How A Personalized Menu Wows Guests At Your Next Company Event

If you are planning your company’s next private event in Philadelphia, there are some standard questions that you should have answers to so that you may create a personalized menu to please all of your guests. First and foremost, before creating a personalized menu, you need to know your guests’ “profile.”

  • Are there any dietary restrictions that you will need to address ahead of time, for instance are there many vegetarians in the group? Are there allergies?
  • Do your guests come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds? Will this influence your menu selections?
  • What is the ratio of men to women in the group? (men tend to eat more meat vs. fish)
  • Do you sense that many of your guests will want a simply prepared option which could be a protein, vegetable and starch as opposed to having fully composed or more adventurous dishes?

Once you understand the needs of your guests within the framework of the overall profile, you may get creative with a personalized menu. The following are some event planning tips from the pros when it comes to a custom menu that your guests will crave:

  • 1. Set Up Hosted Stations To Offer Your Guests Variety
    While it is standard to offer your guests a varied menu, hosted stations allow for individualized mini menus that either speak for themselves or contribute to an overall custom menu theme. In Philadelphia, it is always fun to elevate Philly food traditions into something extra special.

    With a Philadelphia theme, for example, hosted stations may be set up for sandwiches, sides and desserts:

    • Sandwich Station: You could include the old Philly favorite, the cheesesteak, which offers chicken, steak and a variety of toppings.
    • Sides Station: Offer local favorites, such as soft pretzels, old bay fries and provolone long-hot fries.
    • Dessert Station: You’d be remiss to not include a unique dessert item featuring Philadelphia-brand cream cheese in the recipe.

    Featuring a contemporary culinary chef at the helm, your personalized menu is heightened with fresh ingredients and a touch of elegance and refinement.

  • 2. Stay Fresh & Local To Experience The Region Of Your Private Event
    Obviously, sourcing ingredients from local farmers is not a new concept. However, today, more people are paying close attention to exactly what produce, poultry and dairy they consume.

    Both popular and considerate, farm-to-table concepts have become extremely popular in event planning, especially for weddings. Because seasonal menus from local farmers are fun and interesting, many event planners now provide personalized, locally sourced menu options.

    Check with your private event venue to see what local farms they source their food from. Offering your guests real, grass-fed, nutrient-dense whole foods sends the message that you care to provide them with the best. The food should be grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or GMOs.

  • 3. Create A Bakeshop Or Dessert Lounge
    When creating a personalized menu, go out with a bang. Dessert is the one place it is truly encouraged to embrace creative ideas. Instead of going with the predictable plated dessert or personalized cake, display a variety of dessert options. Especially if you are not having a sit-down dinner, make dessert more of an experience.

    Think about your dessert course as a bakeshop or dessert lounge, where your guests are free to explore a buffet full of delicious confections. Some fun options are finger-friendly sweets such as a donut bar, cake pops and French macaroons.

Planning for a personalized menu simply requires some research about your guests. Once you understand how experienced or exacting guests are, you are able to work with your event planner to customize a menu that is exciting and enjoyable for all.

Ready to learn more about creating a personalized menu for your private event? Click here to contact a Dedicated Event Specialist at R2L to schedule your complimentary private event planning session.

The Destination Planner’s Guide To Philadelphia Private Dining & Events

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3 Steps To Creating A Personalized Event Menu To Accommodate Your Guests

R2L Cuisine - Shrimp + Horseradish BattonsA decade ago, if you were hosting a private event, it would have been plenty to plan for a few kosher or vegetarian meal requirements, even at a short moment’s notice. Today, there are a myriad of special dietary restrictions and lifestyle choices that must be taken into account when coming up with a private event menu.

The venue hosting your private event must offer personalized menu options. Your guests will truly appreciate special attention being paid to their dietary needs.

Use the following three event planning tips to help your event planner create a personalized menu and oblige all of your guests:

  • 1. Be Aware Of Your Guests’ Dietary Needs
    When planning a private event, you should not assume you know what your guests do or do not eat. First, familiarize yourself with the most common dietary restrictions and food allergies today:

    • Kosher: Food that may be consumed, according to Halakhah (Jewish dietary and ceremonial law or the “way”).
    • Vegetarian: The practice of abstaining from consuming meat – red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal.
    • Vegan: A type of vegetarian that also excludes eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. (Many vegans do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines.)
    • Gluten-Free: A diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale, a cross between wheat and rye.
    • Food Allergies And Sensitivities: Food intolerances may include seafood, shellfish, dairy products, nuts, soy, eggs and much more depending on the individual.

    Event Planning Tip: You never want a guest to struggle to find food on the menu they may enjoy at your private event. Educate yourself and work with your event planner to establish personalized menu alternatives that suit your guests.

  • 2. Establish Guests’ Dietary Needs Ahead Of Time
    Last-minute special accommodations, especially dietary needs, can derail an event from running smoothly. You must be as proactive as possible about gathering information from your guests on their food preferences and ensuring your private event venue is ready and willing to accommodate every request.

    • Check with your venue or event planner to see how they handle every food allergy or preference.
    • Let the venue or event planner know as soon as possible when you confirm guests with dietary restrictions.
    • Ask the venue if their standard is to serve all the tables with allergies or dietary restrictions first. (Guests that have special requests feel more confident their request was handled properly when their table is served first, before the rest of the party.)
    • In the case of religious requirements, develop relationships with vendors who provide the proper food items prepared the correct way.

    Event Planning Tip: If there is an RSVP card for your private event, include a note or a checkbox so guests may designate what their dietary needs are. With this information, your event planner is able to tally up the totals and inform the venue in advance.

  • 3. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Your Event Planner For Guidance
    Satisfying the dietary needs of your event guests is often a complex task. This is a great time to lean on your designated event planner. She has ample experience when it comes to creating personalized menus and making special accommodations for guests.

    Event Planning Tip: Ask your event planner for examples of personalized menus that were a smashing success at past private events. The alternatives should sound equally appetizing as regular menu items.

If you want your guests to feel welcome at your private event, then you must accommodate their dietary needs. With some guidance from your guests and event planner, the personalized menu for your special occasion results in delicious food enjoyed by all.

Ready to learn more about creating a personalized menu for your private event? Click here to contact a Dedicated Event Specialist at R2L to schedule your complimentary private event planning session.

The Destination Planner’s Guide To Philadelphia Private Dining & Events

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6 Insider Secrets To Creating A Stress-Free Private Event Plan

Private event planning has the potential to be a stressful, arduous task, but it does not have to be. And really, if you are the one planning an event, you deserve to enjoy the special occasion as much as any of your guests.

To ensure your private event goes smoothly – from day one of planning to the final cocktail poured – all you need is the right event planning tips. Learn the following six event planning secrets from an industry insider’s perspective:

  • Secret #1: Plan ahead before meeting with your event planner.
    To start the planning process for your private event, begin by writing down exactly how you see your event playing out, from start to finish. Once you have your ideas down, consider each part of the private event and make a list of your concerns. These concerns should include what you anticipate getting in the way of your event going smoothly.

    With an event framework and concerns in mind, you are equipped with a clear understanding of your needs and how to relay them to your event planner once you meet. Knowing how you perceive the perfect event for your special occasion, your event planner is then able to create a timeline, which is an incredibly helpful tool to keep the event planning process moving at the right pace.

  • Secret #2: Provide your event planner with an accurate guest list count ahead of time.
    Finalizing the guest list for your event can often be a stressful event planning task. People change their minds or become free at the last minute. However, even if the count increases by five or ten people the week of your event, it makes a big difference on how prepared the venue is to meet those demands. The last thing you want is for the chef not to prepare enough main courses.

    To ensure your event planner knows the final count, be sure to give your guests an RSVP date well in advance. If guest count changes do occur, stay in close contact with your planner so they have as much time as possible to accommodate the adjustment.

  • Secret #3: Select the setup for your private event in advance.
    Are you looking to have a sit-down dinner or a private event where guests should mingle? Will there be a presentation? The answers to these questions can ultimately determine room setup, and you need to know if the venue is able to accommodate the right configuration.

    When working with your event planner, upon choosing your floor plans, ask them for examples of existing photos of different event setups. This should give you a good idea of what your space will look like. Seeing examples also helps raise questions you maybe have not considered before.

  • Secret #4: Test any technology you plan to use on the day of the event.
    As most technology users are well aware, even the tiniest tech snafu (like not knowing the right Wi-Fi password) can seriously set you back on the day of your private event.

    If you are using microphones, music, speakers or flat-screen TVs, it is important to test any technology before the actual event. It is always recommended to know where every tech item is, just in case an A/V technician is not on site for the event.

  • Secret #5: Sample the menu items offered by your private event venue.
    Food is the foundation of any truly successful private event, so it is important to taste the dishes before the event. If you are holding a private event at a venue you have not yet visited, be sure to ask your event planner if they offer tastings of the menu selections. If the venue does not offer tastings, reserve a time to stop in and have lunch or dinner.

    Once you have sampled the food and drinks, do not be afraid to ask for an item that may not be listed on the menu. Event planners should always be prepared to meet guests’ specific needs and dietary restrictions.

  • Secret #6: Have an event planner on site for your private event.
    Communication is key for an incident- and stress-free private event. You will feel a great deal better having an event planner on site.

If anything is out of place or there are last-minute concerns, your event planner is there to handle these issues, which ensures you are able to focus on enjoying the event with your guests.

Ready to discover more insider event planning tips from an industry expert? Click here to contact a Dedicated Event Specialist at R2L to schedule your complimentary private event planning session.

The Destination Planner’s Guide To Philadelphia Private Dining & Events

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3 Reasons Why A Private Event Planner Makes All The Difference

private event plannerPrivate event planning is an intricate process with many moving parts. When you already have a full schedule, event planning can become a real burden.

Having the benefit of an experienced private event planner saves both time and money. Your event planner can eliminate unnecessary stresses that commonly build throughout the planning process. Your event planner should be there to carry the burden of last-minute schedule changes – guest arrival issues, weather emergencies, unforeseen traffic patterns, vendor issues, etc.

Your event planner is highly qualified and experienced when it comes to every aspect of the planning process. With their knowledge and expertise, you receive the following valuable benefits:

  • 1. Cut Your Event Planning Time In Half
    Planning for a private event requires spending a significant amount of time and energy. It can be incredibly difficult to fit the event planning process into your schedule, so why not let the event planner take care of it for you?

    Your event planner will streamline the process and make it easy for you by updating you when necessary, attending to all the details and keeping the event within your budget. Your event planner should also provide a timeline that creates a clear vision of event flow from start to finish.

    An event planner who understands your needs and expectations is able to meet and speak to vendors on your behalf, keeping the event well organized and stress-free. Then, you are able to focus on other aspects of the event, like promoting the event and working on the guest list.

  • 2. Stay Ahead Of Private Event Planning Trends
    There are countless details to consider that make an event look and feel perfect. Event planners keep their finger on the pulse of industry trends and, through experience, are able to think outside the box.

    Whether regarding décor ideas, personalized menu options, specialty cocktails or entertainment choices, event planners are keen on the small details that make each element of your event unique. Look for an event planner who works closely with you to ensure the event is a clear reflection of you, your company or your guests.

  • 3. Keep Within Your Event Budget
    With an event planner handling the planning process, it is easier to stay within budget. Because event planners have connections with vendors, they often get better rates and service. It is more productive for an event planner to ask vendors they have a relationship with for specific services.

    Based on your specific needs and event expectations, your event planner will know where it is okay to cut costs so you do not have unnecessary expenses. Your event planner will work with you to deliver the experience you envision for your guests within your budget.

A private event planner is there to help you host an unforgettable event. Working with an experienced event planner ensures you have the best services, while you stay on budget. She will bring your ideas to life and take care of every detail. You also save time and have the space to focus on making your guests feel right at home.

Ready to learn more about working with an event planner who takes care of all the details? Click here to contact a Dedicated Event Specialist at R2L to schedule your complimentary private event planning session.