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Your Guide to Wedding Invitations

TooJay's Wedding Catering

Nine essential wedding invitation tips

How many people should I invite? When should I send the wedding invitations? Do I need a save-the-day invite? Should I go with paper or digital invites? How should they look? How long should I give people to RSVP?

The wedding invitation might be small in size but it’s a big deal when you’re getting married. The invitation can make or break the party – if people don’t know about your wedding, they can’t come! 

To point you in the right direction, this guide answers all your most pressing questions about wedding invitations. Keep reading for tips on how to invite your loved ones to your big day. 

1. Stick with paper for a classy affair

Paper wedding invitations are the classic option. They give your guests a physical notification of your wedding that they can put on their fridge or the counter. Digital invites may not give the same formal vibe. 

If you’re limited on time, don’t have people’s physical addresses, or want to be more eco-conscious, digital wedding invitations can work just fine but you need to make sure that everyone can access your invitations including your Great-Aunt Sandy or Grandma Betty who doesn’t own a computer. 

2. Include all the relevant details

Whether you opt for paper or digital, your wedding invitations should be a one-stop-shop for all the information guests need about your big day. The main part of the invitation should include your names, the time of the ceremony, and the location. Then, add details to the information card.

This insert should tell guests about pre-and post-wedding events. It should note the time and address of the reception, information on hotel accommodations, and anything else you think is relevant. 

3. Decide if you want to include registry details

Traditionally, including registry details on your invitations is considered to be an etiquette faux pas – it looks like you’re asking for gifts. However, if there are no details, a guest is supposed to bring a gift to the wedding so including registry details can make shopping a lot easier.

Ultimately, you decide whether or not you want to include your registry details. One workaround is to set up a wedding website. There are lots of platforms that can help you set up a site for free and your wedding website serves as a hub for all the information people need about your wedding.

Simply add the URL of the wedding website to the information card in your invitation. Then, put the registry details in a prominent spot on your site. This approach lets guests know where you’ve registered and allows you to avoid putting the registry information on your invitation.

4. Note the dress code

You don’t want half your guests to show up in Bermuda shorts and the rest to show up in tuxedos and gowns. To ensure everyone is on the same page, note the dress code on the information card. The typical options are black tie, cocktail attire, and casual. 

In the absence of a specific label, most people assume that weddings are cocktail attire but your venue can also dictate the attire. People who are invited to a wedding on the beach, for example, are more likely to show up in casual clothes than those who’ve been invited to a ceremony in a cathedral followed by a reception at a hotel ballroom.

5. Send the wedding invitations early

Ideally, you should send your wedding invitations about eight weeks before your big day. If you’re having a destination wedding, aim for 12 weeks before the wedding. Waiting later can work if you’re having a small ceremony but keep in mind that people may not be able to come if you don’t let them know until the last minute.

6. Include an RSVP card

Make sure to include an RSVP card. RSVP is an acronym for the French phrase “Repondez, s’il vous plaît” which means “respond please,” and you need people to RSVP so that you can have a headcount for your venue and your caterers.

Be sure to include a stamped addressed envelope for the RSVPs. If you forget the stamp, people won’t be able to respond as easily and you’ll find yourself following up on way too many invites. Alternatively, with both paper and digital wedding invitations, you can include a phone number, an email address, or a website where people can RSVP. 

7. Be clear about who’s invited

On the invitation, very clearly note who you want to come to the wedding. If you want to invite a couple without their kids, only note their names on the invitation. Prefer to include the whole family? Then, write “Mr. and Mrs. Jones and family” or “Bob and Stacy Johnson with Maddie, Taylor, and Oliver”.

For your single friends, note their name and “plus one” if you want them to bring a date. You can also write their partner’s name if you know it. Inviting single friends on their own is perfectly acceptable if you have limited space.

8. Add the right start time

Noting a late start time can be tempting if you want everyone to be early but most people know that they need to show up before the ceremony starts. Put the correct time on the invitation or put in two times: when the guests should arrive and when the ceremony starts.

9. Announce the big day with a save-the-day card

A save-the-day announcement puts your wedding on people’s radars so that they can plan. These announcements are particularly important if you’re inviting people who need to travel, arrange time off work, or save money for the wedding. 

Send your save-the-day cards six to eight months before the wedding. You only need to include your names, the date, and the city of the location. You don’t have to include specific times or venues, just the basics.

Contact TooJay’s for wedding catering

Now that you know the essentials of wedding invitations, you’re ready to plan the rest of your big day, and choosing the right food is a critical part of the process. Let us handle the catering – at TooJay’s, our extensive catering menu includes a bit of something for everybody. 

Whether you want hors d’oeuvres, platters, hot entrees, brunch for a morning affair, tasty wedding cakes, or something else, we can help you out. Contact us today to talk about your wedding menu.

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Haunt Your House With a Spooktacular Halloween Party This Year!

TooJay's Halloween Party Deli Catering

9 fun ideas for a family-friendly Halloween party

Key takeaways:

  • Try an iconic witch’s theme
  • Buy blacklights for glow-in-the-dark fun 
  • Have a costume contest
  • Play classic Halloween party games
  • Set up a photo booth
  •  Get scary with a haunted house
  • Don’t forget the food

A Halloween party can be a great way to unwind after trick-or-treating or be the perfect family-friendly alternative to trick-or-treating. You can invite the whole neighborhood for an open house or have a small bash with close friends and family. This holiday has been providing families with fun for hundreds of years and there are all kinds of ways to make your party spooktacular! 

The best Halloween party is one that’s fun for both kids and adults. Spooky decor, a costume contest, the right soundtrack – all of these combine to create an epic October bash. Just throw in some delicious catering from TooJay’s and your party is set. 

We want to help you plan the best Halloween party ever and to get the creative juices flowing, we put together this list of ideas. Grab your broomsticks and hold onto your hats – here we go!

1. Witches and warlocks

Devote your party to an iconic witch theme. Tell guests to dress as witches or warlocks. Play witchy movies like “The Witches,” “Hocus Pocus,” or “Gretel and Hansel.” Old episodes of “Bewitched” are fun if you prefer to have a more family-friendly atmosphere. Complete the theme with cauldrons full of dry ice that make mysterious vapor, witch hats, brooms, and black cats. 

2. Glow-in-the-dark shenanigans

Adults and kids alike enjoy the rave-like atmosphere of a glow-in-the-dark party. Invest in some black lights and kill the regular lights. Give guests glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark necklaces, put on some spooky tunes, and dance the night away. Buy white shirts and let guests paint them with glow-in-the-dark paint as an activity. 

3. Costume contest with prizes galore

Dressing up is half (or maybe most) of the fun of Halloween and a costume contest recognizes your guests’ efforts. Don’t just give out one prize – hold a contest with a variety of categories like “scariest,” “cutest,” “best homemade,” “best couple costume,” “funniest,” and “most original.” The more people who walk away with kudos on their attire, the better.

4. Classic Halloween party games

You can integrate classic Halloween games into your party, regardless of your theme. Fill an old wooden bucket with water and apples for apple bobbing. Have a BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) Party, hand out the knives, and hold a pumpkin carving contest. 

Mummy races are also fun, classic Halloween party games – split up your guests into pairs, hand them each a roll of paper towels, and shout “go” to kick off the race. The object of the game is to see who can wrap up their mummy the fastest.  

5. A scary, funny photo booth

To make sure your party shines on social media and in your guests’ memories, set up a photo booth for capturing fun shoots. 

Drape some black fabric and cobwebs against a wall and complete the scene with a creaky old rocking chair, plastic skeletons, and spooky long-stemmed candles. Give guests a variety of silly and scary props like witch’s hats, clown wigs, wacky glasses, and fake chainsaws. 

All you need to do now is grab the cameras, choose a hashtag, and let the photography begin. A green screen can be extra fun – if you’re tech-savvy, put up a neutral backdrop, have guests pose, and then use your editing software to pop them into scary scenes. 

6. Haunted house ideas

You can turn your whole house into a haunted house or keep the main area for the party and turn the upstairs bedrooms or the basement into your “little shop of horrors.” You can create static displays like a creepy doll room, a room with tanks full of real snakes and tarantulas, and mock graveyards, but interactive displays with actors can be even more fun. 

Getting friends involved can make your haunted house extra scary. Guests can walk into one room to find a mad scientist working on his victim. They can find a witch’s den in the next room open a door to see severed but still talking heads on a table.

Try something a little tamer if you need to keep your party kid-friendly. Peeled grapes that feel like eyeballs, macaroni salad that looks like brains, and fake spiders can provide just the right amount of “gore” for your younger guests.

7. Party crafts

Crafts at your Halloween party give the kids something to do while the adults take a break, especially if you put a teen in charge of the little ones. Here are some easy  party craft ideas for kids:

  • Decorate Halloween cookies
  • Turn balloons and pipe cleaners into spiders
  • Paint coffee cans white and add streamers to make ghosts
  • Make a spooky tree out of old branches and paper bats
  • Paint Halloween trinkets with glow-in-the-dark-paint and put them into mason jars to make funky lanterns

Other activities can also be fun for the rest of your party guests. Set up a scary movie marathon for the teens and bring out board games for the adults. 

8. Trick-or-treating at home

You can trick-or-treat at home if your area doesn’t have a great spot to go or if you just want to give the kids another round after the porch lights go out. Station people with bowls of candy behind all the doors in your house, tape some arrows to the walls to direct traffic, and then tell the trick-or-treaters to start knocking.

No Halloween party is complete without some tasty food to keep the guests happy. Eating sugar all night can turn the kids into little monsters, regardless of what costumes they’re wearing, and adults need fuel to keep themselves going.

9. Tasty catering to round out the fun

TooJay’s Catering can make your party complete once you’ve nailed down your ideas, bought the decorations, and sent out the invites. Let us handle the cooking – our extensive catering menu has a bit of something for everyone, whether you want party hors d’oeuvres like franks in a blanket or vegetable egg rolls, fancy entrees, sandwich platters, or breakfast for the next morning. We also have great desserts, like the TooJay’s Sweets Platter and the Fresh Baked Cookie Platter.

Contact us today to talk about your upcoming Halloween party and we’ll help you make it spooktacular!

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Say Hello to Summer With an Office Barbecue!

TooJay's Deli Platters

Get teambuilding sizzling by hosting a fun office barbecue this summer

The smell of burgers; the taste of freshly-brewed iced tea; the warmth of the sun’s rays; the sound of laughter and music. 

Yep, it’s barbecue season. If summer has you dreaming about grilling up some ribs, cracking open beers with your buds, and cranking up the perfect soundtrack, you’re probably already planning that first barbecue of the year. Maybe you’re planning a whole bunch of barbecues. 

If you love barbecue season, why limit it to the weekend? Forget about the risk of getting BBQ sauce on your business clothes; the office deserves to partake in this perfect summer ritual, too. An office barbecue is a great way to say hello to summer and bring the team together in a relaxed, outdoor setting. Plus, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love an excuse to eat hot dogs and corn on the cob while on the clock? 

Here are eight tips for planning an amazing office barbecue:

  • Pick a location

The first thing you need to do is choose a location. If your office building has a sizable green lawn outside, that’s a great option. Just make sure you get approval from the building manager first. If there’s no outdoor space by your office, look into renting an outdoor venue or hosting your event at a nearby park (often, parks allow you to rent pavilions for free or for a small fee). In this case, ensure that everyone has directions and transportation to the party. 

If you live in a place where summer rain showers are common (like Florida), consider having a backup indoor venue or at least a really good tent to keep everyone dry.

  • Choose a date

The easiest way to make sure everyone can come to the office barbecue is by having it during work hours. If you do that, choose a day of the week when things are usually a little less busy at the office – like Friday afternoon. If you choose to have it on a weekend, you want to make sure everyone can come. 

In either case, ask for input from the team to find a date that works for everyone. Send around a poll that allows the team to vote on dates that work best so you can find a time and a date that the whole crew is happy with.

  • Send out invites

Once you’ve locked down a date and a location, go into marketing mode. Hang flyers at work, add the event to the office Google calendar, and send regular (but not annoying) email reminders. If spouses and/or families are invited, send out a virtual invitation with an RSVP deadline so that you can get a headcount to plan the food options. 

  • Ask about dietary restrictions

Speaking of which, now’s the time for the fun part – the menu! When choosing what to serve at an office barbecue, it’s easy to assume that everyone will be on board with burgers and hot dogs. But what if you’ve got some vegetarians in the office? Or someone with a dairy allergy who would rather not have to pick the cheese off their burger? Or someone who is gluten-free and needs gluten-free buns? 

Ask everyone to email you any allergies, dietary restrictions, or preferences. After all, the office vegans shouldn’t have to subsist on salad alone!

  • Choose activities

While the main activity will be eating delicious food, it’s always fun to make an office barbecue extra special by planning activities. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, you might even plan some team-building activities.

You can also keep it casual by having lawn games around, such as cornhole, croquet, or even volleyball. If the party is being held after dark, you could screen an outdoor movie. Or, plan some ice breaker games that people can play while they’re eating. Think conversation starter-type activities, such as two truths and a lie.

  • Have fun with décor

If the outdoor barbecue is close to a holiday, such as the Fourth of July, you can go patriotic with décor. If not, decorate with red-checkered tablecloths, fresh flowers, and candles. You might even consider showing some workplace pride by decorating with the company logo or colors. If your office barbecue will be outdoors, the natural setting will do most of the work but it’s always nice to jazz it up with string lights, balloons, and table centerpieces.

  • Safety considerations

This will be a fun event but it’s still an office event, so safety considerations are a must! First, ensure that the event is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Offer plenty of seating so no one is forced to be on their feet for too long. You should also offer a shaded area, such as a tent or seating beneath trees. 

Have sunscreen and bug spray on hand. Make water readily available and encourage people to stay hydrated – this is especially important if you’re serving alcohol. On that note, if there’s going to be booze at this office barbecue, take a proactive role in ensuring everyone has a safe ride home. You might offer a shuttle, pay for Ubers with the company account, or see if anyone will volunteer to be a designated driver.

Make it easy (and tasty) with catering from TooJay’s Catering

TooJay’s Catering offers great options for your office barbecue. By choosing catering, you can find a delicious spread that has selections for every member of your team. You can order in advance or look for same-day pickup options. From light appetizers to full meals to tantalizing desserts, TooJay’s has got it all – and your office will love it!

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What Should You Order From TooJay’s for Your Catered Family Event

A happy family sits around an outdoor table and enjoys the food at a catered family event

Picking the perfect menu is easy with TooJay’s

Key takeaways:

  • Having your family event catered lets you relax and enjoy your family
  • Protein-packed breakfasts are a great way to start the day on the right foot
  • Add in some sweetness with French Toast or a Breakfast Yogurt Bar
  • Platters make serving easy and bring variety to your guests
  • Hors d’oeuvres are a classy alternative to a sit-down meal
  • Family-style and roast dinners lend a traditional feel to your event
  • Don’t forget the desserts

A catered family event lets you enjoy time with your loved ones instead of worrying about the cooking. You might be planning an intimate family dinner, a backyard wedding, or a family reunion but whatever you’re metaphorically cooking up, let TooJay’s can handle the actual cooking. 

So, what should you order for your catered family event? This guide goes over some of the tastiest options on TooJay’s catering menu to help you decide what will work best for your next family get-together. 

Protein-packed breakfasts

A protein-packed breakfast is a great way to kick off the morning of a family reunion or to ease people into the day after a long night of family partying. Go for a classic breakfast with The Scrambler which features scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage links, and an assortment of deli-fresh bagels. Or, skip the forks and opt for breakfast sandwiches. 

The Omelette Station is another great idea to ensure everyone gets exactly what they want for breakfast and it makes your catered family event a little more memorable.  

Sweet breakfasts

Prefer to start your day with something sweet? Order French Toast or add it to any of the protein-packed breakfast. Quiche and fresh fruit are nice if you prefer a lighter breakfast and the Breakfast Yogurt Bar is a fun way to start your day with a healthy dose of yogurt, granola, and fresh strawberries. 

Continental or smoked fish platters

Platters let you put out the food so that everyone can dig in at their own pace as they wake up or arrive. The Continental Platter has a variety of bagels, Danish pastries, muffins or coffee cakes, and cream cheese, butter, and jelly. The Smoked Fish Platter has a unique blend of Nova salmon, a whole smoked Whitefish, kippered salmon, or Whitefish salad and bagels with all the fixings. 

Lunch party platters and healthy salads

Mid-day catered family events deserve their own menus. Keep everyone fed and happy with an assortment of wraps and sandwiches served with coleslaw or potato salad. The lunch platters are a great option and they can be ordered the same day as your event. 

Lunch options include deli meat, crisp vegetables, fresh fruit, and assorted cheeses. Salads can round out a healthy lunch or be served on their own – try the Cobb, Strawberry Citrus, Greek, or TooJay’s Chopped salad and add grilled chicken, salmon, or avocado if you like.  

Hors d’oeuvres

Hors d’oeuvres give you a lot of flexibility while still letting you enjoy high-quality food. You don’t have to rent tables or chairs for a sit-down dinner and you can let people eat at their leisure rather than at a set time. 

Putting hors d’oeuvres on the menu also lets you inject a lot of flavor variety and meet the dietary needs of everyone in your family. Go with classic options like our Shrimp Cocktail, Franks in a Blanket, Chicken Tenders with Dipping Sauce, and Pinwheel Wraps. Vegetarian options like Spinach Phyllo Puffs, Brie with Raspberries En Croute, and Vegetable Egg Rolls are sure to please even the biggest meat lovers on your guest list. Mini Blintzes and Mini Quiches are perfect for morning parties but they can also work later in the day. 

Traditional roast dinners

A traditional roast dinner is an ideal food to serve when you’re gathering around a table with loved ones. TooJay’s has multiple options in this category and depending on how many guests are coming, you may want everyone to eat the same thing or throw in some variety on the menu

Choices for roast dinners include Herb Roasted Half Chicken with mashed potatoes, mushroom demi-glace, and a fresh vegetable or Traditional Turkey Dinner with mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing served with our savory turkey gravy and a fresh vegetable. Prefer beef? Check out our Beef Brisket served with mushroom demi-glace, crispy potato pancakes, and a fresh vegetable or the Old Fashioned Pot Roast with mushroom demi-glace, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable. The Broiled Cod in lemon dill butter and fresh herbs with rice pilaf and a fresh vegetable is ideal if you want a classic meal on the lighter side. 

Family-style dinners

Family-style dinners bring big portions for the whole family. People can dig into their favorites or try a bit of everything and these dinners are great for catered family events because they bring a homey feel. 

Meat Lasagna and Shepherd’s Pie are delicious classics or you may want to try a hot entree served buffet style with salad and rye bread. Additional delicious entree options include Chicken Capri in lemon butter white wine sauce, Garlic Chicken Pasta, Roast Stuffed Chicken Breast, or Chicken Marsala. Consider adding a Southwest Black Bean Stack, Roasted Veggie Pasta, or Portobello Parmesan for the vegetarians in the family. Add extra pizzazz to your party by serving the London Broil grilled to order. 

Desserts

Dessert, dessert, can’t forget dessert! Put Fresh Baked Cookie Platter or create some variety with a platter of brownies, cookies, and macaroons. The Mini Napoleon and Éclair Platter is a great idea if you like layers of puff pastry, creamy custard, and chocolate ganache. 

We also have gourmet specialty cakes which come in the classic round shape or as 1/2 sheet cake options and they are a taste sensation that will make everyone in the family happy. Try our Banana Dream, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Layer Cake, Coconut Cake, Cheesecake, Killer Cake, or mix and match desserts for a dazzling variety. 

Contact TooJay’s for your catered family event

TooJay’s has been serving up tasty food for over 40 years and we would love to cook for your next catered family event. Check out our catering menu and contact us today to learn more.

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11 Theme Party Ideas You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

Guests have fun at a party using clever theme party ideas.

Throw a crowd pleaser with these unique ideas

Key takeaways:

  • Theme party ideas help make your event stand out
  • Draw inspiration from big events like Coachella and Burning Man
  • Satisfy your inner child with bouncy castles or a video game theme
  • Travel the seas on a yacht or run away with the circus
  • Kick the beach party theme up a notch with a night in Havana
  • Turn your party into an ode to your favorite show or video games 
  • Dive into the past with a time traveler theme or party it up during the apocalypse

A theme takes any party from ordinary to extraordinary. It breaks the ice between guests and creates a fun hashtag for social media. Party themes are awesome but if you’re tired of the tried-and-true 80s and beach party themes, break out of your comfort zone and try something new!

We believe in having a good time so we’ve put together a list of 11 unique theme party ideas to help you plan your next event. Looking for an innovative, crowd-pleasing theme for your next get-together? Then, check out these concepts.

1. Burning Man meets Coachella

You don’t have to travel to the middle of the desert to get wild with your friends. Fashion, music, art, and a plain ol’ good old time converge at both of these events and this theme lets you bring these ideas together at your bash. 

Take a note from Burning Man and have everyone bring something fun to share with guests or to entertain the crew. Book live music or play Coachella videos and encourage everyone to wear their most stylish outfits with a hint of hippy flair. 

2. Inner child party

Plan a party that makes your inner child light up with grown-up versions of your favorite childhood pastimes. Rent a bouncy castle, create an adult-sized ball pit, and bring out the slip-and-slide. Get interactive with child-like games such as kickball or video games and don’t forget the small details like bubbles to blow and confetti to throw and, of course, lots of tasty snacks with an emphasis on desserts.

3. Walking onto a yacht

You don’t need to own a yacht to throw a nautical-inspired party but if you happen to have access to a boat, pull up the anchors and hit the seas. Strike a sophisticated tone with crisp white and navy blue decor and have everyone dress as if you’re heading to the French Riviera. Indulge in fine food, play some disco tunes, and most importantly, keep it classy whether you’re in your backyard or on the water. 

4. Run away with the circus

Circus party theme ideas give you lots of room to play. Use classic circus stripes in your decor and serve up cotton candy and peanuts in addition to the rest of your fare. Encourage your guests to put on an act or bring in people to read fortunes, perform skits, or paint faces. Hang up some yoga ropes for aerial acrobatics and make sure to play some circus music.

5. Havana nights

Beach parties are one of the most popular theme party ideas but they are slightly overplayed. Take your event up a notch by turning the beach theme into a “Havana nights” theme. Invite your guests to a fun night at your Cuban-inspired party. Serve rum cocktails, hand out cigars, play Latin dance music, and tell your guests to wear tropical prints or other vintage resort wear. 

6. Rock-and-roll party

Who doesn’t like to party like a rockstar? Decorate your space with silver and black, tell Spotify to play everything from The Rolling Stones to AC/DC to Nirvana, and roll back the rugs for some headbanging! Have guests dress as their favorite rock stars and consider having a costume contest with rewards for “best mohawk” or “most realistic depiction of a rock star.” Spray-on hair dye and temporary tattoos can help finish off costumes once the party is rolling (and rocking). 

7. Gamer gala

Video games are one of the most fun and versatile theme party ideas. Tell guests to dress as their favorite video game character and have a lot of games to play at the party. Bring in extra TVs and set up classic consoles, rent some retro arcade games or pinball machines, and make sure to have some virtual reality headsets on-site. 

Make the party interactive by connecting game consoles to a large screen and projector, hosting a video game tournament, or giving out prizes for the best video game costume. 

8. Trash TV bash

You don’t have to watch trash TV alone at home – you can embrace this theme party idea and watch with your friends. Choose a good reality show and build your party around that concept. Think “The Bachelor/Bachelorette,” “90 Day Fiancé,” or even a tamer classic like “House Hunters.”  

9. Time traveler party

“Decade” parties are all the rage but you don’t have to pick a single decade. Let your guests pick the decade they want to represent with a time traveler party theme. Your guests can show up dressed as pharaohs from ancient Egypt, cowboys from the Old West, punk rockers from the 1980s, or a character from any other decade.  

The world and its history are your oysters for this event and for the decor, you can choose your favorite decade or decorate the space with time travel machines and multiple period themes. 

10. Sunday croquet

Take some inspiration from the 1989 classic film “Heathers” and throw a garden party. Everyone should wear their finest attire for croquet Sunday – fancy hats are optional but they help crank up the fun. Set up a croquet game, hand out the mallets, pour some cocktails, and have some fun.

11. End-of-time event

Did someone say apocalypse? Host an end-of-time event where everyone dresses like zombies or people who have just stumbled out of a nuclear bomb shelter. The decor can be minimalist but you may want to draw inspiration from shows like “The Walking Dead” or video games like the Fallout series.  

Let TooJay’s do the cooking

Theme party ideas are a great way to bring focus to your event and get people excited. Regardless of the theme you select, you need some good food. 

Let us handle the catering so you can relax and enjoy the party. TooJay’s offers an extensive catering menu and we would love to treat your guests to our delicious meals, snacks, and desserts. Contact us at TooJay’s Catering to learn more today. 

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6 Reasons Office Snacks Are a Secret Productivity Hack

Four coworkers happily sitting around a table enjoying office snacks and talking

Beat the 3 p.m. slump and keep your team satisfied with office snacks designed for productivity 

It happens almost every day between 1 and 3 p.m. The morning coffee buzz is gone, the day is more than halfway through, and while there’s still a lot to do, you find yourself yawning, feeling headache-y, and wondering if anyone would notice if you took a nap underneath your desk. 

It’s easy to blame that cranky, sleepy, brain foggy feeling that sweeps your office in the late afternoon on a caffeine addiction, poor sleep, and simply not wanting to be there, but oftentimes, it’s actually the result of lackluster nutrition. 

The solution? Office snacks. 

You thought we were going to say go to school and become a certified nutritionist for a second there, didn’t you? Fortunately, the best way to keep your office chugging along is by offering office snacks. People love food and they’ll love you for providing it. In fact, they’ll love it so much they won’t even realize that it’s a secret productivity hack. Shhhh…we’ll let that be our little secret.

Want to know more about how office snacks are actually the best way to keep your team productive? Read on:

Food helps your brain function

Good nutrition is essential to cognitive brain function – or to put it in less formal terms, eating regular meals keeps you from drifting off at your desk (admit it: you’re doing it right now). The key is to eat healthy meals – and don’t worry, we’re not suggesting an all-kale diet. Think veggies, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Fish, spinach, and dark berries are all delicious, nutritious choices. Despite its fraught reputation, coffee can also help with brain function as caffeine is linked to short term memory benefits. Just be sure to drink it in moderation.

Providing office snacks helps your team avoid unhealthy food that zaps productivity

When you’re really, really hungry, what do you reach for? If you’re like most people, you’re probably way too famished to labor over a home-cooked, nutritious meal. Instead, you find yourself at the drive-through ordering a burger and fries. And while there’s nothing wrong with these tasty treats once in a while, they can be a serious drain on productivity. 

High fat and processed foods make your digestive system go into overdrive, lowering oxygen levels in your brain. The result? Brain fog – or as it is more commonly referred to after a big holiday feast, a food coma. 

Office snacks promote a good mood

Another term you’re likely familiar with: hangry.

Hangry is the special type of bad mood that you might experience when you’re hungry. It’s why people get so grouchy when they find out how long the wait is at their favorite restaurant. If you’ve experienced this or been on the receiving end of it, you already know how hunger can affect mood. 

According to one study on hangry-ness (yes, someone actually did a study on it), survey participants reported anger, stress, and other negative emotions as a result of hunger. 

Providing office snacks is a simple way to eliminate hangry vibes. As a result, everyone on your team gets along and therefore gets more work done. 

Office snacks can boost immune systems

When your body doesn’t get proper nutrients, your immune system pays the price. When your immune system is weakened, you’re more likely to get sick. When one person at the office catches a cold or the flu, well…you know the rest. 

Nothing can take down a productive office like a company-wide flu that forces everyone to trade crunch time for sick days. Providing office snacks can help keep everyone’s immune systems happy and a happy immune system is a healthy employee. 

Enjoying a meal together helps people bond

There’s a reason why so many of life’s special moments involve a meal. From birthday cake to celebratory dinners to the food you serve at your wedding, coming together for a meal helps people feel connected. The phrase “breaking bread” brings to mind ideas of bonding with one another.

That feeling doesn’t have to exist purely outside of work. Why not bring it into your office by offering snacks and even occasional meals that allow people a moment to take a break from their work and socialize with one another? This fosters team building and leads to a strong team that can work together. 

Employees feel appreciated

Providing office snacks and catering is a perfect way to say thank you for a job well done. Employees will feel appreciated when you offer snacks (and their friends who aren’t lucky enough to work in your office will be jealous). This reduces turnover, which can be a serious detriment to productivity. Not to mention, it’s nice to work at the office that has free snacks! 

Great catering from TooJay’s will keep your office happy

Whether you’re looking to cater breakfast for your big office meeting, offer a delicious lunch on Friday afternoons, or kick off Monday with coffee and eggs, TooJay’s Catering can help you find the perfect menu. Our breakfast platters, with options that include eggs, bacon, and fresh vegetables, are perfect for revving your team up in the morning. Our salads for the group and sandwich party platters will keep your employees from suffering the dreaded afternoon slump. Contact us today to get started with an order.

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10 Ideas for a Stellar Housewarming Party

Friends enjoy food from and take a group picture at a housewarming party

Make your housewarming party a success with these fun ideas

Moving into a new home or apartment is exciting and whether you’re celebrating your own move or a friend’s or family member’s, throwing a housewarming party is a great way to mark the occasion. Housewarming parties are a perfect opportunity to welcome friends and family into your home for the first time and get to know the neighbors.

A new home is the perfect reason to celebrate and this long-standing tradition can even help motivate you to finish the unpacking a bit faster. There are all kinds of ways to make your housewarming party special. Looking for housewarming party ideas? Keep reading. This guide is designed to get your creative juices flowing and help you make the most of this special occasion. 

1. “Barn raising”

Guests at a housewarming party know that you’ve just moved in and they don’t expect your house to be perfect yet. The word housewarming actually implies that the party is meant to “warm” your house and turn it into a home. 

Consider throwing a party where you get the guests involved in the work by painting or gardening. These types of events are similar to how all the people in an area used to get together to put up each others’ barns and once the work was done, drink and be merry. 

2. Unboxing event

You’ve probably heard of unboxing videos where YouTube stars review products right out of the box. You can steal this concept for your housewarming party and get your guests to help you unpack. 

This type of party is best suited to an invitation list of good friends and family. You don’t necessarily want your new neighbors unpacking your underpants or rifling through your good China. 

3. Block party

Invite the whole block over to your home and use your housewarming party as a chance to get to know your neighbors. Invite neighbors by sending them paper invites or knock on their doors, introduce yourself, and let them know that you’d love to have them over. 

Open your garage door, put out big tables full of great food, and extend the party into your driveway so that neighbors feel comfortable walking up even if they haven’t received a formal invite. 

4. Scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt provides your guests with something fun to do at your housewarming party and it gives them a chance to explore your new home. Split guests into teams and then create a series of clues that will guide them through your home to a surprise at the end of the hunt. 

You give guests the first clue which leads them to the second and so on. You can use rhymes like “This flat box houses audio and sound, in the living room it can be found” to direct guests to a clue hidden under the TV. Images can also be fun – take photos of different parts of your home to guide guests through the hunt. 

5. Movie night 

A movie night is a great chance to test out the media room in your new home or alternatively turn your backyard into an outdoor movie theater. You can rent or buy large screens and projectors and some people even cast movies onto the exterior walls of their homes. Then, choose a film that will appeal to the people on your guest list, make some popcorn, and get comfortable. 

6. Stock-the-bar event

Guests traditionally bring a housewarming gift to these events and with a stock-the-bar party, your guests get to chip in and help you create a well-stocked bar for your new home. Put the bottles to work right away by asking guests to bring recipes for their favorite cocktails and then make sure that you have mixers and other cocktail essentials.

7. Decorating ideas

Not sure where to put the couch? Want ideas for accent wall colors? Thinking about remodeling the kitchen? You may want to use your party as a springboard for decorating ideas. Invite your friends and family who have the best taste and make a Pinterest board come to life in your home. 

Ask friends to write down their ideas or text you inspo photos as they walk through your home. Getting the hive mind involved is a great way to come up with fresh, new ideas and once you’ve integrated the best ideas into your home, have a follow-up party where you show off the new decor. 

8. Masquerade ball

Costume parties aren’t just for Halloween and they can be a great way to encourage mingling at any party. A masquerade can be especially useful for parties that involve a lot of people who don’t know each other. The costumes give guests an instant ice breaker and they can help to get conversations rolling between all types of people. 

9. Jam session

Music is a great way to turn up the fun at your housewarming party! Invite your musician friends to bring their instruments and entertain the rest of you with a jam session. You may even want to just book a band or bring in a karaoke machine.

10. Mixed theme 

You don’t have to stick to a single theme at your party. You can actually mix and match many of these themes. Set up a movie night for the neighborhood kids while the adults stock the bar. Have a few hours of “barn raising” and then transition into relaxing by your new pool or hanging out around the kitchen island.  

Let TooJay’s handle the food!

Your kitchen may not even be unpacked when you throw your housewarming party but don’t let that stop you from enjoying delicious food. TooJay’s Catering offers an extensive menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner catering options as well as tasty desserts. 

Don’t suffer through an awkward potluck of bland dishes. Let us handle the food so that you and your guests can relax and chow down on delicious meals, snacks, and desserts. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Should You Throw a Vaccination Party?

Champagne bottle blasting off its top and COVID-19 virus in celebration of a vaccination party

Congratulations! You’re vaccinated! Celebrate a return to normalcy with these vaccination party ideas. 

If you think about it, it’s kind of fitting that we’re in the 2020s. A hundred years after the glitzy, champagne-soaked era of the 1920s, we’re entering a new kind of roaring twenties – the kind that comes after more than a year of staying home. 

We’re definitely not the only ones who are predicting the beginning of the roaring 2020s. All across the US, people are gearing up for a summer of parties, travel, and hugging (remember hugging?). As vaccination rates go up and COVID-19 rates go down, there’s no better time to start planning on making up for the isolation of 2020 with a vaccination party in 2021. 

We know, a vaccination party may not be the exact kind of soiree you had in mind for your life, but if the past year has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. That’s exactly why you should get in on the surprising fun of a vaccination party. It’s a chance to reunite with the people you love and toast to a brighter future.

Curious about what one wears to a vaccination party, what the decorations might look like, or what the heck a vaccination party even is? We’ve got you covered.

What is a vaccination party?

This type of party is about capitalizing on the growing vaccination rates. It’s a time to (finally!) hang out with the people you’ve been missing without compromising safety. And let’s face it, after 2020, it’s a much-deserved chance to smile, laugh, and let loose. 

True to its name, a vaccination party is a celebratory gathering made up of people who have all been vaccinated. Think of your vaccination card as a VIP card for the best event of the year. 

Go big or go small?

If you’ve spent the past year in the company of the people you share a home with, it’s probably been quite a while since you planned a party. Who should you invite? How many? 

It’s a good question. When you’re used to thinking about doing everything in small groups, the concept of a gathering that doesn’t take place over Zoom can be quite foreign.

If it’s your first time hosting a party after getting vaccinated, you may want to start small. Many people are facing social anxiety after a year spent social distancing. Plus, opting for a small group (think close family and/or friends) will give you time to really catch up with the people you’ve been missing the most.

Celebrate your employees with a workplace vaccination party

For employers and employees, a workplace vaccination party can be a way to celebrate together. If you’re the boss, consider hosting a thank-you party for employees who have been vaccinated or for those who have been working in a public-facing role throughout the pandemic. Have a hashtag (such as #gotvaxxed), a photo booth, and giveaways that show you care. It’s a great way to celebrate your team; it can also be a great way to make returning to the office more fun. Nothing says “welcome back” like a party. 

You might even draw inspiration from this workplace that hosted a vaccination disco party.

Reunite with your family and friends

When planning a vaccination party for your friends and family, you want to make it special by creating plenty of opportunities for people to catch up with each other – think of all you have to talk about after being apart for so long! Make the vaccination party inviting and welcoming by hosting it at your house rather than a restaurant. This will allow people to linger and share stories as long as they like. 

P.S. Remember all of those quarantine home decorating projects you got into? Now is the time to show off your work!

Party ideas

So what exactly is the theme for a vaccination party? We’re used to luaus, black-tie affairs, and costume parties, but vaccination parties are kind of a new thing. 

Because there’s no established etiquette for this type of party, the sky is the limit when planning one! However, if you’re stuck, we’ve got a few ideas. 

You might consider really leaning into the vaccination theme with vaccination décor – pharmacy decorations, syringes filled with shots (of Jack and Coke, not Johnson & Johnson), and napkins that look like vaccination cards. You could also give away wellness-themed goodies, like gift bags filled with reusable water bottles, candles, and at-home spa treatments. 

If the sight of a syringe at a party makes you remember how much you hated getting shots as a kid, opt for a roaring twenties-themed event. Think jazz music, gold tinsel hanging from the ceiling, champagne, and fringe dresses. 

Dust gathering on your dress-up clothes? Say goodbye to your sweatpants by hosting a dressy vaccination party. Finally, everyone has a chance to put on makeup and look their best – and not just for Zoom.

Missing vacation? Have a vacation make up party as an homage to last year’s canceled trips. You can decorate based on one location (Hawaii, Paris, etc.) or hang up photos of as many places as possible. While you’re at the gathering, take time to dream about the places you’ll actually travel to in 2021. 

Go all out with great catering

TooJay’s Catering offers a wide selection of snacks, entrees, and treats to make your vaccination party memorable. If this is the first party you’ve had in forever, catering is the perfect way to make it the best event in a long, long time. Check out our catering menu to see all the tasty treats you can get for you and your gang of public health heroes. 

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Picking an Event Venue Made Easy

People mingling at a bar after choosing an event venue

How to choose the best venue for your event

Key takeaways:

  • Make a guest list
  • Choose a convenient location for your guests
  • Consider the type of event and its style
  • Stick with your budget and ask about extra costs
  • Tour venues and read client reviews
  • Get inspiration from other events

All kinds of little details need to come together when you’re planning an event. You have to think about timing, decorations, catering, guest lists, entertainment, and other elements. A successful event requires planning and one of the first steps you should take is choosing a venue. The venue you pick plays a big role in the success of your event, what you can do there, how many people you can host, and more.

Picking the right venue will allow you and your guests to have the best time. We feature eight tips to consider while choosing a venue for your next wedding, graduation party, employee appreciation night, or whatever type of event is coming up on your calendar. 

1. Make a guest list

Spend some time thinking about who you want to come and make a preliminary list. The number of people coming to your event will help you determine how much space you need.

You need to think about the people you’re inviting before you pick a location. Otherwise, you may get caught in a situation where you have to limit your guest list because of venue capacity limitations or you have a huge space for ten people. 

2. Choose an optimal location

Think about the location once you know who is coming and narrow in on a convenient spot for everyone. You may want to choose a venue that is close to the ceremony if you’re planning a wedding reception, for example. You would probably want to select a city that is easily accessible from a major airport if you have people flying in from around the country. Choosing a general location can also help you narrow down the list of potential venues.

3. Consider the type of event

Different types of events call for vastly different venues. A conference room at a convention center would be a great option for professional networking or team training events, for instance. A local amusement park, a hotel room with access to a pool, or a picnic shelter at a local park may be best suited for a children’s party, on the other hand. 

4. Think about your event’s vibe

Every event has a slightly different vibe and while choosing a venue, you should look for a space that emphasizes the theme or feel you want to create. A classic, elegant wedding might require you to rent a historic home or a grand ballroom in a luxury hotel. A more casual wedding, in contrast, may be hosted in a friend’s backyard or an edgy industrial-type setting. 

5. Stay within your budget

Think about your budget before you get too far into the process of choosing a venue. Decide how much you want to spend overall and how much to devote to various things such as food, entertainment, and the venue itself. Try to leave a buffer for unexpected expenses. 

6. Ask about amenities and extra fees

The rental cost of the venue is not the only expense you need to consider. Make sure that you ask what is included with the venue rental fee and request a list of fees for a la carte services. Some venues include tables, chairs, and setup costs but may charge extra for food or special amenities. Others simply give you the space and assess a la carte pricing for everything else. 

7. Tour event venues

The best way to make sure your venue will work for your event is to request a tour. Ask for a floor plan and a video tour if you cannot get to the venue in person. You want to make sure that the venue looks right for your big event but while touring the space, you should also look into the functionality of the venue. 

Does it have a kitchen on-site for caterers to use if needed? Does it have enough bathrooms for your guests? Does it have nursing rooms for mothers of young children if you’re planning a family-friendly event? Does it have an indoor option or a rain shelter if it’s an outdoor venue? Draw up a list of questions like this before you start touring venues.

8. Get inspiration from other events

You don’t have to start from scratch – gather inspiration from other events. Think about the events you have attended recently and consider what you liked about their venues. Ask your family, friends, and colleagues to give you feedback on the venues they have recently been in and use those ideas to create a list of wants and needs to reference. Search online for event planning websites to see what type of venues are used for different events.

9. Check out the venue’s reputation

Finally, do some due diligence before making your final decision. A venue may look perfect but you need to know about its business practices before you dive in and commit. Spend some time looking at reviews online and learning about the venue’s reputation. Ask the venue for references from previous clients if you cannot find information online. 

Let TooJay’s provide the catering

Choosing a venue is one of the first steps of event planning and once you check that off your list, it’s time to think about the menu. Let us take care of the cooking! 

At TooJay’s, we offer a tasty and expansive catering menu with everything from hot entrees for sit-down meals to party platters for snacking. We cater breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. We also offer same-day service on many of our menu items, which is great if you’re planning an event on the fly. Check out our menu and contact us today to learn more. 

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Fun Team Building Activities for the Office

A group of coworkers stacking their hands on top of each other in a circle participating in a team building activity.

Whether you have an hour or a whole day, these team building ideas will bring your office together

Team building. The phrase often sparks memories of cringe-worthy human resources videos from the 90s or corporate events with awkward role-playing games. There’s a reason why mentioning team building in the modern-day office can inspire more than a few groans and eye rolls. 

The solution? Events that are actually fun! 

Despite the memories of outdated human resources videos, it doesn’t have to be some stiff, corporatized task. It can be authentic. It can be filled with activities that every member of your office enjoys. Best of all, it can bring your team together. After all, what’s the point of even having a day of team building if it doesn’t foster, you know, actual teamwork?

Want to bring some life into your office’s team building events? Whether you have a little or a lot of time to spare, here are some ideas that we think your team will love – plus a secret ingredient (spoiler alert: it’s food) that will really sweeten the deal. 

At the office

If team building has you thinking field trip to Disney but you know your accounting department is going to veto that idea before you’ve even put on your Mickey ears, don’t despair. It can happen at the office and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of space or time. 

Set aside an hour or a whole day for team building activities both inside the office and just outside (a parking lot or grassy area will work for the latter). You can set up games, play trivia, and even bring in a guest speaker or two. One great idea: an ongoing guest speaker series followed by time for discussion afterward. For a less formal idea, try an office film or book club followed by discussion.

Outside of the office

Go somewhere together and let the team building begin! The trick is to choose an activity that will be both unifying and fun. For example, opt for a trivia night at a bar rather than an unstructured office happy hour. It will be fun and require everyone to interact while working together towards a common goal. 

Other out-of-the-office ideas include an escape room, a round of mini-golf, a cooking class, a scavenger hunt, or, in classic team building fashion, an actual sports game that you play together, such as softball or “capture the flag.” If athletics aren’t your team’s thing, try party games. You can even include remote workers over Zoom.

If you’ve got a whole day (or multiple days!)

Are you able to take off a whole day for team building? If so, the sky is the limit (or rather, everything within a 50-mile radius is the limit). Plan a team outing to a nearby lake or beach. Don’t worry, you don’t have to repeat the disastrous events of that one episode of The Office where they all go to the beach.

An outdoor team outing, such as a group hike or kayaking together at a lake, can really foster team building. Everyone can use their skills while communicating – without the distraction of digital devices. 

Another idea for a whole day of team building is to spend the day volunteering. Choose a charity or cause that your team feels passionate about (you can choose this yourself or hold a meeting where everyone decides together) and then spend a day giving back. You might sort donations at a food pantry, walk dogs at the local shelter, or clean up a beloved community park. Feeling active? Run or walk a charity 5k together. You can even create custom t-shirts beforehand to showcase your team spirit. 

If you only have an hour to spare

At a busy workplace, it’s not always possible to devote an entire day or even half of a day to team building. That’s okay!

If you only have an hour to spare for team building, you can still bond while having fun. One simple idea to try that will boost morale is an anti-roast. Think of it as a compliment hour where everyone goes around saying nice things about one coworker. 

You can also set aside time to share stories that bring everyone together – think of it as storytelling around a campfire, but at work (P.S. microwaved s’mores are encouraged). Create prompts on index cards to fuel conversation on topics such as a first day of work story, a work travel story, or the weirdest thing that happened during a commute to work.

Other activities that don’t take up much time include craft hours, such as pumpkin decorating for Halloween or gingerbread house making for Christmas. Make it extra fun by introducing some friendly competition with prizes to the activity.   

Why team building works

Team building shouldn’t be forced but it should be structured. It’s up to you to plan an event or a series of events that is organized but still leaves room for fun.

Why team building? It’s more than just a good time; it’s an investment in your employees. It can boost productivity, reduce turnover, improve communication, and create a workplace that people like coming to. 

P.S. Don’t forget the food!

TooJay’s Catering can make an awesome team building event even better. Good catering is an essential part of any team building experience. 

Whether you’ve opted for a physical activity like a 5k that deserves a hearty meal afterward or you want to make an afternoon of storytelling livelier with some sweet desserts, TooJay’s Catering can make the bonding experience a memorable one.

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