Month: October 2013

  • Event Planning Tips and Party Ideas For Baby Showers

    Baby Shower Party Ideas

    Make planning a baby shower super easy by hosting the party at Buca di Beppo!

    A friend’s soon-to-be-here baby is such a happy excuse for the girls to get together!  And all it really takes to host a successful baby shower party is a little planning, yummy food and a cozy baby shower venue.

    At Buca di Beppo, we consider ourselves the baby shower specialists!  Our party planners know all about baby shower favorites when it comes to gifts, food, games and themes — and they’re happy to share! With our fun assortment of private and semi-private dining rooms, we’re one of the best places for a baby shower ever.  To help you host a baby shower to remember, here are a few tips from our pros.

    Two months before the baby shower …

    Make a baby shower guest list and run it past the mom-to-be.  She’ll probably need to add and subtract to keep everybody happy.  Then set the date for sometime during her last trimester.  Try not to wait too late, because baby might come before the baby shower – or even crash it.  Finally, let Mom help you decide from several locations to have a baby shower.

    Be sure to mention to her that Buca di Beppo has small, medium and large dining rooms – all festively decorated — where you can throw the perfect baby shower.  With its lively atmosphere, Buca appreciates noisy parties and fun baby showers.  Plus, our award-winning staff offers over-the-top service that helps everybody feel comfortable (no matter how far along they are) and have a good time.

    One month before the baby shower …

    Decide on a baby shower theme that will appeal to Mom and be fun for guests.  If your pregnant friend is interested in environmental issues, you could throw a green baby shower.  Guests will have it easy with so many all-natural baby shower gift ideas available. Or you might throw a baby shower with a baby animals theme, a cartoon theme or “A Star Is Born” theme.

    Choose, address and mail the baby showers invitations and plan the baby shower menu.  It’s fun to choose food for baby shower guests when you’ve got Buca di Beppo’s diverse, delicious menus from which to select!  They have lunch and dinner banquet menus, perfect for groups of 20 or more.  And they also offer a variety of fabulous group menu options.

    Everything at Buca is served family style, to be shared.  It breaks the ice, and guests get to try a little of everything.  Desserts are to-die-for, and we’ll even decorate an out-of-this-world Celebration cake for your baby shower party.

    Baby shower games

    Don’t forego baby showers games!  There are some new games for baby showers that will have guests in stitches.  For example, a new baby shower app (available at iTunes) includes trivia questions, scavenger hunts in handbags and drawing and charades type games.  Some classics are good too, like guessing Mom’s belly size by cutting a piece of yarn to fit, listing all the baby products you can think of in five minutes, and giving up your diaper pin if you accidentally say the forbidden word, “baby.”

    Baby shower favorites to make and/or wrap.

    You can easily make baby shower souvenirs for guests.  Small potted plants, herbs or flowers make great baby shower favors.  Or head to your local crafts store.  They’re bound to have what you need to make scented homemade soaps or beauty products.  If you’re not crafty, just shop online.  There are lots of great gifts for baby shower guests.

    Just be sure to have fun at the baby shower yourself!

    Showers are a wonderful celebration of life and love – a sentiment that suits Italian tradition perfectly.  So use these baby shower ideas to host a baby shower that will give a little one a great start in the world.  And make it easy on yourself by throwing it at Buca!

  • Party Planning Tips to Make Your Special Event a Success

    Buca di Beppo Party Planning Tips

    Whether you order party catering or host your party at Buca, we know how to make the party a HUGE success!

    So you want to throw a big bash where friends and family have a great time.  Where even YOU, as host or hostess, have a great time.  With a little event planning, clever thinking and some delegating, you can pull off an epic theme party with aplomb, have a blast and look great doing it!

    First of all, put together a guest list.  If you’re planning an event for a large gathering, invite 20 percent more people than you want to attend. For one reason or another, only 70 to 80 percent of invitees will make an appearance.

    Once you decide who to invite, choose a party theme for your special event.  Maybe it’s a favorite football team, the holiday that’s in season, or a murder mystery theme.  Whatever works for your crowd, party themes help you brainstorm for all kinds of party ideas and will help you design invitations and decorations, choose a menu and set the mood. Maybe a carefully selected movie projected onto a wall can provide a backdrop; or a few inflatable palm trees and pirate flags might bring beaches to mind.  Add appropriate music and you’ve set the scene!

    If you’re looking for more creative party planning ideas, feel free to contact a party planner at Buca di Beppo.  Our professionals have lots of party theme ideas to share, including advice on party venues.  You may want to hold the festivities at your home, a park, or an unexpected place for a party, such as a bed-and-breakfast with a huge fireplace, a theater or a rooftop overlooking a city.  Or, like many of our customers, you may decide the most convenient, comfortable place for a party is at a great restaurant with party rooms that meet your needs perfectly.

    Once you know who, what and when, send out invitations that fit your party theme — snail mail, e-mail, even phone invites are all acceptable — then start planning the party menu.  For those dishes you’ll prepare yourself, choose only recipes you can make ahead, and perhaps freeze, with just warming and assembly required on party day. Make a list of how far in advance each can be made and compile a shopping list.

    Easier still, plan to make only one item, such as a dessert or appetizer you know you’re good at.  Place an order with your local Buca di Beppo, delicatessen and/or bakery to supply the rest. Never feel guilty about this.  None of your guests will blame you a bit! Smart hostesses take advantage of catering restaurants to do the bulk of the cooking – or ALL of the cooking –for them.

    And be sure to get help!  If you do this all by yourself, you’ll be exhausted at your own celebration. If you don’t have young friends or relatives you can draft into service, consider hiring a high school student, a party planner from a catering restaurant, or both, to help with pre- or post-party tasks, to pass drinks or appetizers, replenish buffet food, tidy up, and generally take some weight off your shoulders.

    If you’re party planning for an at-home celebration, there are a number of tasks to consider:

    • Clean your house thoroughly a week ahead of time.  Hopefully you’ll just need to hit the high spots come party day.
    • Round up your silver, crystal, serving dishes and table linens for polishing, washing and ironing.  If you don’t have enough serving dishes for every dish, consider purchasing inexpensive pieces from a discount or thrift store. Catering restaurants like Buca di Bepo frequently provide attractive serving dishes for takeout feasts.
    • Stock your home’s bar. Plan three bottles of wine for every four people, three to four cocktails per guest for a two- to three-hour party. If you’re not serving alcohol, pull together the ingredients for a party punch or gather softdrinks.
    • Let your neighbors know if your gathering will be loud, late or create parking challenges.
    • Check the medicine cabinet and put away anything personal.
    • Gathering cleaning supplies, such as a box of salt, Wine Away (red wine stain remover), club soda, and a couple of rags in a wicker basket, and store a few in strategic places to alleviate spills.
    • Specify a place for coats – either a closet with lots of coat hangers or a bed in a spare room.
    • Set the table.  If you’re serving dessert and coffee, you might want to put them on a separate buffet or coffee table to help distribute your crowd.

    Of course, Buca di Beppo can help.  You can take advantage of our party catering menu for some or all of your food.  Buca delivers in many locations and provides curbside Italian takeaway at every one of our restaurants. And we offer even more hosting help when you reserve one of our party rooms. We’re totally set up as a party venue, our food is delicious and our staff divine, so we make everything really easy.

    Party Planning Checklist

    Three Weeks Before

    Make a guest list.

    Decide on a theme.

    Choose a party place.

    Send invitations.

    Plan the menu.

    Line up any help you may need.

    Two Weeks Before

    Clean any crystal, china, and silverware you’ll be using.  Launder and iron linens.

    Come up with a playlist. Music should be upbeat and sufficient to last throughout the party.

    Do a first round of grocery shopping and cooking. Prepare any dishes that can be frozen.

    One Week Before

    Clean the house thoroughly. You’ll need only a quick once-over before the party.

    Set the stage, letting your theme be your guide!

    Take inventory of cookware and serving dishes.

    Stock the bar.

    Three Days Before

    Notify neighbors.

    Decorate. Arrange candles, put up theme decorations, etc.

    Check the medicine cabinet.  Put away any personal items.

    Set up clean-up stations. Place a box of salt, Wine Away (red wine stain remover), club soda, and a couple of rags in a wicker basket, and store a few in strategic places to alleviate spills.

    Specify a place for coats. Make space in a closet and fill it with hangers. You could also choose a bed for coats (make sure the room is especially tidy and free of valuables, so you won’t need to worry about them), or purchase an inexpensive portable garment rack.

    Finish grocery shopping if you’re cooking. Make a detailed cooking schedule for your remaining dishes.

    One Day Before

    Set the tables or set up the buffet.

    Buy and arrange flowers.

    Finish as much of the cooking as you can. Also, for any foods that require cooking on party day, do as much prep (dicing, marinating, rinsing lettuce, etc.) as possible.

    Give your house a once-over with whatever cleaning touch-ups are needed.

    Party Day

    Finish any last-minute cooking.  Thanks to restaurant delivery and party catering, this should be absolutely minimal! Simply pick up takeout food at the catering restaurants from which you’ve ordered.  Better yet, use restaurants that deliver to have great goodies appear on your doorstep!

    Place chairs.  Don’t worry about having enough seating for everyone; fewer seats encourages mingling!

    Display food. One to two hours before guests arrive, set out appetizers and snacks that won’t spoil. Wrap them tightly to ensure freshness, then tear off the wrap when the first guest rings the doorbell.

    Greet your guests warmly! Things should be organized so you’re free to mingle, not stay tied to the kitchen.