Oftentimes, we spontaneously plan dinners and brunches with a large group of friends. This is a good thing as the best plans often happen on a whim. But the reality of the dinner is sometimes different from how it has been envisioned. One person might be left with nothing to eat as their dietary restrictions are not being met, or everyone is arguing over how to split the bill. To make the whole process run more smoothly and in a stress-free way, there are certain considerations you should make before finalizing going out with a large party.
1. Make sure that the atmosphere is just right.
If you live in Spring Hill, Kansas, there are lots of good restaurants for you to choose from. But make sure that the atmosphere of the restaurant goes with your needs as a group. If you plan on drinking, then choose a restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere as you are likely to get loud at some point. A fine-dining establishment where people are having quiet date nights or a family-style restaurant full of children is probably not the best idea. Look at pictures and reviews on the Internet to know what to expect.
2. Look through the menu.
Before you place the reservation, make sure that everyone has had time to look through the menu and approve the restaurant. This gets rid of a lot of awkwardness and unnecessary hassle, especially for the host. Make sure that there are options that cater to all kinds of dietary restrictions such as gluten allergies. There should also be vegan and vegetarian options. Inform everyone of what the cuisine is likely to be so that you are aware of everyone’s likes and dislikes.
3. Make a reservation ahead of time.
Although this sounds obvious for dining out, a lot of people make plans on a whim and forget to reserve a seat at the restaurant. This is always a bad idea as you may be left without a place, with your plans changing at the last moment. Always call ahead, make a reservation, and try to arrive on time. If you are running late for any reason, call the restaurant and keep them updated. Follow basic courtesy, and do not add more people on at the last minute. Try not to arrive in ones or twos; wait for your group to show up before heading inside.
4. Figure out a payment method ahead of time.
The most agonizing part of a group dinner is figuring out a payment method at the table once the check has been placed. Avoid this by deciding how to pay among yourselves, whether it be on someone’s card or by bringing cash. Make an estimate of how much the check is likely to be when you bring cash. Asking the restaurant repeatedly to split the check is inappropriate and inconveniences the servers.
Eating out in a group of friends is a bonding experience, whether as a group reunion or to celebrate a birthday. If it is planned right, it can be fun and free of stress.