15 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Brunch

Photo (cc) by seanmasn

Brunch — the popular breakfast/lunch hybrid — is meant to be shared with family and friends. But without a little proper planning, hosting what is arguably the best meal of the day can be fraught with panic and peril.

Following are 15 tips for serving up an easy, enjoyable and stress-free midmorning meal.

1. Get the invites right

13394378815_25cc982e69_k

Inviting more guests generally means more work, so keep your list to a manageable number.

Send out invites about 10 days in advance and include an RSVP date so friends and family members have time to check their schedules, and you have an accurate head count.

And don’t forget to send out email or text reminders a few days beforehand.

2. Don’t blow your budget

4113102001_65dc33d25e_b

Decide how much you want to spend on brunch and stay within budget. Plan your menu the week beforehand so you can check store ads and see which ingredients will be on sale.

And don’t forget to clip those coupons. Racking up big savings should help you keep stress at bay.

3. Know your guests

8024982062_223ffcd09c_k

Ask your invitees about their likes, dislikes and any food allergies. Nothing induces panic quite like scrambling to prepare a last-minute vegan entrée — not to mention having to tear your cabinets apart in search of an EpiPen!

4. Keep it simple

304499218_648c5d2e70_b

Center your menu on seasonal ingredients, and avoid preparing foods with overly complicated recipes.

Also limit the number of dishes you offer. A good rule of thumb: Serve fruit, salad, something savory and something sweet. Also, don’t forget to stock up on ice.

5. Supplement with prepared foods

6652232133_8f5fa5380f_b

Your guests probably aren’t expecting you to make everything from scratch. So, unless you have an inordinate amount of time on your hands, choose a few dishes that you enjoy cooking and leave the rest to your local grocery store, specialty market and/or bakery.

6. Make a list

5750960959_529a1a70b4_b

Organization is key when hosting a successful gathering. Write down everything you have to do in preparation for the brunch so you won’t accidentally overlook anything. Crossing off tasks as you go will help you stay on track and feel a sense of accomplishment.

7. Stock up on serving pieces

3521595595_ea5397ae6a_b

Finding out that you don’t have enough plates, bowls and large platters on the morning of your brunch will send you scrambling. Instead, determine how many serving pieces you’ll need ahead of time so you can buy or borrow them well in advance of the big day.

8. Get a head start

3668547763_24ae3b3361_b

If possible, prepare dishes and set the table the night before. This will free up your morning to focus on all of those last-minute tasks that inevitably arise.

While you’re heating up your award-winning recipes in the morning, take a few minutes to empty the dishwasher. Then, fill it as you go and prevent plates from piling up in the sink or on the counter.

9. Keep the décor doable

5995945040_3d3bfa319c_b

Don’t overthink your table arrangement. Nothing says brunch like a simple bouquet of fresh flowers. If you feel the desire to make place cards, try to avoid overly complicated decorations. This will help keep your stress level from soaring.

10. Double check your restroom

2446658962_58cfc8813f_b

Avoid awkward conversations by making sure your guests have plenty of toilet paper, soap and clean hand towels. You want them to remember the good company and great food, not that time they had to hunt you down for the hand soap.

11. Go buffet all the way

3521600189_8f5f5f0a44_b

There’s a reason why buffets are so popular. People like to help themselves to heaping servings of their favorite foods while avoiding other offerings altogether.

Setting up a self-serve station takes some responsibility off your shoulders, and allows you to eat alongside guests rather than attending to them. Just keep an eye on your food supply and replenish as needed.

12. Keep the coffee coming

3322167773_b9825236a3_b

Some guests require seemingly endless amounts of fuel, and you don’t want to disappoint them. So make sure you have plenty of java, cream, nondairy creamer and sugar on hand, and serve up the coffee hot and often. This is practically guaranteed to keep the conversation flowing.

13. Bust out the booze

5382276425_bb6a1fc930_b

Brunch and alcohol have become somewhat synonymous. We’re not insisting that you provide liquor with your midmorning meal, but you know your guests. If they enjoy an occasional drink, consider brunch-time classics, such as mimosas, Bellinis and Bloody Marys.

Set up a bar area so they can help themselves to libations.

14. Put your pals to work

2356699091_dfb0fc6d1d_b

If guests offer to bring a dish, let them. If they want to help out, give them a simple task like slicing fruit or refilling the ice bucket. Draw the line at allowing them to wash dishes. Nobody enjoys washing dishes.

15. Be flexible

20784999984_1968a299cf_k

Things happen. People get sick at the last minute and there’s always someone who simply forgot to RSVP.

The power of positive thinking — deciding that you’re not going to let certain events upset you — can go a long way toward preventing a meltdown so you can have a fabulous time.

Do you have any tips for a relaxing brunch? Share them in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over
These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over

Buy reusable versions of these household items, and you won’t have to spend another dime on them for years.

This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less
4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less

Here’s how to ditch cable and satellite TV — and save a bundle — without giving up your favorite shows.

17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life
17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life

We’ve rounded up must-have products to help you get your ducks in a row.

10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors
10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors

These schools let retirement-age students study, tuition-free, while earning college credit.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.