Tips for Planning a Party at a Restaurant

Last Friday night proved to be very special for me as I celebrated my birthday with my sister Kiki and her fiancé Sander, my close friend Mike from college, and our dear friends Hélène and Thiago — oh and Marc!

New York City is expensive and yet New Yorkers tend to go out to eat. When you have a big group of people and are celebrating a birthday or other occasion, think ahead. Here at CloudMom, we like to think things through and be organized. Birthdays are no different from babies — you gotta have a plan!

How to Plan a Dinner Party at a Restaurant

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Having gotten stuck with some unnecessarily big bills in the past, Marc and I have learned. Don’t just sit down and let the dinner unwind organically. Choose your restaurant carefully, and control the budget.

Tips for Planning a Party at a Restaurant

So with all that being said, here are some tips on how to plan a birthday or other dinner at a restaurant.

  1. Call ahead and ask for a prix fixe. This can include wine, beer, sparkling and still water.
  2. Bring your own cake. If the restaurant charges a “plating fee,” negotiate to cut that out.
  3. Choose wisely. Find a place with family-style appetizers and entrees. People don’t mind — in fact, they usually love the choice!
  4. Don’t feel bad about asking your guests to split the bill. People are happy to be celebrating with you and to participate. If you can afford it, offer to pick up the wine or the tip.
  5. Only invite people you adore! Dining out is a special treat. If you need to entertain acquaintances, do that at home.

My birthday is officially over yet I’ll be warmed over by the memories of time spent with close family and friends. Do the same for yourself!


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