With spring already in the air, your thoughts have probably turned to delicious meals enjoyed in the outdoors.

Here are a few handy tips to help make the experience smooth and enjoyable, even for those doing the catering…

Keep it simple

The best outdoor spreads are about having fun and enjoying the ambience, so don’t get too wound up planning an elaborate menu. The more you can prepare ahead of the time the better, so you’re free to enjoy the party too. Even some dishes which need to be assembled on the day can be prepped ahead, so things like veggie chopping, meat defrosting and more can all be handled before the big day. If you’re heading out for a picnic, this has the added advantage of requiring you to carry less around with you, too.

Avoid nature’s downsides

Beach sand in the sandwiches? Bees buzzing around the dessert? A little forethought and some smart tweaking should be enough to head off the most irritating facets of outdoor dining. From packing a few extra insect-covers [or napkins, in a pinch] and a citronella candle, to ensuring your menu isn’t one that encourages sandy hands to reach into the main dish over and over [yay for toothpicks and single-serve eats], you can keep things on track and moving smoothly. Throw in a pack of baby wipes too – easier and more effective than any napkin, and great to handle spills too.

Not only will your outdoor function run more smoothly, but you’ll have more time to make memories there too! It’s a win-win.

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