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The Essential Guide to Perfecting a Holiday Gathering

‘Tis the season for holiday parties. Are you going for a quintessential ugly sweater cocktail party or possibly a refined, sit-down dinner vibe? Either way….you’ll need to find some bites that’ll make your party one to remember.

Here’s our guide on how to nail your next holiday get-together.

Plan out your menu and preorder

A week before your soiree, make a list of your must-have menu items. If your party will be standing room only, make sure to order easy-to-snag hors d’oeuvres like vegetable crudités, pigs in a blanket, chicken skewers and sliders. For a sit down event, first pick out a cuisine (like Italian or Greek) and plot out appetizers, mains and desserts for a delicious, curated meal.

Don’t scramble the morning of the party…you can preorder food from Grubhub up to four days in advance.

Curate specialty cocktails and mocktails

Cater to all your guests by creating a festive list of cocktails–think: mulled wine and hot toddies.

But don’t forget to make non-alcoholic beverages as well. Sparkling water with a dash of cranberry juice and a wedge of orange or warm apple cider are solid options. (And yes, Grubhub does deliver beverages too!)

Make your food list…and check it twice

First of all, buffet style is the way to go whether you’re doing a formal sit down or a cocktail-style party. It takes pressure off of you to be serving all night long and gives guests the freedom to go back for seconds.

And something that’s quite helpful–and will show your guests just how thoughtful you are–is labeling all of the dishes you’re serving that night. Does it contain meat or maybe even nuts? Is it gluten-free? Let your guests know, so everyone feels included, regardless of food allergy or dietary preferences. Did you know that you can search categories like “vegetarian” and “gluten-free” when ordering on Grubhub? And for good measure, simply put a note in the special instructions to ask the restaurant to label each dish.

Swap plastic utensils for genuine silverware

You know what kicks a party up a notch? Swanky flatware. Use your traditional silverware and make sure you opt out for plastic utensils with your order. You’ll help the environment and class the party up that much more. (Not sure how to select this? On the checkout page when you’re reviewing your order, drop down “add delivery instructions” and select “Spare me the napkins and plasticware. I’m trying to save the earth.”)

Pro tip: instead of just getting rid of the plastic containers your delivery food comes in…wash and set them aside for friends to pack up leftovers to go home with. Your guests will appreciate a little nosh the next day.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get this party started.