If you’re looking for easy birthday dinner ideas, dining out can be one of the easiest ways to go. Of course, a simple meal at a restaurant may not seem special enough on its own, so you’ll want to add a few special touches to your special occasion. Whether you need birthday dinner ideas for men or women, paying attention to the following can help celebrate a loved one’s birthday in style.
Picking the Right Restaurant
When poring over your restaurant choices, you’ll need to consider food and ambience. Depending on how far in advance you’re planning the birthday party, reservations may be a consideration as well.
- Food: Since the birthday boy/girl is the guest of honor, you should select a restaurant that caters to his or her tastes. However, it’s also important to consider the other guests as well. Fortunately, most restaurants offer a wide variety of dishes so most folks should be able to settle on a dish whether you end up in a steak house or a sushi bar.
- Ambience: The atmosphere of the restaurant can really make or break your attempt at a birthday party. You don’t want a place that’s too quiet, where other patrons may find your revelries distracting or annoying. But then, you should also avoid a place that’s so loud that conversation becomes difficult. Whether you settle on an old favorite or decide to try out something new, make sure you know ahead of time what to expect.
- Reservations: For smaller parties, it’s usually acceptable to make your reservations just a few days in advance, or even show up without a reservation and simply wait for a table. However, if you’re planning on a large guest list, you should make your reservation as early as possible (at least a week or two in advance, or more for a particularly popular restaurant). Not only will this ensure that you get to celebrate at the restaurant of your choice, but the staff will have plenty of time to help you organize and plan for the birthday party.
Making It a Personal Experience
One of the drawbacks to having a birthday party in a public venue like a restaurant is that privacy becomes an issue. However, with a little effort, you can set your party apart from the rest of the crowd and make the birthday celebration a personal experience.
- When booking your reservation, ask if the restaurant has a banquet room or a large table off to the side that will provide a modicum of separation from the rest of the crowd.
- Consider adding personal touches to the table, like place cards or other decorations. However, you should check with the manager on duty first, to make sure this is allowed.
- Once you’ve cleared it with the restaurant, fill a few low vases with the guest of honor’s favorite flowers and place them along the table. If the birthday boy/girl doesn’t have a favorite flower, choose flowers in his or her favorite color instead.
- If your party planning includes seating arrangements, make sure you place close family and friends nearest the guest of honor at the head of the table.
Bringing the Cake
Most restaurants won’t object to you bringing your own birthday cake and, in fact, many will even keep it safe in the kitchen until you’re ready for them to bring it out. However, it is still a good idea to mention this to the restaurant host or manager when you’re making the reservation, to avoid any unexpected complications.
Handling the Presents
The way you handle gifts for the birthday boy/girl can depend largely on the rest of the plans for the evening and the nature of your venue. For instance, you may have a safe place to pile gifts when you’ve got a private room at the restaurant, but gift bags and boxes can take up quite a bit of room on the table when the staff is scrambling to accommodate your party at the last minutes. An easy way to fix this common birthday dilemma is to pad the number of guests you tell the restaurant host when your party arrives. Even having a single extra chair at the table can help to create the space you’ll need to keep presents safely out of the way until after the meal. If everyone is heading back to your place for after-dinner drinks, you can let the guests know that you’ll do present time there.