Honoring friends’ dietary preferences is the sign of a good host—and the vegans in your crowd will especially appreciate the careful thought you put into the menu. Follow our vegan-friendly party pointers to let everyone know what dish is what.

There are many reasons people choose a vegan lifestyle. For some it’s health, some adhere to a religious calling, others are politically motivated, and let’s face it, some people just don’t like the taste of meat. For all these reasons, it’s important to make sure everyone knows what’s on the buffet. Organization is key.

[1] Start off by placing non-vegan and vegan dishes on opposite sides of the buffet. That way the vegans will not have to confront meaty dishes when reaching for their veggies.

[2] ID the food: Create a place card for each dish with all the ingredients listed, which is helpful for everyone. Use card holders on little stands with clips or create a “tent” by folding paper in half and standing next to the dish.

[3] Get creative with plating. Make a big letter “V” for vegan by cutting it out of an opened napkin, and placing under food, or insert a green drink umbrella into the vegan selections, or set the vegan dishes on different color plates: say, all the vegan on white dishes, all the meat dishes on black.

[4] Make your vegan offerings appealing to all. A healthy spread includes all sorts of items, and vegan dishes are perfect by themselves or as side dishes.

Create two versions of a dish—one meaty, one veggie—like in the BBQ recipes in the 09 Alcohol Infusion