Whether you're celebrating a birthday party, hosting a sports event, or simply getting together with a bunch of old friends, throwing a pizza celebration is an excellent option that's sure to satisfy everyone's hunger in a casual environment that is free of stress. Pizzerias offer guests a wide range of food options and the freedom to move about in a large area to play enjoy games, play a game of cards, or even engage in karaoke events depending on the features available at your pizza parlor.
Hosting a successful pizza event for a large group of people of which some have special dietary needs can be overwhelming without a little planning and preparation put into place ahead of time. These tips and tricks should help putting together a pizza event for guests with diet restrictions less stressful and more successful overall:
Triple the Choices
As one of the most popular pizza toppings across the United States, pepperoni is sure to be a star on your party's menu. The problem with pepperoni is that it won't make your vegetarian guests very happy, so you'll want to make sure that every pizza is not topped with pepperoni or other meats. Cheese is also another popular pizza topping, and in fact most folks can't imagine enjoying a piece without it. Yet those who are intolerant of dairy may not be able to enjoy even one slice of pizza if cheese is on it all without having to face uncomfortable side effects.
So when ordering pizza for your part, triple the choices to meet the diet needs of most everyone on your guest list. Consider ordering a cheesy pepperoni pie and then mimic the theme in two other unique ways. For example you can replace the pepperoni with mushrooms on one pizza to maintain the meaty texture as well as please the vegetarians, and order a pizza free of cheese yet loaded with veggies for those who can't enjoy cheese. The pizzeria may be willing to crush some pine nuts to sprinkle over the cheese-free pizza for a richer and more textured outcome.
Focus on Salad
Salad isn't typically a mainstay at pizza parties, but it can be a real advantage when the guest list includes many people with diet restrictions. By making sure that the pizzeria sets up a fresh salad bar or provides several large bowls of tossed salad for your table, those who aren't able or choose not to eat any pizza can still fill up on colorful plates full of fruit, greens, veggies, and creamy dressings. Making plenty of salad available should also help to fill up and satisfy those who may want to indulge in a piece of pizza but who also pay attention to the effects of eating lots of processed meats and cheeses. It's a good idea to encourage conscious eating overall by planning your pizza and salad menu to provide equal amounts of each for every guest you're hosting.
Save on Refreshments
Most people are aware of the empty calories in soda and alcohol, so they likely won't mind if there is not an open refreshment bar to take advantage of during your pizza party. Consider providing coupons for each guest that's good for two drinks each and ask the pizzeria to keep the water pitchers at your party table filled. This tactic ensures that everyone can enjoy a soda or glass of wine with their pizza and quench their thirst with water otherwise. It's a good idea to let guests know how drinks will be served at the party so they can bring along their own cash to buy extras if they desire to do so.
To optimize your pizza party menu and ensure its success, ask a couple of friends of family members with dietary needs to help you plan the pizza toppings, salad dressings, and other food aspects of the event.