Hosting a stress-free dinner party where everything goes according to plan, is one of most underrated joys there are. Whether it is celebrating a special occasion with your close ones, reuniting with old friends, or hosting new friends over at your house in your first month in a new city, a dinner party is always the ideal event. However, it can not be denied that hosting a dinner party can be very stressful, especially if you have not hosted one before. Finalizing the guest list, deciding the menu, prepping the menu, setting up the decor…everything may seem overwhelming. But fret not. We have got you covered. After reading this step-by-step guide to hosting your own dinner party, you’ll be able to host one with ease, we promise.
We’re going to put this as candidly as possible - decide WAY beforehand how many people you want to invite to your dinner party (i.e. how many people would you be comfortable spending on). It often goes like this - you dwell on the idea of hosting a party for days on end, imagine it to be a fantastic time, you get all excited, and end up calling a majority of the people on your contact list, only to have cold feet before the night arrives and call it off. Yes, hosting multiple people on a whim may have been the way to go when you were in high-school or college. But, as an adult, with every expense coming out of your own pockets - it’s essential to set realistic expectations.
Firstly, envision what the party is going to be like. A dinner party is usually more intimate (although, not necessarily) than a party-party. So having close friends over for some delicious food and discussing everyone’s week is always a hit. A dinner party centered around conversations can also be a great opportunity to break the ice with new acquaintances and to introduce your connections to one-another.
After you’ve got the essence of the party locked in, make an initial mental calculation of what would be the most feasible spending options for hosting the ‘x’ number of people and check with everyone prior if a certain date that you had in mind works for them.
You can also never go wrong with invitation cards (digital or printed). Mention important details such as location, contact information, date and time (you can also ask them to RSVP or even inquire about a ‘+1 situation’ if you’re feeling generous). But most importantly, make sure the invitation captures the theme of the event - a witty title and a description, let you guests know what to expect and get them excited about attending!
Menu planning really begins when the RSVPs start rolling in. When you have a rough headcount, you’ll be able to estimate how much food needs to be prepared and how much variety the menu requires.
Don’t forget to ask guests about their allergies or any dietary restrictions. But, do not design an entire menu based on specific people's restrictions alone, just make sure there are enough options in small amounts, for everyone to indulge in.
Cook to express, not to impress. This is not to dissuade you from preparing a fancy 8 course meal for your guests, but chances are with every other responsibility to take care of, preparing an expansive menu with limited help can be overwhelming. Instead, go with dishes you love to cook and enjoy having yourself. Not only will it be easy for you to rustle up, but it will be an honest representation of who you are. All in all, a simple appetizer, a main dish, dessert and a choice of drink - a homemade cocktail or wine would do just fine.
There is another option that you may not have occured to you..
Nymble is a cooking robot with 500+ recipes spanning various cuisines and diets. It has weekly recipe updates, and automates the entire cooking process. All you have to do is prep and load the ingredients. So as you can see, hosting dinner parties can become 100x easier when you own a private cooking robot. Many of our users have voiced how much easier it is to host people over for dinners, having owned Nymble.
On this note, we have a special segment that concerns hosting dinner parties in itself. Read on to find out.
A dinner party does not have to be an extravagant affair. Decorating your apartment or house for the occasion, does not have to burn a hole in your pocket. A minimalistic set-up would include some fresh flowers on the dinner table, some light scented candles, and some string fairy lights (or dim your lamps) to help people relax.
Music is a very important touch. While we’d advise to not spend too much time on curating a dinner playlist, and rather utilize that time for cooking and prepping for the food that will be served. Also, because Spotify dinner playlists exist. But we understand if you would like to fix a playlist that has all the right songs. Connect your laptop or phone to a small but powerful speaker and get the party started! However, do remember the music should not overpower the conversations. Ambient playlists are great picks for this reason.
Make sure you fix daily tasks or goals, leading up to the night of the party. This could begin with curating the guest-lists and formally inviting them over message or a call, finalizing the menu and then going for the grocery run. Then comes prepping and cooking batches of the dishes, decorating the house and so it goes. These tasks can take quite a few days to be completed, which is why you must give yourself at least a week’s time before you call everyone over for the dinner party.
Now we’re not gonna lie, this can be stressful. And this is often why people flake, because of the amount of effort that goes into hosting a dinner party. Planning and scheduling can be done, but when executing those plans, that’s when people feel the heat. Many may give up and simply order takeout, which may be a reasonable option. While having takeout at home can be a wholesome vibe as well, it does not really make for a quintessential dinner party. Because you do not want the food aspect of your dinner party to be completely impersonal. But again, it can not be denied that you may not have the capacity to cook everything right. But there is a better and more efficient alternative..
You can invest in a Private Chef. Not a human chef, but your own private robot chef. Kitchen technology has made incredible strides since the latter part of the previous decade. You might have heard about restaurants with robot cooks, but a private cooking robot for homes is designed differently. Mainly because food in restaurants are made to taste the same, it’s meant to be mass produced, therefore it is simpler to program a robot to cook a dish, the exact same way, time and again. But what Nymble, your private cooking robot, does is let you have full control over your food, without you having to actually cook it. For every recipe, you can customize them to the fullest extent - adjust sauce thickness or spice levels. You can swap ingredients for one another, set unlimited taste profiles for different people so that the robot cooks accordingly for each person. You can even schedule recipes and track their progress from your phone. So figure this - you can choose from 500+ recipes from various cuisines, customize them to everyone’s specific preferences and schedule meals without you having to be present in the kitchen all the time. This is an ideal cooking product to own if you want to host stress-free dinner parties. It solves every realistic issue that you may face while cooking for multiple people.
And we’d bet that having a robot chef in your kitchen will be THE talk of the party. Not only because it is a novel product, but also it’s a conversation igniter in itself - the whole process of Nymble making a recipe is intriguing, to say the least.
Here is a video from our Instagram of the cooking robot making some Shrimp Stir Fry.
And that’s not all - we at Nymble, also organize dinner parties, where we bring in our robot-chef to take over your cooking duties, while the ‘team behind the robot’ takes care of everything else. We guarantee a fun and unique eating experience. If you are in San Francisco, and want to enquire about hosting a Nymble party, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dinner parties can be difficult to organize and everything can be hyper-stressful leading up to the party. But when the time comes, and the food’s ready, the music is playing and guests come rolling in, you should embrace it fully. Many people tend to absorb even more stress during the course of a party, but do your best to avoid that. People identify when a host is stressed out and that makes them uncomfortable and too cautious, which is not exactly what you'd want your guests to feel.
On the other hand, people enjoy the company of a relaxed and easy-going host, the one that makes them feel welcome. No one likes a host who polices every little action of their guests, but at the same time, it is understandable to set certain boundaries. If your guests are to abide by certain rules pertaining to hygiene or cleanliness, a placard which conveys the message is much better received and is also non-confrontational. And lastly, remember this - you put in so much effort to make this happen -- let loose, enjoy the food, have a few drinks, play the games, and participate in the conversations. That's it, that's our tip - remember to have fun. You deserve to, you did a splendid jib.