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Hosting a “Happy Thanksgiving” Checklist

Business Process Management

3-minute read

Practicing the Five Ps (Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance) is vital when you’re planning for any important event – whether it’s a report, a presentation, or a long-awaited holiday. It’s this process-oriented mindset that makes Way We Do hum, and helps our customers’ businesses do the same.

Getting ready for a celebration or significant holiday – like Thanksgiving – is no different.

If you’re planning on hosting an event at yours this year, here’s a thanksgiving checklist to help get you on your way…

1. Plan your numbers

How many guests can you accommodate comfortably? (Before, during, and after the main meal.) We’re not just talking about seating either. Make sure you’re venue – whether it’s at your home, or elsewhere – has adequate toilet facilities for the numbers you’re thinking about.

2. Research

In the Internet age, there are plenty of resources available online – from recipes and kitchen hacks, to videos on how to up-cycle household items into decorations and other great craft ideas you might want to use to make your event pop.

Take some time to explore and think about what you’d like to do (and about what you’ll actually be able to do with the time and resources you have). And don’t operate in a vacuum – remember to get stakeholder input as well (i.e. your family and/or friends).

3. Make your lists (and check them twice)

Like any good process improvement boffin, you’ll want to create a thanksgiving checklist of the things you’ll need for the day – in fact, you’ll probably need more than one.

  • Ingredients: Based on your menu plan and number of diners (appetizers, mains, desserts, drinks)
  • Kitchen utensils: Make sure you have what you’ll need – including storage containers for prepped ingredients, and any leftovers – and that it’s in a fit state.
  • Decorations: For the table, the rooms, the garden, and any other spaces you want to zhoosh up.
  • Table settings: Plates, glasses, cutlery, napery, extra tables and chairs; remember the children as well.
  • Games and activities: Will your guests want to play cards, or play music together? And for Thanksgiving, remember to ask everyone to share what they’re giving thanks for this year.
  • Jobs to be done: It’s vital everyone knows what role they have to play in the lead up, as well as on the day – like cleaning up the aftermath!

4. Create a thanksgiving checklist schedule

Once you’ve got your checklists, schedule in the different tasks based on appropriate lead times – like setting up any other project your managing – and delegate them to the appropriate people. (Sharing the preparations can help build the anticipation, not to mention pride in the results.)

5. Implement

Now, it’s time to get down to business. In Australia, we say, “Let’s get cracking!” As the big day approaches, work through your lists and make sure everyone stays on track, adapting, adjusting and helping one another as the need arises.

(And if it’s the first time you’ve created a checklist for anything outside of work, you might want to make notes as you go so you can improve your process for next year – if the thought of your hosting a family dinner ever again remains an option is on the horizon.)

6. Enjoy

This has to be the most important step of all, and you should try your best to infuse this step into each of its predecessors. By sharing the workload as well as the experience with those around you, you’ll be sure to have a fun and fulfilling day that makes you remember all the things you’re thankful for.

Have questions?