Tips for Group Dining in Breckenridge
Vacationing with a large group is all fun and games until … it’s dinner time. Then, the logistics can be challenging to say the least. Don’t worry. We have you covered. Because nothing beats a fun, festive meal with a big group of friends or family breaking bread or eating pizza or enjoying a five-course gourmet feast.
When traveling – or dining – with a large group, we always suggest planning in advance for everything. And, we mean everything. That includes food allergies, preferences, budget, time constraints, a dinner out with the whole group and, most importantly, the grocery shopping trip (or trips).
Tips for Dining with a large group:
Photo credit: Breckenridge Brewery. Breckenridge Tourism Office
- Get a sense of everyone’s budget, food allergies and preferences in advance. We recommend doing this as soon as you book your trip. But, make sure to do it at least a month before your trip. Also, find a date and time (or a few options) for your feast.
- Then do some online research to find a few restaurants that fit the bill and can accommodate the size of your group and serves up the preferred menu items.
- Narrow it down to 3-4 restaurants and dates/times and start researching availability.
- You can either call ahead to make a reservation. If it’s during a peak time of the year or a busy weekend, plan to call ahead at least two to three weeks in advance.
- Or, make your reservation online. Some restaurants are on OpenTable, but not all of them are. You can book a reservation for up to 20 people through OpenTable at Ember and for less people (1-15 people) at other restaurants like Spencer’s at Beaver Run, Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon, Blue River Bistro, The Dredge, The Salt Creek Steakhouse and Modis. Here’s a list of upscale restaurants that we recommend.
Even if you book online, you might want to give the staff a heads up on your group and any special requests, especially if you have small children and need high chairs or booster seats. Or, if you have menu preferences. So, plan to call ahead.
Photo credit: Hearthstone Restaurant. Breckenridge Tourism Office
Once your reservation is made, it’s time for the fun part. Here are a few more tips for hosting a successful group outing to one of Breckenridge’s restaurants.
- Discuss and determine ahead of time who and how the bill is going to be paid. That way when it’s time to pay the bill, it’ll be a much faster and smoother process. If you’re on Venmo, a payment system between two or more people, it can help if one person pays and then splits the bill electronically.
- Determine who will be drinking what and, then, who will order the wine or alcohol. Too often someone will order an expensive bottle – or bottles – of wine and then duck out on the bill or insist that everyone split the bill even if the other drink orders weren’t as expensive.
- If you’re celebrating a special occasion, make sure to remind the restaurant staff of the requests in advance (a few days before and definitely when you arrive at the restaurant).
- If you want to expedite the process, you can view the menu online in advance and be ready to order. Or, you can even write down all of the orders and simply hand the piece of paper to the server once you’re seated.
- Check the bill to make sure that a gratuity has been added. Many restaurants will automatically add a gratuity for larger groups. It’s important to check this to make sure you’re not paying twice.
- Some restaurants won’t seat a party until everyone has arrived. Make sure to check the restaurant’s policy. And, if you need to have the full party in attendance before they’ll seat you, make sure your group shows up on time.
Most importantly, have fun! Enjoy yourself and Bon Appetit!