Summer Time, Summer Time, Summer Time! Although it may not officially be summer, the long awaited warmer weather has finally arrived! With sunnier, warmer days comes the thought of parties in the great outdoors!  And what better time to start planning a party than now…May is National BBQ Month! At Capriotti’s, we are celebrating National BBQ Month with a special promotion…read on! If you are one of the many that is planning an Outdoor Picnic, Reunion or Graduation Party this upcoming summer, now is the time to get the plans in motion!

So what is involved in planning a great outdoor event? We’ve compiled a quick checklist to keep you on track.

3 to 6 Weeks Before:

  • Set a date and call the Caterer to check availability if you will be relying on their staff to be present at your event.  For take out orders, reserve your date and time for delivery.  Also, get recommendations on a menu; the experienced Caterer can assist with what menu items would work best for your type of party.
  • Set a budget – include costs for invitations, paper products, decorations, beverages, food, tent, tables, chairs, wait staff, and any other item you will have on your list.
  • Compile a Guest List – will your event be for adults only or are children invited? If children are invited, what activities will be available for them? Do you need to order a bounce house, a clown, or arrange for lawn games?  Having activities for kids will allow your adult guests to sit back and enjoy the party.
  • Order the Tent, Table and Chairs and make arrangements for hosting indoors in the event of inclement weather.  Will you need to order temporary restrooms or will your home bathrooms accommodate the number of guests?
  • Pick a Theme and Send out Invitations.

2 Weeks Before:

  • Order Centerpieces or if you are making your own, get all the supplies and begin assembly.
  • Finalize the menu and call the Caterer with your initial order and count. Inquire about what date they will need your final count.
  • Get Party Supplies – paper products, silverware, decorations and tablecloths.
  • Compile a Playlist – keep the guest list in mind when selecting the music. 
  • Clean Up the Yard and Plan your Set Up. How will you arrange the tables? Where will the food be served? Do you have enough coolers to keep beverages cold? Do you need access to electricity? 

1 week before:

  • Shop for non-perishable food items/drinks that you are handling…make any food ahead of time that can be frozen.
  • Gather any platters and serving pieces you will need.
  • Confirm food order and delivery time with Caterer.
  • Keep Organized! Make a List of the items you need to take care of the day of the event and include a timeline to keep yourself on track: pick up times, food prep, table set ups, ice for coolers, etc.

2 to 3 Days Before:

  • Decorate – at this point, you should be able to determine if your event will be held outdoors or indoors.
  • Finish Grocery Shopping.
  • Notify the neighbors – out of courtesy, let your neighbors know you are expecting a large crowd and apologize for any inconvenience in advance that parking may cause.

One Day Before:

  • Do any food prep that can be done ahead of time (slicing, dicing, marinating).
  • Set up Tables.
  • Give your yard and house a last minute clean up.

Day of the Event:

  • On the day of the event, follow your List and Timeline – Having a list of last minutes items (buying ice, setting out food, etc.) and a timeline to follow will ease Party Day stress.
  • Enjoy!

At Capriotti’s we offer fabulous picnic menus …Let us take care of the food!  In celebration of National BBQ Month, when you book your Catered Picnic with Capriotti’s by May 31st, you will receive Free BBQ Chicken (value $1.95 per guest) as a Special Add On for your summer picnic, party, or reunion…just mention “BBQ Month” when calling. (Offer valid for catered picnics May 1 thru September 5, 2016).

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