Tips From Salt Creek Grille For Planning a Holiday Event for Your Office or Company

The air is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change. That’s your cue that it is high time to get your holiday party planning into high gear! Salt Creek Grille’s Director of Private Dining, Barbara Penta, has some tips to share on how to hold the best corporate or private holiday party and still stay within budget. Naturally, you want to celebrate the season, bring your people together, and reward them for all their hard work, but you also want to stay within budget.

1. Choose your time carefully. Want to save some dollars? Then skip premium booking times such as Friday, Saturday nights and opt for an event held mid-week. Actually, it is a better time for most guests anyway, whether it is a social or corporate event, since weekends are so busy with personal tasks and activities. And don’t disregard a daytime event, which will save you even more dollars and be just as  much fun.

“Or, if you're really looking to save some money and you're feeling flexible, you might even go so far as to schedule your holiday get together for January,” suggested Penta. "It will be after the holiday rush and before wedding season kicks in. You might even be able to hire that great band during the traditionally slower time and also upgrade your beverage and menu offerings. Plus, January is generally a cold, dark, miserable month, so give your employees something to look forward to, at a discounted price.”

2. For a more lively, interactive social event than a traditional plated sit-down dinner for your holiday gatherings, choose a buffet-style event or cocktail party with numerous hors d’oeuvres and carving stations. Or, you may also want to consider hosting a daytime brunch.

3. Opt for a cash bar and feature your very own signature cocktail. If you have something to really celebrate about at your event and champagne is called for, offering a sparkling wine cocktail will make your money go further than going straight to bubbly. Salt Creek Grille also features two local distilled spirits, so go local if you want, with a cocktail made with spirits from Asbury Park Distilling, made right in Asbury Park, or an exotic cocktail made with Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum. Shipwreck Rum’s headquarters are located in Atlantic Highlands. You can give your guests a recipe card to take home, too.

4. Add a giving back theme to your party. Instead of guests gifting to each other and risk someone being left out, ask your attending guests to donate canned or dry goods for a local pantry. Or provide opportunities for guests to give what they can to a selected charity. You could also ask your staff for suggestions on their favorite place to volunteer and then pull one from a hat to announce the company’s selected charity for the new year. These types of holiday experiences can double as team building, as they provide great bonding experiences between co-workers.

“No matter what you choose, one of the most important steps to take is select your preferred dates and times and book it now!” emphasizes Penta. “We start booking up our holiday dates in October,” she said. “Don’t wait until the last minute.”

Call Barbara at (732) 933-9272 or email her at

Salt Creek Grille is located 4 Bingham Avenue in Rumson.

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