6 Tips For Planning Your Birthday Meal

My birthday is right around the corner and I'm wanting to go out and have a meal with some of my closest friends and family. It sounds like an amazing idea, but then the details come into play and it has been leaving me with more stress than excitement.

I can really see why people enjoy surprise parties more, as then the onus isn't on you to do the planning. But should you be planning your own birthday party? The answer is, I guess, sometimes. Gone are those years where mum and dad throw a tea party at home and you have soggy sandwiches and cake, and here come the grown up party where we drink gin and eat a 3 course meal.

So, since I'm actually planning my birthday meal out for next month, I thought I'd give a few tips, to ease the burden, when it comes to planning a birthday meal.

Keep the numbers as small as possible
Nothing is more stressful than showing up somewhere with a lot of people, all wanting different things. All that time it takes to serve a huge party food, split the bill and sort drinks etc is time wasted, so just pick a handful of close friends and family to be manageable and easy for the restaurant to cope with too. Click here if you want to easily find restaurants in your area that can cater to your numbers. SquareMeal have recently had a revamp and booking a restaurant has now never been easier by using their website. 

Choose a bigger restaurant with space
The problem with booking in advance for large groups, is that some restaurants will ask for your card, and a deposit. What happens when someone cancels at the last minute? Well, you are left footing the bill for them not turning up. There are always going to be people who don't show up and when those numbers change you don't have to keep updating your reservation and adjusting. 

Tell everyone to arrive 30 minutes before the meal
I'm sure we all have those friends that are always late for everything. When there are a few of you though, you can't be waiting around in a restaurant, taking up valuable table space, waiting for the last guests to arrive. Just give your guests and yourself that little time to make sure everyone arrives in good time and ready to order together. 

Don't keep your guests waiting
As above, make sure you are on time too. The whole thing about being fashionably late is not cute when people are taking the time to celebrate you and don't always have loads of time to spare. 

Request everyone to bring cash
The worst part of the meal is splitting the bill. Do the guests want to split the bill evenly or will someone kick off that their starter was cheaper than someone elses so they should pay less? But if you are splitting the bill, make it easier for your server and ask your guests to bring cash. Can you imagine the time it takes to process loads of different card payments for one table? And if someone is a little budget restricted, make sure they know to request separate bill so they don;t feel obliged to spend more. 

Lastly, enjoy your day
Choose a place you love with food that you love. Don't stress about your guests and who will or wont turn up. Choose your favourite outfit, order that extra large gin and tonic, and enjoy the night with your favourite people!


  1. I love these tips!!

  2. Cheers - so hard to keep numbers low - hugh family