Brian Semple, One if by Land, Two if by Sea

Business event ideas: If it's a business gathering, plan to keep the party moving, advises Semple. "Keep in mind that people have already spent the entire day at work. They're tired. They don't want to spend more than a couple of hours at any event.

"People are happier and much more comfortable if you get food in their mouths quickly," he continues. "This is especially true if it's an awkward business situation in which they don't know each other, or if it's a large group."

Minimize guests' waiting time: "As soon as guests are seated, the wait staff should give them menus and tell them what specials are available. Or let them know what the host or hostess has ordered for them."

In addition, he counsels, the printed menu should never be intimidating. "We strongly advise that a description of each dish be presented to guests verbally or written on the menu," he says.