If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, brunch is the most fun! It’s the perfect combination of breakfast foods, festive décor, and good company. Even better, each brunch is unique. That’s what makes it so exciting…you can do just about anything you want. The menu options are limitless, the tableware and decorations can be as understated or extravagant as you want, and even the day and time are flexible.
Truly, anything goes when it comes to this mid-morning meal. That’s also what makes hosting a brunch feel so daunting even to the most experienced event throwers. If you enjoy brunch but have hesitated to throw one yourself due to all the planning and work it requires, we’ve got you covered. Dutch Apron® Bakery has come up with a series of tips to help make hosting a brunch just as easy and stress free as attending one.
Just follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to throwing a brunch that is unforgettable for both you and your guests.
Tips for Hosting Your Next Brunch
Choose the Best Day and Time for Your Guests
There are no hard and fast rules about when your brunch must be. “Brunch” is a perfectly acceptable label to put on any meal, no matter what day or time it’s served at. Just remember to keep your guests in mind when finalizing your plans. You want to pick a day and time that will allow the most people to attend.
If most of your guests have 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. jobs, Saturday or Sunday will be your best options. If your guests have varying schedules, pick the day when most are available to attend. When it comes to the time, brunch is typically served between normal breakfast hours and lunch (around 10 a.m.). Though, you may consider starting earlier if you want to give guests more time to mingle before eating. If your friends and family aren’t the early-bird type, plan your event for the midafternoon to give them more time to rest and get ready.
Send Out the Invitations
Invitations for brunch can be as simple and budget-friendly or as decorative as you want. You can send a hand-written note, pre-printed cards, an email, or a text. Whatever kind of invitation you choose, it’s important you send them out at the right time. Give your guests enough notice, so they can add your get together to their schedule. If you can, try to send your invitations out at least two to three weeks in advance.
Also, don’t forget to request an RSVP. This will give you an idea of how many people to expect, so you can plan your space and menu accordingly. If you don’t hear back from someone, follow up with them. People will appreciate the gesture as it shows you really value their presence at your event.
Serving Up the Perfect Brunch Menu
Brunch is all about the food. It’s the part that people will be talking about for the days leading up to your event and for days after. Here are some tips to help guide you when planning your brunch menu.
Consider a Buffet-Style Meal
Buffets allow guests to serve themselves. This helps take some of the pressure off you as the host. You can enjoy the meal instead of spending all of your time making sure everyone always has what they need. It also gives guests more freedom to personalize their food options to their individual tastes.
Whether you choose a buffet or plated table service, offer a variety of food choices. Balance your menu with sweet and savory options to satisfy a variety of taste preferences. Finally, make sure you consider any potential allergies or food intolerances. Ask your guests in advance about their restrictions, so you can plan a meal that will be enjoyed by everyone.
Prioritize Make-Ahead Dishes
When you’re hosting a gathering, you want to spend your time with your guests not stuck in the kitchen. That’s why you need to be strategic with the kinds of food you choose to serve. Skip pancakes that can get mushy as they sit out and avoid egg dishes that require constant monitoring.
Baked goods, such as breads, oven-baked French Toast, or cake rolls, are perfect for brunch because they can be fully made ahead of time and don’t need to be kept warm. Also, put an emphasis on dishes that can be prepped in advance. Then, all you’ll have to do is to put them in the oven before the brunch begins. Great make-ahead dishes include options like frittatas, quiches, or breakfast casseroles.
For dessert, a trifle is always a crowd pleaser. Most trifle recipes utilize seasonally appropriate flavors and ingredients, and they can be made in individual portions or in a large trifle dish for people to serve themselves. This means you can customize your dessert to fit with the rest of your brunch menu. We have several trifle recipes to inspire you including a Lemon Blueberry Trifle for spring and a Pumpkin Trifle for fall.
Add a Pop of Color
When hosting a brunch, it is important to please your guests’ eyes as well as their palettes. Having a variety of colorful foods helps to add visual interest to your table. Fresh, seasonal fruits and decorative cakes or pastries brighten up a room and give your guests a well-rounded eating experience.
If you’re looking for a unique menu option that will stand out on your table, try a seasonal cake roll from Dutch Apron® Bakery. Our cake rolls are delicious, indulgent, and make it easy to impress without the stress. Full of flavor and color, each one is sure to delight everyone that has the pleasure of enjoying a slice.
Drinks Need Variety Too!
Juices are always a great choice for brunch, especially in the spring. This is when fruits are at their peak, so they taste fresh and delicious. You can be traditional by serving orange juice or grapefruit juice or try something new and exciting like mango juice. We recommend having at least two or three options, depending on the number of guests, to ensure you have something that will work for everyone.
If you’re hosting a brunch during the chillier months, consider coffee and a selection of teas for your guests to enjoy. Include pitchers of ice-cold water on your table, as well, for those who prefer a cool drink with their meal.
Prepping Your Table
Now that you have the food all ready, it’s time to focus on the décor. This is where your artistic flare will really have the chance to shine. Brunch is the perfect time to indulge in all the nice things you’ve been saving for a special occasion: fine China dishes, decorative cloth napkins and holders, crystal glasses, etc.
When it comes to pick your dishes and silverware, get creative with it. Choose unique and colorful dishes to help make your table stand out. Put out elegant glasses for drinks, find decoratively colored silverware, and add some texture with special place mats. If the dishes will be the star of your table, go a little simpler on the added decorations. Stick to a few colorful flowers, simple vases, and a one-color tablecloth that beautifully sets off the rest of your dishware.
If you decide to use more understated dishes, you can give your tablescape a boost by adding beautiful decorations. Experiment with different heights and textures by using cake stands, pie pans, or skillets. You can even use food as part of the décor if your food is going on the table instead of on a designated buffet table. A vase full of decorated cake pops is guaranteed to impress and delight all your guests! If you need some inspiration on what kind of cake pops to serve, Dutch Apron® Bakery has a variety of options for you in the Recipes category of our Inspiration blog. No matter how you choose to decorate, set your table up the night before. This way you aren’t running around and stressing about getting everything ready as guests are arriving. After all, brunch is supposed to be the most fun meal of the day…even for the host!
Hosting a Brunch to Remember
Hosting a brunch is all about getting together with your favorite people, eating your favorite foods, and making new, favorite memories. Remember, your guests are there to enjoy their time with you. It’s okay if things don’t go exactly according to plan. Brunch is a time to get creative and keep things interesting. Roll with the changes and use them to help make your event stand out even more. After all, your guests will be more relaxed if they know you’re enjoying the party as much as they are. Use our tips for hosting brunch to get started then put on a smile, have fun, and serve yourself up an extra slice of cake. You deserve it!