Apr 23

Potluck Rules

I was just at a potluck brunch over the weekend that was quite a bit of fun. I met some fantastic women and Facebook-friended one so far. As far as my mission this year to make more friends, this really helped it pay off.

There are a couple of rules to potlucks though that I think everyone should follow. If you ever catch yourself organizing one, definitely do the following, it can make your final table much more interesting:

1. Organize what everyone is bringing, to keep people from bringing the same thing. If two people bring a dozen muffins for eight people, everyone will be muffined-out.

2. Tell people not to bring drinks or desserts. Everyone wants to be the person to bring the dessert or the soda. Someone will ignore you completely and bring them anyway, so you don’t have to worry about not having any. But what you will have is an actual dinner and not just a bunch of dessert.

3. Do not worry about having enough food. If you ask people to cook for four, they’ll generally cook for more than that. I’ve never been to a potluck where there wasn’t a massive amount of food left over, even if 50 people were there and some brought nothing. The trick is to minimize, not maximize.

4. Some people won’t bring anything. It might be because they are a mooch, or perhaps they can’t boil water. If they come empty-handed, they need to contribute something. Whether it’s a story, help at the end cleaning up for those that cooked, or sent out for party favors. It keeps moochers from mooching and helps those who can’t cook calm.

These are just simple steps people can take to avoid potluck snafus and have a great party.


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