Graduation Party Tips and Ideas During Covid-19
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Celebrating your child’s graduation is important and exciting, but it does not have to be expensive. Other than their wedding, it may be the most important party you will ever throw for them. Let Essential Chefs Catering help you throw the best graduation party that will make your grad the talk of the town and give you the best graduation party tips and ideas.
But how do you create a fun but safe party this during the coronavirus restrictions? First of all, you have all summer to throw a party and hopefully, the coronavirus restrictions will ease up a little. It doesn’t matter if the actual graduation was weeks ago.
If you’re setting up tables, put them in smaller groups that are situated 6 feet apart to minimize the amount of interaction people have with each other.
Anybody that’s having a graduation party should try their best to have some hand sanitizer available at the tables or around the food, encouraging people to use it. Party favors can include cloth masks and hand sanitizers with your grad’s name and graduation year printed on it in school colors. For extra precautions, station someone at the entrance into the house and just to be a greeter, direct traffic, and make sure that not too many people are congregating inside at one time. We think that just shows people that you care about their safety.
A lot of graduation parties are outdoors, so we don’t think that clothes present a big risk. Everybody wants to hug really badly, but bringing back the elbow bump might be better.
Essential Chefs Catering makes it a priority to keep things sanitized as well. We put containers of disinfecting wipes on the tables with little signs that say, ‘We’d sure appreciate it if you would just wipe down the surfaces you touch and keep it safe for the next person.’ All of our staff wears masks and gloves and we take specials pains to wipe down tables and chairs on a constant basis. As an extra precaution, we prefer to serve buffet style with our staff serving the food – the risk is when lots of hands are touching those utensils or the food. The guests can keep their masks on while on line and not touch anything. The other thing that people have requested is wrapped individual servings such as sandwiches, ice cream, or bags of chips rather than a big bowl of chips, etc.
So, now that we have the coronavirus restrictions out of the way, let’s talk PARTY!
The following a review on Yelp for a graduation party we threw last year: “An amazing and professional service. I had a graduation party for over 100 people. We had grilled meat, three different kinds of salads, and many appetizers. Even more simple BBQ foods were out of this world. And then the more intricate menu items were unbelievable. John and Dan, the owners, were extremely professional and stayed through the whole party rather than just dropping off trays of food. Prices were extremely reasonable. I’m looking forward to using them again!”
In order to throw a successful graduation party, you must get organized from the start and plan it carefully so that you won’t be stressed out at party time. Whether it’s a high school graduation, college graduation, or graduation from kindergarten, having a game plan up front that you stick to – from the invitations and decorations to the food and drink – is a must.
To help reduce your stress, we have put together some great graduation party planning tips for you.
Set the Budget:
Like any big party, this is an essential first step. We have heard of everything from: “maybe we shouldn’t throw a party and just put the money in an envelope”; to throwing the biggest graduation bash ever. The best choice is probably somewhere in-between.
Bring family and friends together to celebrate this great accomplishment but keep it informal enough so that it’s fun and relatively inexpensive. Setting a budget will help you make decisions along the way.
Set a date and time for the graduation party:
This can be harder than you think and you should coordinate it so that the most people can attend. Write down a few date options or ideas and start calling those you would like to see come ahead of time. Narrow down your choices until you have a date that suits the most people.
It is always possible that there will be other parties around the same time as your child’s party, so communicate with their friends’ parents to figure how you can best accommodate your party and their friends’ as well.
Where Will the Party Be Held?
There are a couple of choices. Your final choice will depend on your budget, how much time you have, and how many people are attending. Other than spending a lot of money at a restaurant, you can:
• If coronavirus restrictions ease, you can rent a hall or a venue. If you are having lots of people, this works very well. No worries about renting chairs, tables, or silverware. Most halls have good entertainment opportunities also. Dance floors, stages, and even outdoor activities like horseshoes for the old folks and playgrounds for the kids. This is a good choice for larger parties. Most of the time, you can bring your own caterer ~ such as Essential Chefs Catering!
• Host the party at your house. This is most common option. Many graduation parties are open houses and your home can work well for this approach. This can also be the least expensive option while still giving you great opportunities to make it special. Essential Chefs Catering is here to help!
Getting the word out ~ Invitations:
Once you have settled on a guest list you’ll have to get the word out. There are lots of very cool invitations out there. And don’t forget to order other printed materials you might need such as napkins.
Set a theme and buy the decorations:
When you consider graduation theme ideas, keep in mind the interests of the guest of honor. You will also need to consider your venue for the party as it might lend itself to certain themes better than others.
Photo booths were the most favorite party prop, but they are not a good idea during covid. If the restrictions ease, then you can have a blast celebrating at the graduation party and create fun memories at the same time!
Other fun ideas include a cotton candy machine, popcorn popper, hot dog cart, ice cream truck, etc. Your guests will love it!
This is the most important part of the party and is where Essential Chefs Catering can help you make or break the event.
Your menu choice will be dictated by your venue, your budget, and by your grad’s tastes. What are his or her favorite foods? This is the best place to start when planning your menu and it will make your food choices a lot easier.
Does your grad love:
* BBQ? We serve up the best BBQ in the area – from steak to chicken or lamb kebobs to pulled pork, to the best custom gourmet burgers and dogs. We can even do a pig roast.
* Pizza? We love to make individual custom grilled pizzas.
* Latin food? How about a taco or burrito bar? How about spicy Cubanos?
* Seafood? Nothing is better than a New England Clambake complete with lobsters, clams, mussels, roasted potatoes and corn on the cob.
*Italian food? How about a Pasta Bar – we can serve several different pastas (eg: rotini, penne, shells) and different sauces (marinara, Alfredo, pesto) and tons of fixins. Let your guests create their own favorite pasta dish.
* Finger food? We serve up the world’s best sliders, wings with different sauces, mac & cheese balls, mini taco cups, mini hot dogs, meatballs, potato skins, and so much more.
We won’t forget the side dishes such as baked beans, and many different styles of potato or pasta salads, cole slaw, fresh fruit salads, crisp green salads with farm fresh veggies, and so many other options.
Diploma cookies, custom-designed cookies, M&M’s with your grad’s name and graduation year printed on them, a graduation cupcake tier, an ice cream truck, or ice cream sundae bar….and so much more.
If your guests are under 21, design your graduation party so it is free spirited, but “spirit-free”.
Keeping grads entertained at parent-sponsored and supervised parties can prevent a tragedy. Do not serve alcohol to minors. Even if no one gets injured, adults that provide alcohol to minors can be charged with a gross misdemeanor and go to jail and be fined.
Slushy machines are so much fun. Feature your grad’s favorite signature drink such as Virgin Pina Coladas, Daiquiris, or Margueritas.
A summer tradition of big pitchers of iced tea, lemonade or Kool-Aid is refreshing as well.
The most popular beverage to serve at graduation parties is bottled water. For an extra fun surprise, buy personalized water bottles with your grad’s photo or a congratulatory message. Or buy the labels and apply them to your own water bottles.
No need these days for an expensive DJ or band. Your grad and his or her friends can bring their iPhones loaded with their favorite music and plug it into an iPod dock or your outdoor stereo system for an instant dance club.
Essential Chefs Catering will make sure that your child’s graduation party is safe and we will work with any budget. Just let us know what you want to spend, how many people will be attending, your venue, and your grad’s tastes. We will customize the event for you – whether you would like Essential Chefs to do it all (provide all of the food, man the BBQ or food stations, serve, and bartend) or even if you prefer to pick up the food or have it delivered. We will do whatever you want to make this event the best ever.
We recommend that you spend this important time with your grad instead of cooking, serving, clearing, cleaning, cooking, clearing, cleaning… Essential Chefs Catering will do it all for you so that you don’t have to do anything but enjoy your time with your grad, your family, and your friends.
Congratulations to your graduate!
-Chefs John and Dan Martin ~ Essential Chefs Catering
Visit us at www.essentialchefs.com
Or contact us at 978-821-5108
Serving the North Shore of Boston and Southern New Hampshire
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