For Filipinos, the most traditional and lasting image of Christmas is the Noche Buena, when the entire family sits down at home and eats a lavish dinner of succulent lechon, smoky barbecues, soft puto and a whole lot more. The act of sitting down to eat binds us together, especially if the food is good.

Because of its importance, companies should be ready to splurge for a good meal. However, your food choices will be limited by the venue. You can’t bring a pizza if you reserved tables in a Chinese restaurant. Therefore, the first thing to do is to settle on a place. Here are eight possibilities.

The Company

The Company

The Company

The great advantage of holding the party in your company premises is that it’s easy and convenient for everyone while avoiding some problems down the road. On the other hand, decorating the office or factory may take more effort than it’s worth. Additionally, the ambience might remind your employees too much of work.

A Private Home

A Private Home

A Private Home

A home is always great for a Christmas party. It provides a cozy atmosphere found nowhere else. If your President doesn’t have a place big enough, there are houses that can be rented for the night and some of them have glorious amenities like pools

A Restaurant

A Restaurant

A Restaurant

For food, the restaurant is one of the best venues because everything is right there. They have plenty of space and the waiters can ensure a constant stream of food and drinks. You’ll be limited to meals that the restaurant serves but that’s not a bad if the food is great. 

Boutique Cafés

Boutique Cafés

Boutique Cafés

These are similar to restaurants except they cater to a particular niche such as pets or board games. They are spreading all over the country and automatically offer a memorable experience. Unfortunately, most don’t have the capacity to host hundreds but a small to medium company can fit easily. If you’re considering a pet café, remember to take people’s allergies and asthma into account.

Outdoors

Outdoors

Outdoors

Beaches and parks are unusual but their uniqueness makes them more remarkable. It’s more susceptible to bad weather though so be prepared with tents or other alternatives. 

Cultural Landmarks

Cultural Landmarks

Cultural Landmarks

Holding your Christmas party in a museum or a monument can be great opportunities to link your company with the history of the country. Just remember that you’re surrounded by priceless artifacts so don’t get rowdy.

Charity

Charity

Charity

The best Christmas is shared with the unfortunate. Holding a party in an orphanage, old folks home, or similar locations can be a meaningful party for the employees while doubling as Corporate Social Responsibility activity.

Your final choice will depend on your goal, theme, and budget. But here are some reminders to help you select and arrange a place.

  • Prepare a site visit to check if the venue will suit your needs.
  • Remember the need for accessibility. Everyone needs to be able to get there easily.
  • If you can’t settle on a venue yet, try to temporarily reserve as many as you can. Christmas is a busy season for most places and you need to save a spot early.
  • If an overnight stay is part of the plan, don’t forget to prepare accommodations.
  • If the guest list isn’t final, ask if you can reserve minimum numbers then add more afterwards.
  • Before signing anything, always check the small print for any hidden charges. 

Once you’ve finalized your venue, it’s a bit easier to talk about the food. Generally, there are three choices for meal services for a company party, each with its own pros and cons.

In-house Catering

The term refers to the venue’s own services. In a restaurant, that’s their own waiters and chefs. Some venues only offer their own or provide a list of approved catering services while disallowing anybody else. Because the meals are tied with the venue, this type of catering can be less expensive.

External Catering

External Catering

External Catering

Caterers from outside can provide incredible flexibility. They have a far larger selection of food and can easily offer a menu that suits your party’s theme. Caterers of both types can often be counted on to help with theming the event with decorations.

Potluck

Potluck

Potluck

If your budget is small or your goal for the party includes employee participation, a potluck can be a great way to provide food – but especially drinks. Setting and cleaning up will be harder without the added help from the caterers but disposable cups and paper plates make things easier.

Similar to the venue, choosing between the three will depend on your goal, theme, and budget. These will even affect your decision on whether to arrange a buffet or a three-course meal.

Party Drinks

Party Drinks

But some words about drinks.

Alcohol is a double-edged sword. They can make celebrations more fun but they can also cause trouble and driving accidents. Here are some suggestions, if you’re worried about employees getting drunk.

  • Give your employees drink tickets. Make sure that they can’t be traded and declare that drinking more requires shelling out cash – a declaration that also reduces your budget.
  • Authorize whoever is controlling the drinks to stop pouring for people who are getting out of control.
  • Set a part of your budget on taxi or rideshare services.

With a little foresight, it’s easy to keep drinking mishaps down to zero.

It’s easy to overlook the importance of a comfy ambience and a hearty meal in a Christmas party. They’re not often the things that people remember. But like good manners, their absence will be talked about.

With the venue and food prepared, it’s time to move on to other details. Read about them on the next installment of our series.

Previous installments are in our blogs backlog!