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How to Build a Grazing Party

Grazing parties—designed to replace a traditional meal with a variety of appetizers and drinks—allow your guests to "graze" on bite-sized samples as they move from station to station. The keys to a great party are pre-planning and plenty of options. Here are our Catering team's tips to make it easy and fun.

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Plan Your Menu

based on 3-5 appetizers per guest per hour—10-15 total each

Serve foods with creamy and crunchy textures, hot and cold temps, lighter and heartier, contrasting flavors.

Save time and effort­—serve a mix of homemade and prepared items.

You'll need about 3 beverage servings per person. Make sure you have plenty of ice.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Hostess Tip: One-bite, ready-to-serve, and easy make-aheads let you enjoy the party, too.

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Organize Your Space

Keep décor simple—the food is the star.

Offer small plates and cocktail napkins at each station.

Arrange stations for easy traffic flow and mingling.

Save fridge space by icing wines and beers in bowls.

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Set Up Your Stations

Food - Vary the tastes, textures, and temperatures of foods and beverages.

Drinks - Offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages at a separate station. Open wines about 1 hour ahead. Wine bottles contain about 5 glasses, plan accordingly. Many guests like coffee with desserts; brew plenty and don't forget sweeteners and cream.

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