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Planning a Restaurant Baby Shower

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A popular option these days is to host a baby shower at a restaurant. With so many different types of eateries out there, you’re certain to find one that suits your style and budget: intimate cafe, steak house, French bistro, pizza parlor, Japanese noodle shop, Mexican taqueria, etc.

When planning a restaurant baby shower, consider whether there’s a party room or a separate area that can be cordoned off for more privacy and intimacy. Survey the room and determine if there’s a place to arrange gifts and open presents. While games aren’t necessary, if you want to play them, make sure there’s enough space. It’s also a good idea to consider location, parking, and public transportation. Is the venue easy for guests to find and is there a place for them to park their car? And don’t forget to make sure that restrooms are adequate.

Food, of course, is likely to be the focus of this type of baby shower. So pay special attention to the menu. If you haven’t dined there before, sample the food before making your final decision. You can serve food in one of two ways: sit-down or buffet. If you opt for a sit-down meal, consider giving guests a choice of two or three dishes rather than allowing them to order off the main menu.

Once you’ve picked a restaurant, nail down the details — preferably in writing. A contract for a restaurant event should include:

  • Date of the baby shower
  • Start and end time
  • Area of the restaurant that you’ve reserved
  • Menu
  • Cost (this may be an estimate or minimum, and may be priced per person)
  • Amount of deposit
  • Deadline for final guest count
  • Special requests (e.g., flowers or candles for the tables; sound system to play music)
  • Cancellation policy (this is especially important in case the baby comes early!)

Finally, to avoid confusion or awkwardness at the end of a baby shower, let the manager know who should be presented with the bill at the end of the event or arrange to pay in advance. Also ask about the tipping policy (gratuities are often included automatically on large parties).

While hosting a baby shower at a restaurant may seem like an expensive option compared to a home shower, what you save in time and energy — not to mention the cost of buying decorations, renting tables and chairs, and purchasing food — can make it worthwhile.

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