If you have been given the challenging task of ordering for an entire group of dinner companions, then this challenge can seem overwhelming, to say the least. Most people have enough issues just ordering for themselves, let alone accounting for the tastes and preferences of others. The good news is, there are a few ways that you can ultimately make the process of ordering for an entire group much easier, no matter who it is that you may be ordering for.
1.Ask Before You Order
You want to make sure that you get some feedback from the group before you order. Ask to make sure it is OK if you order for the group, if the setting requires it. You should also ask if there are any preferences or dietary issues you should know about. Some people will tell you, others won’t. It isn’t always possible to get this type of feedback, but if you can ahead of time, it will only help you and everyone enjoying the food that you order
2.Keep it Simple
You may be really into trying new and adventurous foods, but not everyone approaches food in this way. You want to try to keep it simple when you order. Don’t go for anything too flavorful, exotic or outside-the-box. Keep it simple, so more people will actually get to enjoy the food that you are ordering. Most people won’t complain about grilled chicken being too boring, but plenty may complain about the octopus being too exotic.
3.Consider the Spice Level
The level of spiciness in a dish can really throw some people off. While you may love things extra spicy with plenty of kick, not everyone feels this way about hot foods. Keep things rather mild so that the entire group can enjoy. So, instead of ordering the three-alarm, extra spicy wings, go for the honey BBQ or mild instead.
4.Account for Dietary Restrictions
When it comes to ordering for a group, you shouldn’t just think of what they like to eat but what they can eat? There are so many people who have dietary restrictions, whether it is a gluten or milk allergy, or simply that they are vegetarian. Be mindful of this and order a variety of foods so there is something to meet every diner has something to enjoy.
There is nothing as uncomfortable as having to tell someone who ordered for you that there isn’t enough food. If you are trying to figure out how much to order, always air on the side of caution. It is better to have some leftovers rather than not being able to feed everyone at the table. This also means ordering sides, entrees, starters and maybe even dessert.
6.Be Cautious of People Trying to Watch Their Figure
This is something that many people don’t consider when they are trying to order for a group. There are some people who are generally trying to watch their figure and trying to eat healthy each and every meal. Nothing can ruin that quite like being faced with an entire table filled with fried foods. Try to promote balance in what you order so that everyone can feel comfortable—even those who are on a diet.
7.Order Sharable Items
If you are ordering for a group that is sitting down together, sharable items such as appetizers and small plates can be a great addition to the meal. The more that diners can share with one another, the more fun this group experience will have. You can help feed everyone, get appetizers out that will tick the meal off right and maybe even encourage a person or two in the group to try something new.
8.Don’t Forget the Details
In most situations, just ordering isn’t enough. If you are in charge of this big responsibility, you may also be in charge of handling the entire experience. Consider drinks. How will they be ordered. Are you having water and coffee for everyone? Or are you in an environment where each person can order their own cocktail? Who is going to take care of the tab? Are you splitting? Does the waiter/waitress know this? Who is covering tip?
These are all details that you need to keep in mind when you are ordering for the group so you can rest assured the entire experience is a positive one.