Much of the bonding that happens at family reunions occurs while people are gathered around tables eating. A nice rule of thumb for family reunion food is to make what you'd take on a picnic. These are usually finger foods, snacks and filling foods that can be made in large quantities--such as macaroni and cheese. Families should be advised in the reunion invitations about the food so they can be prepared to make dishes or send in money to cover a caterer or restaurant meal.
Potluck is easily the most popular food idea for family reunions. Each family brings one or more of their favorite dishes to share with the rest of the family. If each family cooks slightly more than their family could eat, there will be more than enough to food for the entire group. Potluck gets families sharing their meals at communal tables and learning about family recipes and different family tastes and traditions. Sharing food is a great way to cement relationships.
Booking a Caterer
Hiring a caterer is a more expensive way to go. A caterer takes all the work out of the food preparation and gives families more time to frolic and get to know each other. Caterers will have to be reserved in advance, and families should be notified in the invitations about the cost per family and the deadline for contributions. A caterer will need a final head count once the event is drawing near and usually will provide dishes and utensils.
Booking a Restaurant
You'll want to research restaurants in your area for the right price range and style for your reunion. Once you've chosen the restaurant that feels right, you'll want to speak to a manager about your reunion and see how they can accommodate the needs of your large group. You'll draw up a letter to the manager with the date and time of the dinner, the number of people, the price per person and the cancellation terms. Having this contract with the manager ahead of time secures the room and sets the price. Families should be notified in advance of the reunion so they can contribute money ahead of time, including a 15 percent gratuity.
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