So, you’ve been tasked with planning the food for your family’s reunion? Don’t fret. We’ve all been there before. It is not an easy task except in the Bible story where 5,000 people were easily fed with 5 loaves of bread and two fishes.
Planning food at this scale, especially if it is your first time, requires paying attention to lots of details to avoid it being a disaster. You undoubtedly don’t want to disappoint everybody.
Read on as we highlight some tips to leverage when planning a family reunion food. These tips can also be used in planning food for any other kind of reunion.
Take note of the number of attendees
This is very important. Make sure to confirm the number of the family members that will be present at the reunion.
To get an accurate number, check and confirm with every member of the family to know who will be present and those who won’t. Doing this may significantly reduce your expenses and also help avoid food wastage.
Another thing to remember when doing this is that the headcount shouldn’t be solely the family members. There’s a possibility that some family members will be coming along with their children or friends.
Consider the ages of family members
Before you start compiling lists of ingredients and drafting meal plans for the reunion, take into consideration the older members of the family and the children.
Also, consider people with certain health conditions and allergies.
Older adults for instance are expected to refrain from eating too much sodium to protect them from heart attacks.
Likewise, raw vegetables are not good for children with dental issues.
Culture of family members
You may ignore this tip if the family reunion is only limited to your immediatefamily. Everyone is expected to be of the same culture, so deciding on cultural meals that appeal to your family shouldn’t be a problem.
But, for a reunion that would involve extended families such as cousins, uncles, etc., it will be great if the culture of their spouses for instance is considered in the meals plan.
You can source recipes for specific dishes or hire a special chef to help (if the budget permits). This gives the people that are initially not part of the family some sense of belonging.
“A meal is not just to fill everyone’s stomach; it is expected to leave a long-lasting mark on the hearts of everybody that eats it. It should be an experience,” a Palm Springs personal chef at Palm Springs Palate advised.
Draft and print a menu
For optimal experience, draft a menu for each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner, depending on your plan). Share with other family members through Google docs. Let people choose what they prefer and what they would like to include.
Some family members may also note their allergies or health conditions regarding certain foods.
You can also seize the opportunity to request volunteers who would like to prepare any of the listed foods. When this is completed and everybody agrees on the menu, have it printed and placed on the dining table, or paste a copy in a place where everybody can access it.
You may also include pertinent notes under each menu such as informing of its recipes to warn anyone who might be allergic. Also, provide an alternative meal to satisfy everybody. Although this may be stressful, it would be worth it because it shows how much you care about everyone.
Of course, the budget will determine the quantity and varieties of meals to be prepared. Share the cost of the meals with the family via any communication channel you all use such as email.
Prepare about three options they can choose from. Also, if you’ll be hiring a professional chef to prepare the meals, don’t forget to include the service cost.
It’s impossible to do all the planning and execution all alone. Share tasks among family members. Identify who will oversee cleaning and those who will help in the kitchen. Likewise, inform those who will be helping withthe serving of food.
There are professional service providers who handle this. But considering it is a family reunion, you may not want outsiders around.
Moreover, while growing up with other family members or when you come around to visit, these are tasks that are easily taken care of without the need to hire anybody.
Bring back the nostalgia and make the family reunion a memorable one.