The Family as a group or individual members often receives and entertains visitors or guests in the home, on occasions such as birthdays, child naming ceremonies, parties, etc. These occasions require different types of preparations and refreshments or food.
You should be able to entertain your quests when you have a birthday party for instance. It is therefore necessary to learn how to entertain quests in the home.
Meaning Of Entertainment
Entertainment in a home means receiving people in the home and giving them food, drinks, etc. It also means making people feel happy. It involves organizing formal or informal parties. A female who entertains is a hostess, while a male is a host. The person who is entertained is the guest.
Importance Of Entertainment
1. Entertain is a way of building good relationships among people.
2. It gives you practice in being a hostess or host.
3. It is a way of showing or sharing love.
4. It makes people (hostess, host and guests) happy.
5. It helps people learn how to treat others, for instance, respect of people’s feelings.
6. It can help people develop interests and acquire skills needed in hospitality industry, such as hotels and restaurants.
7. It gives the host/hostess opportunity to prepare different types of dishes (meals) and snacks.
8. It helps people learn how to serve others.
9. It provides for relaxation which is necessary for good health.
Ways Of Preparing For Entertainment
There are many ways of preparing for entertainment. These are the things which the host/hostess has to do, namely:
i. Preparing and sending out invitation letters or cards.
ii. Preparation of the house/hail/venue.
iii. Collection and arrangement of equipment and materials and
iv. Preparation of refreshment/food. The amount of preparation needed depends on the type of party and number of people invited.
Preparation And Sending Out Of Invitation Letters Or Cards
Preparation and sending out of invitation letters or cards are very important. This is because the guests are very important in any party. Without guests there will be no entertainment. The invitation letters, cards or telephone calls must be prepared and sent early enough.
Invitations can be issued in person, on the telephone or by written cards. Formal parties are often by cards, while informal ones may be verbal or by telephone. A complete invitation letter regardless of its form should include:
i. The name of the host/hostess.
ii. The type of event.
iii. The date.
iv. Time and place of the party.
v. The name of the guest.
Preparation Of The House/ Hall/ Venue
The venue or place of the party can be the family house or a hall outside the home.
Guidelines For Preparation Of The Venue
1. Ensure that the space is enough for the number of quests.
2. Provide enough seats and tables for the guests.
3. Clean the room or hall thoroughly. Remove all cobwebs, dust and dirt on the walls, windows, doors, floor and other surfaces.
4. Clean the chairs thoroughly. No guests will like his/her clothes to be soiled by sitting on dirty chairs.
5. Arrange the chairs and tables properly. Make sure that there are enough walking/movement spaces for the guest and for service. Provides spaces between tables.
6. Decorate the table with good table-covers.
7. Hang some decorative pieces on the walls. This should be done properly.
8. The colours used in the decoration should be in harmony.
9. Decorate with properly arranged flowers. Large flower arrangements should not be used in smalls rooms.
10. The room or hall should be properly ventilated, that is, airy.
11. There should be good light in the room or hall.
Collection And Arrangement Of Equipment And Materials
The equipment and materials which are often used in parties include musical equipment such as stereo and accessories, plates, cutlery, cups, serviettes, straws for drinks, gifts/souvenir, drinks, food items, etc. All these must be carefully collected or arranged before the party.
Guidelines For Collection And Arrangement Of Equipment And Materials
1. Determine the number of quests expected to attend the party.
2. Decide on the types of food and drinks to serve.
3. Draw up a shopping list for food, drinks, gifts/souvenir, decoration materials, etc. Consider the money at hand. Budget within the limit of your money.
4. Plan for the provision of plates, cutlery, cups, etc. Where possible disposables can be used.
5. Plan for careful serving of drinks, food and take-away gifts.
6. Plan for music equipment and other things.
7. Plan for clearing up and washing of plates, cutlery, etc.
8. Share responsibilities among those who are going to help with the party.
9. Determine the positions for placement of equipment, food, and other items in the room or hall.
10. Start all preparations, cooking, arrangement of hall, etc, well ahead of time.
11. The host/hostess must be ready to receive the guests before they arrive.
Refreshment/Food For Entertainment
The type of refreshment/food and method of serving will depend on:
i. The type of part, for instance tea party, cocktail, formal or informal, buffet parties.
ii. The type of food being served.
iii. The duration of the party, that is, the length of time for the party.
iv. The space available in the room or hall.
v. The number of people eating.
vi. The number of people available for serving and clearing up.
Common Styles Of Serving Food
1. Tray Service: Here food and drinks are served in individual trays.
2. Family-Style Service: Dinner plates are arranged at each person’s place. The foods are in serving dishes on the table and are passed around from person to person to help themselves.
3. Plate Service: The food is placed in each person’s plate in the kitchen or from one corner of the hall. The food could be in food warmers. The filled plates are brought to the table or handed over to guest by hand.
4. Buffet Service: Plates, napkins, serviette, food, and drinks are arranged on the buffet table and guests help themselves to the food. This is an easy way of entertaining a large number of guests.
Some Meals, And Snacks For Entertainment
Some meals that can be used or served for entertainment are jollof rice, moi-moi, pounded fufu/ garri amala with assorted soups, fried chicken, fried beef, breadfruit, vegetable salad, fruit salad, pepper soup, etc.
Snacks include: Plantain/yam/potatoes chips, assorted fried meat, yam balls, akara balls, cakes, moi-moi etc.