Caloosa Dive Club Guideline for Dinner Coordinators
Thank you for volunteering to coordinate one of the Caloosa Dive Club dinners. Our members look forward to this special time of sharing good food and enjoying good company.
Below are some guidelines to help you through the planning and execution of your dinner.
Remember to keep good records and notes for next year, as well as all receipts.
The Dive Club Officers, Board and members are available to help you with your dinner!
1. Determine your menu and your budget.
Each dinner must be self-supporting. This means that your income from fees charged to members and guests must cover all of your expenses. (Please note: All 50/50 proceeds will be credited to the Caloosa Dive Club's Operating Fund, not a particular dinner)
You will need to determine how much to charge attendees for dinner. Guests should pay twice the amount as members. Members and Guests should sign up and pre-pay for the dinner by the deadline that you set (this will also help you in determining your actual income). Coordinate the payment of those who signed up with our Treasurer.
Ask the Treasurer for a breakdown of the income and expenses of last year's dinner (or a dinner similar to what you are planning) to help you in your calculations. Get the notes from a previous dinner coordinator to help you estimate food, determine how many people attended, things to remember, etc.
Your estimated expenses must include the following:
We encourage you to use decorations from previous events (they are also in our storage closet). See the President or our Store Keeper for these items. If you plan to purchase additional decorations, be sure to allow for it in your budgeted expenses.
2. Advertise your dinner.
Start advertising your dinner on the Website about 2 months prior to the event (sooner if you have it available). See the "Procedure for Posting Upcoming Dinners/Events on the Website" for details. Flyers:
If you would like to create a flyer, you may do so on your own, or you may ask Sandy Canning for assistance. Your flyer can be simple, or fancy, with or without pictures. It will be posted on the website just as you submit it. (The webmasters are not responsible for corrections to your flyer). Flyers can be posted on the Website and can be used to advertise your dinner at the meetings.
3. Create a Sign Up Sheet.
Start encouraging people to sign up for the great dinner you are planning!!
Your sign up sheet should be presented at the 1st meeting of the month prior to your dinner (i.e. if your dinner is in Feb, start advertising the 1st meeting in January). This will allow at least 4 meetings prior to your dinner to advertise it at our Club meetings. (The Annual Banquet, the Christmas Party, and the Crab Claw Fest may all request more advertising time, if desired).
Your Sign Up Sheet should include the following information:
There are different examples of Sign Up Sheets that have been used in the past for different types of dinners. Ask for help if you need it.
Determine your last day to sign up and pay. This may be the Thursday meeting before your planned dinner if it is on a Thursday night, which will give you one week to finalized your menu and quantities. If your dinner is on a Saturday, you may want to choose the Saturday or Sunday prior to the dinner.
4. Marketing, aka "The Talk"
"Sell" your dinner at the meetings, get people excited and looking forward to the great dinner you are planning! Mention if there will be games, prizes, entertainment, etc at your dinner. Make it fun and different. Remind members about paying for their dinners in advance. If you can't attend a meeting prior to your dinner, ask someone to talk about it for you. Place your sign up sheet on the side table for members to view and sign up prior to the start of the meeting. During the meeting, pass around the sign up sheet.
5. Ask for helpers.
Line up your "helpers" for your dinner. We have lots of members willing and able to help with:
6. Several days before your Dinner.
Review your sign up sheet and assess the menu. If you have too much of something and not enough of another, call or email members and ask them to switch their dish to something this is lacking. Check with our Store Keeper to ensure there is sufficient quantities of plates (small and large), utensils, napkins, cups, chafing pans & sternos, etc.
Contact your helpers to remind them of their duties. Buy the tablecloths (WalMart & Dollar Tree are good sources). Each round table seats 8 people, and you will also need rectangular tablecloths for the food serving tables. Be sure to keep receipts for your purchases so you can be reimbursed later out of your dinner income. Also keep good notes.
7. Day before the Dinner.
Create a check in sheet for the door. This should be an easy-to-read list of who signed up and paid. Coordinate with the Treasurer. Clearly mark who, if anyone, is to pay at the door. If you are expecting a few people to pay at the door, ask the Treasurer to have a small petty cash fund available in case you need change for someone (i.e. they give you a $10 bill but only owe $6). Make sure you have a pen available with your check in sheet to give to the check in person at the door. Tip: You can use the club roster as a check in sheet (ask the Treasurer for a sample). Your sign up sheet is for you to track who is coming and what dishes they are bringing.
8. It's Dinner Day!
9. Post your Dinner Report on the website.
Write up a brief report (1 or 2 paragraphs) on your dinner, include some pictures (4-6 max), and send to our Webmaster for publication on the website. Ideally, this should be done within 1 week after your dinner. Tip: This may include something funny, the 50/50 winner, the food itself, and thanks to all of your helpers. Note: See the associated "Procedure for Posting Dinners/Event Reports on the Website".
10. Gather receipts for reimbursement.
Gather all the receipts and Reimbursement Request Forms from yourself as well as your helpers. As the coordinator, you must sign off on the Reimbursement Request Forms (available on the website or from the Treasurer). This will allow you to track and note all of your expenses. When you have all of them, meet with our Treasurer to get the reimbursement checks to distribute to your helpers. This reimbursement money will come out of your income from the dinner. See the associated "Reimbursement Request Form Procedure" on the website.
11. Finalize your notes regarding your dinner.
Jot down some final notes including income, expenses, number of attendees, helpful hints for next time, etc.
MANY THANKS for ALL of YOUR HARD WORK!!!