The optimum private dining experience begins with planning and forethought. The very nature of scheduling such an event means that you want to provide your guests with an enjoyable experience to mark a special occasion, whether it's a holiday party or a celebration for a life event. The following tips can help you plan the event so that everything goes smoothly and everyone has a memorable evening.
Tip #1: Choose the venue
Picking a venue is the first thing you need to do, since this will guide all other planning decisions. If you have a specific restaurant in mind, call and ask about their private dining options. Some restaurants have private rooms you can reserve, while others will allow you to reserve the entire restaurant. You need to know how many guests can be seated in the space allotted for so that you can continue your planning.
Tip #2: Consider alternate facilities
If the restaurant you have your heart set upon doesn't offer restaurant rentals or private rooms, consider renting a private venue, such as an event hall. Then, you can arrange for the restaurant to cater the event. Keep in mind that this can lead to extra costs, since you may also need to rent tables, chairs, linens, and dinnerware if these aren't provided by the venue or the restaurant's catering team.
Tip #3: Create an accurate guest list
Complete accuracy can be difficult, but you need to be as close as possible. Once you know the occupancy limitations for the restaurant, you can create your guest list. Don't leave invites open-ended either, especially if you are tight on space. If there is only enough room for a plus one for each guest, detail this so guests don't show up with their entire families.
Tip #4: Arrange for a tasting
The most budget conscious choice is usually to opt for a set menu for your dining experience. This way you are paying per person, instead of a la carte. You can even pick out wines and set a drink budget ahead of time. Most restaurants will allow you to come in and sample a few dishes so you can choose the menu and the number of courses. As an added benefit, choosing a set menu allows the kitchen to prepare for your party ahead of time, which can lead to smoother service.
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