the number of people you will be inviting and whether the restaurant has enough space and enough tables and chairs. Are you all going to fit in, and will the venue suit the style of event you are planning – somber and sophisticated, fun and noisy, families or friends. Each type of group requires a different type of venue.
What’s On the Menu?
What are you going to eat for your special meal? Consider any dietary preferences that your guests might have and the type of food they would like. Also, take into account whether the food will be the main focus or whether a light meal will suffice. Make sure you’ve read restaurant reviews to find the places with the best cuisine. The type of menu offered at your chosen restaurant will determine the length of the meal. So you must consider whether you want your guests to be eating throughout the get-together or whether food will only be a part of the event. You might want people to have a short, light meal followed by drinks and speeches. Or you could plan for a meal with multiple courses so that your guests are eating the entire time you are at the restaurant.