How to Plan a Menu for a Retirement Party

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While some may think of retirement as the end of a journey and the beginning of the twilight years, others think of it as the start of a new era of life that is to be celebrated to the fullest. No matter what your view of retirement is, it is definitely cause for a celebration. When you take the time to plan out the evening, hosting a retirement party for the lucky among us who no longer have to work can be a rewarding experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Dietary needs of guests

Plan a Great Menu for a Retirement Party

  • Cater at least a portion of the menu to the retiree. It's his party, so be sure that some of his favorite dishes are represented. If the party is no secret, just ask the retiree what he wants, but for a surprise party, you'll need to do some research.

  • Plan on having at least one or two vegetarian dishes on the menu. This is not critical, but some of the guests might have dietary restrictions that require accommodation.

  • Have one or two appetizers on the menu, or simply provide a number of finger foods that guests can pick at throughout the party. This will help stretch out the budget if you can't afford an expensive main course. Potato chips and different cheeses are great options.

  • Include a nice toasting wine or champagne as one of the beverages for the evening. You can almost guarantee people are going to want to say a few words or make a toast to the retiree, so have something on hand to fill everyone's glass.

  • Hire a caterer to help you prepare and serve a menu. Caterers will not only be able to help you choose the right menu for the party, but the best caterers have table service, bar tenders and bussers to serve your guests. Caterers are rarely cheap, but they will take a lot of the stress out of planning a menu.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a selection of hot and cold foods on hand, with cold foods being available for the entire evening. This will make it possible for guests to pick at their plates and go back for seconds and thirds without having to worry about hot foods becoming lukewarm.
  • Consider posting information about the ingredients for some of the items you plan for the menu. Some people are allergic to things like peanuts, soy or wheat gluten, so help them to know which items are going to pose a problem, especially if your food is presented buffet style.

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