THE MEAL EXPERIENCE
While every chef and meal is unique, we encourage chefs to consider some common-thread suggestions that embody a Feastly Experience. After hosting thousands of diners, we have learned many things about what our guests enjoy.
Always greet your guests at the door. Please do not let them just walk in and figure things out for themselves. Make them feel welcomed and at-home. Take their coats, help them get started drinking (either their BYO or your beverage service). It’s also always a good idea to have some food ready to eat (appetizers, snacks, amuse or antipasti).
Our guests expect to meet other guests. It is part of the charm of social-dining. Please consider bringing tables together and encouraging guests to interact with each other.
The guests want to connect with you. They want to hear your story. Please prepare an introduction of about 3-5 minutes at the start of your meal explaining your background, inspiration, perspective, etc.
Additionally, guests really enjoy hearing about each course as it is presented. After you drop the dish (or before if you want them to dig right in), take a moment and silence the crowd to explain the dish.
While you are not a restaurant, people appreciate a high-level of thoughtfulness in service. Make sure water is constantly available and filled. Keep wines chilled. Remove dirty dishes from the table. Try to pace your courses to avoid long gaps.
If you’ve prepared well, you should be able to enjoy the evening with your guests. Try to avoid getting caught in the weeds. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, slow down and take your time. Guests will appreciate the relaxed energy, which can sometimes overcome any delays.
AROUND THE TABLE
Moreover, your guests want to interact with you. If there is an opportunity to sit at the table, please make every effort to do so. Even if you are churning in the kitchen, try to at least join each table for a few minutes to share in the social side of the evening.
ENDING THE MEAL
Sometimes it can be awkward to move people along at the end of the night. In order to smoothly end your meal, consider these suggestions:
- Set expectations: In your welcome email, remind people of the hard-stop time. Additionally, when you make your welcome announcement you might also make a friendly reminder.
- Conclude: At the end of the night, about 15 minutes before people should leave, make an announcement that you’ve enjoyed the night, appreciate their attendance and will be wrapping up shortly. Suggest nearby bars. Turn up the lights.