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With the holidays right around the corner many of us will be planning parties and get-togethers, but often times prepping meals, hiring caterers and even knowing where to start can be downright stressful. We met up with the crew at Hyatt Regency Hotel to get some insider tips.

“When you are creating a menu for your event is to really think about your attendees. Think about their expectations. Think about how you can exceed their expectations” says Amy McIntosh, Associate Director of Events at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

In 2018 alone the hotel has served about 160,000 meals and now they are sharing their insider secrets for planning an Instagram-worthy event.

“Think about the space that you are in. Do you have enough space to seat 100% of your guests. What’s the purpose of your event.”

Amy says first things first purpose, is it a ceremonial event where guests need to be seated or is mingling encouraged.

“That’s really going to dictate what kind of food service you do. Wether you do a plated dinner or stations.”

And when it comes to food, there are plenty creative options.

Amy says “One of the things we like to do, Texas shaped pancakes. This is super easy to do. This is a great time to experiment and go outside of the norm from what people are doing in their homes. This is a fun take on a salad. It’s vegan. We made sure that the dressing we are going to pair with this is gluten free. This is our take on a chili relleno with heirloom carrots and brussel sprouts.”

But no matter the meal Amy says ask for allergens ahead of time.

“Make sure that you are trying to capture those allergies before they arrive. So in your invitations, and this is important. Ask about dietary restrictions, not preferences.”

And make your event extra fun, by adding an experience, like a cold brew coffee bar.

“Whether you have this equipment or not I think it’s really important to have something your attendees can talk about. Whether that be an action station or a make your own drink station. This is obviously instagram worthy and a talking piece” says Amy.

And finally, she says do not forget dessert!

“And then afterwards and elaborate dessert station. Desserts are back. Like if you aren’t going to be indulgent at an event like this then when are you going to be? Let this be your cheat meal!”

Amy also suggests getting ideas from Pinterest when planning and if you’re hiring a caterer show them what you like!