Making a (Grocery) List and Checking it Twice

We are about a week away from the biggest DLM party of the year—our annual, sold out Food & Wine Show, where DLM Springboro transforms into a foodie’s paradise, with wine and food stations throughout the store. As you can imagine, to pull this off, organization is key. From my experience, the key to a successful party, whether you are throwing a dinner party for 5 or a major event for 500+ people, is the humble list and time that you spend upfront mapping everything out. Here are my top 5 tips for making a list that’ll set you up for success (trust me on this).

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  1. Check your list twice. Nothing is more frustrating than finally getting ready to prep and start cooking and realize that you forgot something and have to go back out in the midst of crunch-time.  So check that list (twice), as you have a lot on your mind and it’s easy to make a mistake.
  2. More is never a bad thing. The beauty of a list is that it keeps you focused, both mentally and budget-wise. But if there’s a step in your recipe that’s easy to mess up, do yourself a favor and grab two.
  3. You need more than one list. Sure there is the “grocery” list, but have you thought out the other aspects that go into pulling off your event? For our annual Food and Wine Show, I have several lists that I check over more than I care to admit. Naturally, there is the ingredient list, then comes the rest: A list for each of our featured stations, an equipment list, an associate list, an hors ’d oeuvre list, a prep-by-day list, and finally, a by-the-hour list of what needs done and when. Whew! It’s a lot of lists, but it keeps everyone on task and keeps me almost sane.
  4. Cross it off. Now for the best part … checking things off your list. Geeky as all get out, I love my highlighter. Because it means once something is done, it’s off the list.
  5. Say “yes” to offers to help. At home, your family and friends want to help you pull off your event, just like at work, associates stop and ask me, “What can I do?”  By all means, grab your list and give them something to do! Without my list, I have to stop and think about what needs done still, and that can be overwhelming as it takes more time to sort through my thoughts then to just do it myself. Working as a team is not only fun, but incredibly satisfying when it’s all said and done. Food makes people happy and isn’t that why we are in the kitchen in the first place?

OK, now for the last item on the list: Who is doing all the dishes?