How to Host (Survive) a Holiday (Church) Dinner Party Pot Luck (BYO)

Depending on where you live it is either called a pot luck or BYO (Bring Your Own) dinner and lucky you, it’s your turn. You get to do the holiday dinner party this year or perhaps have you have decided to do a dinner for you church group.

But unless you are one of the people that like to take the term “Pot Luck” literally, you believe that everybody will have a much better time, if you exercise a little control. You want to know how to make sure there are enough main dishes, sides and desserts?

You don’t want everyone bringing dessert then not having an actual dinner. So here are some tips for how to host a pot luck dinner party:

Pot Luck or BYO Dinner Party

* As your guests what they will bring: you can call up your guest the day before the

Dinner Party Image

Dinner Party Pot Luck – BYO Success

party and ask them if they have thought about what they are going to bring. “Just so you can make sure that everybody is catered for” you can tell them. This also gives you the chance to find out if any of your guests have special food requirements and hence their meals may need to be kept apart from the rest and labelled on the night. Just a little not in front of the meal on the buffet table simply saying “Gluten Free” for example. Don’t put the guest name on it because you don’t want to embarrass them.

Know your guests and work to their strengths

Once you have call you then will know what the strengths of your guest are and if they are unsure what to bring you may be able to guild them. If your mom makes the best green bean casserole ever, then ask her to make that. For the take-out kings of your group, don’t put them on the spot and expect them to cook; ask them to bring the napkins or some dinner rolls.

Know what you will need for the meal your guests bring

Find out if you need room in the refrigerator. Is the oven needed for reheating or final cooking.

Check on your serving utensils

Ask your guests to remember serving utensils to serve with.

Make sure your guests remember to mark their serving containers and utensils or just use disposable

This way you know whose is whose and you can make sure everyone leaves with their container and utensil.

Let guests know about the seating situation

If you don’t have a lot of seating then you’ll want your them to bring foods that are easily eaten while standing.

Ask your guest not to provide meals that require a lot of cooking time there

You don’t want your guests occupying the kitchen.

Don’t forget about the drinks

There will be guest that will choose to bring their own but on the whole drinks are your main contribution to the dinner party other than the house of course. You don’t need to provide a full bar. Go for something seasonal or just some beer and wine on hand. Always make sure you have a few choices of soft drinks. This is very important now days not just for the non drinkers and children but also for the designated drivers. Juice boxes are a great solution that way you don’t have to worry about pouring or cups etc.

You don’t need to have a large table to set up your buffet

You can use your counter top or bar top. As long as it can be approached from all sides.

Set up your buffet in a logical order

with plates at the start and napkin bundles with utensils at the end of the table.

Decorating for the holiday can be very important

Nothing big, just decorations, candles or lights as appropriate, will really help the atmosphere.

Don’t forget about the music

Keep it low but festive. This way people still feel they can communicate, but there’s something to fill the dead spots in conversation.

Paying attention to the above details will make for a great holiday pot luck or church BYO dinner party. Enjoying all of the different foods that other people bring.


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