Breakfast parties can be very fun — they’re less formal than dinner parties, and you can tailor them to your needs. You might have a breakfast party the morning after an old-fashioned girls’ sleep-over, or you may entertain formally. Breakfast parties can even work for business opportunities!
The menu and the atmosphere are very important. No matter how formal or informal, there should be an air of relaxation: it’s the beginning of the day, so there shouldn’t be any stress or any of the same “attitude” that you may find at a dinner party. You can create this atmosphere through dress, table setting, and food.
A note on dress: for more formal parties, you should wear typical business clothes. The exception to this is if you’re having the breakfast party on weekends. Then, more casual wear is acceptable (but not “beach” wear or “lay around the house” clothes — think casual but nice pants and a nice shirt instead of a business suit). If you’re having friends over, you may decide to wear pajamas (and encourage your friends to do so, too). Lounging pajamas are very nice, and appropriate enough for a party (as opposed to some forms of ‘pajamas’). Flannel nightgowns or even cute “children’s pajamas” in adult sizes can be fun for girls’ sleepovers that precede breakfast parties.
As far as food goes, make sure you serve fresh foods and a mix of sweet and savory. You don’t want anything too heavy or formal for the breakfast party. Here are some suggestions: omelets or frittata, waffles, fresh fruit, sausage/bacon, breakfast casserole (sometimes consists of hash browns and ham with a cheesy sauce), hash browns, crepes, juice, coffee, and tea. If you’re not offering waffles or some other “bread” type food, make sure you offer bread in another form. You may choose to offer muffins, croissants, coffee cake, or other popular breakfast bread.
The best way to serve the food is to lay it out and allow people to help themselves — either buffet style or family style (buffet for formal, family for informal). Some people will eat a lot for breakfast; others will be fine with some fruit and coffee. Allow people to choose whatever they want, in any combination.
If you are setting the table, which you should do for anything even semi-formal, make sure that you have set it with a large plate (for waffles, omelets, and other main dishes), a small plate (for muffins, etc.), a fork, a spoon, a knife (you don’t need two forks because there’s no salad course), a mug, and a glass (some people will want juice and coffee). Layout napkins with all of this; cloth if you have them are going for a more formal arrangement. Don’t use place cards for a breakfast party; choosing your own seat adds to the relaxed environment.
Breakfast parties should be around 8 – 10 a.m. Anything earlier is too early to be polite, and anything later is more brunch/lunch than breakfast. Invite friends with a simple phone call or email; send written invitations to business contacts or for any formal party.
Once people begin arriving, allow them to immediately select a beverage and “appetizer” type foods — that is, muffins, croissants, etc. Wait until everyone has arrived before serving the “main” foods. Encourage your guests to select a place at the table and settle in to chat. If you’re having a business breakfast party, don’t start the meeting until everyone’s there and has gotten their food. Some people even prefer to wait until most of the eating is done before beginning the meeting.
Have fun with your breakfast parties — they are very effective and fun!Have fun