Preparing for Guests

Amanda and I love having friends come stay with us. In fact, we have some friends coming to stay with us this weekend. This got me thinking about how I usually prepare for guests on the food & beverage side of things. My Grandma taught me that there is no faux pas worse than not having enough food or drinks for guests.

I thought it would be a good idea to get my checklist down on paper.


  • How many meals should I prepare for and how many are we likely to eat out?
  • Do our guests have any dietary restrictions or strong preferences?
  • Do I have enough snacks for between meals or late-night game playing and conversation? My go-tos are:
    • Fresh fruit (Apples, bananas, pears)
    • Cheese, crackers, and charcuterie
    • Nuts (cashews or almonds)
    • Olives
    • Kind Bars
    • Popcorn sprinkled with Mural of Flavor
  • Do I have breakfast ingredients? Not everyone fasts until noon like I do. I usually make a large breakfast skillet or some breakfast bowls. I also keep some bread around for toast. Other times I like to make a large frittata.
  • What can I make ahead of time to make meals at home easier? My go-tos are:
    • Soups. Easy to make and freeze a week ahead of time and easy to heat up. Have some crusty bread to heat up on the side and we are good to go.
    • Carnitas. Today I’m making a big batch of carnitas in the crock pot that I’ll strain and crisp up in the oven before putting them in the fridge. This makes whipping together a quick lunch fast and easy.
    • Cutting, seasoning, vacuum sealing, and freezing meats ahead of time to toss in the sous vide. Then I can quickly roast vegetables for a side.
    • If I start pizza dough three days in advance, making pizza is a fun and delicious group activity.
  • Do I have dessert options? They don’t need to be elaborate. Scones or cookies work well!
  • Do we have flowers for the table? Making the table a more pleasant place to be is important.



  • Do I have enough coffee beans?
    • Do my guests take milk or sweetener in their coffee?
    • Do I have grass-fed butter and MCT for the people who prefer Bulletproof coffee?
  • Do I have different varieties of tea for people who prefer tea?
  • Do I have enough ice for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks?
  • Should I make a double batch of iced coffee if it is hot out?
  • Do I need to walk down to Yonkers Brewing and get a growler? Do my guests like hoppy, sour, or full-bodied beer?
  • Do I have enough citrus for juice and garnishing cocktails?
  • Do I have at least one interesting cocktail I should introduce my guests to?
  • Do I have Pellegrino and wine to serve with meals?
  • Do I have orange juice available for breakfast?