After the crazy pace of the holidays, it’s nice to take a breather and kick back with friends — and the playoffs are a perfect excuse to host. But to plan a great party, you don’t need to memorize the playbook. Just follow our five easy steps, brought to you by Evite in partnership with Qdoba, and you’ll be sure to win MVP (Most Valuable Partier)!
Step 1: Plan your offense
Start with a brainstorming session. Jot down everything you’ll need to do for the party, from sending invitations and shopping for groceries to swabbing the bathroom. Put the to-dos into your calendar so you have time blocked off to accomplish everything. Now you know you’re buying the beer on Wednesday, for example, and picking up ice on Saturday, instead of freaking out 10 minutes before everyone shows up because you forgot to get cups.
Step 2: Draft some players
You can’t win a trophy for hosting a party, so don’t worry, it’s not cheating if you hire some help. Bring in a babysitter to watch small kids during the party so you can focus on socializing and watching the game. Hire a neighborhood teen to tackle tasks like keeping the appetizer trays filled and loading and unloading the dishwasher. If your budget allows, hire a housecleaning service to do a deep cleaning a day or two before the party. Then all you’ll have to do on game day is straighten up a bit.
Step 3: Hut, hut…eat!
Why bother making food when you can have it delivered? A restaurant offering catering can easily feed a crowd. The main event (such as Qdoba’s Hot Taco Bar or Chicken and Steak Naked Burrito® Bar) should be set out on a centrally located table. Tempting snacks (such as Qdoba’s 3-Cheese Queso or Hand-Smashed Guacamole) should go in several spots near the seating so no one misses any on-screen action.
Step 4: Bench the team
Not enough chairs? Relax — you can rent just about anything you’ll need, from extra seating to drink tubs, coolers and folding tables for the buffet. Better yet, most party rental companies will deliver and pick up too. While you’re at it, you can even impress your friends by renting a fun extra, like a margarita machine or popcorn cart — score!
Step 5: Set up a drink zone
Train your dog to get beer out of the fridge for everyone (kidding!). But don’t play bartender all day. Instead, set up a drink station with coolers or galvanized tubs filled with ice and beer. Offer bottled water and sports drinks, too, for hydration. If you want to get fancy, set out the makings for Bloody Marys and let everyone mix one themselves.