Everyone loves attending a potluck party. The atmosphere is laid-back, and everyone enjoys good company and good food. While potlucks have many benefits, they can also be riddled with pitfalls if you’re not careful. Take a look below to find out what some of these pitfalls are and what you can do to avoid them and host the best potluck ever.
- Use Food Containers that Go from Stove to Table
One of the reasons people like hosting potluck get-togethers is because they are easy. As such, there’s no reason to make things harder on yourself by using multiple food containers to cook and serve your dishes.
Instead, choose pots, pans, and baking dishes that can go right from the stove/oven to the table. Some of the best cookware sets come with baking dishes and/or food storage containers, so consider this when shopping if you plan to host a potluck party or two.
- Assign Guest the Types of Foods They Should Bring
Although potlucks are designed to be spontaneous in terms of food selection, you want to be sure you don’t end up with 20 bags of potato chips and multiple desserts but no side dishes or main entrees. To prevent this from happening, assign your guests the types of dishes they should bring. Provide a sign-up sheet (via email or text) with the types of dishes you’d like to see, and let your guests decide which they’d like to bring.
- Provide Plenty to Drink
Whether your potluck will include alcohol or not, make sure you have plenty of drinks on hand to keep your guests happy and hydrated. This is especially important if the temperature on the day of your party is forecast to be hot and/or humid. Provide both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to ensure all your guests have plenty to drink.
- Plan Smaller Portions
There will be a lot of food choices at your potluck, you won’t need to provide as many portions as you would for a normal meal. Guests will want to sample a wide variety of foods, so they will be inclined to take smaller portions of each to do so. A good rule of thumb when preparing food for a potluck is a portion that normally feeds one person will likely feed two or three at a potluck.
- Be Aware of Dietary Restrictions
If you know one of your guests has dietary restrictions, be sure to let all your guests know so they can be aware of it and prepare things everyone can eat. If you aren’t aware of any dietary restrictions, ask your guests about this when you send out the invitations. This will allow you to plan accordingly. The last thing you want is for someone to feel left out, so make this a priority since the main focus of any potluck is the food.
- Label the Food
A game potluck guests prefer not to play, but often have to anyway, is guessing what they’re about to eat. Even if the type of food is obvious, label it anyway, along with any cautions like “contains nuts,” “contains dairy,” and the like. Your guests who have food allergies will appreciate the effort, and those who don’t will love not having to guess at what they’re eating.
Potluck parties are lots of fun, but if you’re hosting one, you’ll want to do your best to make it a success. Follow the tips above, and you’re sure to host the perfect potluck.