Some people were born to entertain. Put them in front of an audience or a crowd, and they naturally command everyone’s attention. They have that certain thing that draws people in.
However, being a good dinner party host takes more than charisma. Hosting a dinner party is an art, but like most skills, you can learn it. Complement that with experience and your natural love for entertaining, and you’ve got all the makings of being an exceptional dinner party host.
Here are four secrets to becoming an exceptional dinner party host:
Exceptional Dinner Party Host Secret #1: Know Your Guests
Do you have guests who are vegetarians or have severe allergic reactions to specific foods? We’re not saying you should bend over backward to accommodate each person’s dietary limitations and preferences. However, it’s best and considerate to offer options. For your vegetarian guests, they may have to pass up on the rack of lamb, but they’ll love the brussel sprouts and arugula salad. And for your party guest with the seafood allergy, they may not enjoy the bouillabaisse, but they can still dive into the other courses you’ve prepared.
If hosting a DinDin Party, where you rarely know most of your guests, list any potential food allergies when creating the event. You can also message guests ahead of time using our internal messaging system to see if they have any special needs.
Exceptional Dinner Party Host Secret #2: “Prep” for Success
From the guest list to decorations to the menu plan to setting up your space; prepare as much as you can in advance. It means cleaning your home and setting up additional seating; you may even want to decorate the day before your dinner party. Anything you can tick off your to-do list early get it done. And that includes desserts you can make ahead of time.
When we talk about “prep,” we’re not just referring to the food. It’s also about prepping yourself mentally. Your home is about to fill with many people; be ready to welcome them with a smile, warmth, high energy, and a drink offer.
Exceptional Dinner Party Host Secret #3: Plan and Anticipate
Plan your menu and list all the ingredients you need. Buy the items that need to be fresh on the day of your dinner party; you can buy everything else such as ingredients in cans or jars days in advance. Buying these early saves you multiple trips on the morning of your dinner party.
Start your day early, so you’re not cutting it close and tiring yourself out. By planning, you’re not scrambling to get things done in time. The last thing you want is to spend most of your dinner party slaving away in the kitchen and missing out on all the fun.
Create a roadmap for the evening. Whether you’re cooking alone or someone is assisting you, keep your cooking on schedule. You don’t want to keep your guests hungry and waiting. Unless there’s an activity planned before the dinner plan on serving guests within a half hour of time you set. You should also expect your guests’ needs. Have extra napkins, toothpicks, ice, and even your Wi-Fi password available when they ask for them.
Exceptional Dinner Party Host Secret #4: Plan the Entertainment
You can play soft background music and hope that the fun and conversations will happen organically. However, if you’re inviting guests who don’t know each other, plan dinner party games or have conversation starters ready to ensure everyone connects and has a good time.
Some party games require materials while others only demand wit and little brain power. Prepare everything you need in advance, so you’re not juggling between getting dinner ready and organizing the games.
We’re just excited as you are about your next dinner party. We’ve got plenty more tips and tricks for aspiring dinner party host pros like yourself throughout this blog.
Ready to become a DinDin Party Host? Apply to host here.