Don’t Flip Out: 5 Tips For Cooking The Perfect Sunday Pancake Breakfast

Submitted by: Bob Letterman

The Sunday pancake breakfast is something of a tradition in many towns and cities across America. Churches, nonprofits, Boy Scouts, soccer leagues and a variety of other organizations look to this cooking event as a source of fund raising.

This article provides some practical wisdom on how to make sure your pancake breakfast will go off successfully. Five tips are provided.

Tip 1: Delegate Both Cooking and Planning Responsibilities

Even if you could do it all yourself, you really don’t want to! Most pancake breakfast events cater to medium to larger sized groups. Anything from ten to one hundred would be typical. This means that you will definitely need help in both the cooking process and the preparation for it.

Getting the right help from the right people means learning how to delegate. You want someone to handle the invitations, someone to book the venue (or at least be willing to host if it will be at someone’s house), and several people to take responsibility for acquiring the ingredients and doing the cooking

Tip 2. Set The Guest List Well in Advance


The larger the size of your pancake breakfast event, the more crucial it will be to set the guest list well in advance. Most events have an attrition rate of somewhere between 10 and 30%. That means if you have 20 confirmed guests, expect that somewhere between 14 to 18 will actually show up.

Thus if you want 20 to show up, you’ll probably need to have about 25 confirmed guests. Reaching your target on the number of confirmed guests means you’ll need to invite more than that number. In many cases it will require far more than that number. 50% is a good approximate rule of thumb: so to get 25 to confirm will probably require inviting 50.

Tip 3:

Carefully Prepare the Agenda for What Happens after the Pancake Breakfast.

Most organizers who organize a pancake breakfast are not doing it for their love of pancakes. Most attendees who come to this sort of event are not doing it because of their love of pancakes either! The time-honored tradition is that this event serves some larger purpose.

In some cases it may be fund raising, in other cases volunteer generation or team building. Whatever the purpose, make sure that you carefully plan the block of time that will naturally arise as people wind down having their breakfast. Figure on a 10-30 minute window of time where you will have everyone’s attention before folks start to trickle out.

If you have a fundraising pitch, you want it to be tightly focused and concise. If you are trying to recruit volunteers, have informational literature ready to distribute. Use that brief window of time for maximum advantage.

Tip 4: Secure the Ingredients the Night Before

In the area of event planning, it is good to remember that what can go wrong will in fact probably go wrong. Trying to buy the ingredients for morning before the breakfast is almost certainly a recipe for disaster! If you have successfully delegated (Tip 1), you’ll have someone on hand to buy the ingredients the night before and to deliver those ingredients to the venue.

That way the morning of the event, the stress factor can drop appreciably. You should still plan on getting to that venue well in advance of when the guests are starting to arrive. There will always be at least one guest who will show up considerably early and so you would be well advised to be prepared.

Tip 5: Arrange a Conference Call with Your Team Members

A successful pancake breakfast operation requires teamwork. Particularly in the case of the larger event, you will almost definitely have a handful of people helping you pull everything together. It may be difficult to get everyone to meet in person and that is where teleconferencing comes in.

Holding a conference call with your pancake breakfast planning members is a great solution. These days there are a number of services that offer free conference calling and that means you can hold the phone conference for negligible expense.

When everyone calls in to the conference, use that opportunity to reiterate the roles and responsibilities that you have already delegated and to confirm the plan for the night before and morning of the event.

A well-planned pancake breakfast requires a lot of work. The suggestions outlined above in terms of delegation, advance planning and making intelligent use of collaboration tools like free conferencing can go a long way to ensuring a successful event.

About the Author: Letterman hails from California. While not a pancake chef himself, he has participated in organizing and helping lead numerous events involving nonprofit organizations. Bob has written a variety of articles covering organization building and ways to facilitate team-building including

free conference calling

tools and other technologies to significantly facilitate

phone conference



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