Event Planning: Don’t Skimp on the Food

By Posted in - Public Relations & Restaurant PR + Hospitality PR on September 16th, 2015

I think we can all agree that there is one element that can really make or break a party – the food. How many times have you attended an event where although food was served, you left feeling like you needed to pull through a drive thru because the food ran out, or was not substantial enough to combat the cocktails you consumed?

As PR people, we are often charged with planning and attending events, and after seeing the good, the bad and the ugly, we have come to understand the importance of getting it right when it comes to the food. Clairemont recently helped orchestrate the grand opening for The Lincoln Apartments, one of Raleigh’s newest upscale complexes (and a Clairemont client), in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Since the theme of the night was “Downtown Discovered, ” we decided that instead of having the party catered by one group, it made better sense for attendees to be able to discover and sample foods from several downtown Raleigh hotspots.

Empire Eats, Lucette Grace, Videri Chocolate Factory and The Architect Bar and Social House were all on board. I was involved with some aspects of the planning, but not all the food and beverage details, so when I showed up to help out Thursday night I was seeing things through the eyes of party guests and was blown away by the food selection.

The Pit served barbecue sandwiches and its amazing BBQ soul rolls, Sitti had its famous chicken kabobs and hummus, Gravy delivered dynamite meatballs and The Raleigh Times served hands-down best pimento cheese and bacon biscuits I have ever eaten. And to satisfy your sweet tooth, the macaron tower and samplings from Lucette Grace, along with chocolate bon bons from Videri, sealed the deal. Everyone was full, and they were all talking about the food. Ok, all this talk about food, but we know beverage selection is equally important. The Architect team stocked the bar, served champagne and even created a signature cocktail for the evening, appropriately named The Honest Abe. What could be better than having a taste from your favorite restaurants in one place!

So, the takeaway here is not that you should be really bummed if you missed the party last Thursday (although you should be) but rather the impact that food selection, in terms of vendors, menu, amount, etc. can have on the overall success of an event. While I am confident the grand opening would have been a win regardless, people were definitely talking about the food the next day. Also, we often don’t consider restaurants that don’t cater being willing to participate in something of this sort, but it’s definitely worth the ask next time you are coordinating food for a party or event.

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