Helpful Tips to be a Great HostApril 21, 2023 - Updated June 16, 2023
Hosting goes beyond just providing a space for guests. It's about creating a warm and inviting atmosphere where your guests feel truly at home - this is what sets exceptional hosts apart from the rest. Here are some tips to elevate your guests' experience as an exceptional host!
Strategic Meal Selection
Now is not the time to try a new recipe- believe me. When hosting guests, it is always wise to cook something you are confident in. I also recommend meals that require a limited number of dishes. Feeding a number of people will inevitably result in a full sink, so don't add any more dishes to the stack than you have to! Do this by picking a recipe that does not require all of the mixing bowls and utensils in the cabinet. One-pot recipes are a great option during times like these.
This might be the most important tip- so listen up! The more you do ahead of time, the less you will have to worry about when your guests arrive. I'm sure you'd rather enjoy your evening with friends and family than spend the whole time in the kitchen. So, do any chopping, cutting and prepping earlier in the day. If there is something you can do the day before, check it off the list! Always set the table a day or two in advance, so you know that you have everything you need ahead of time. Wouldn't want to sit down for dinner and realize you're one plate short!
Make a Playlist
Music sets the tone for the evening. Something fun you can do in the days prior is put together a playlists of songs that your guests will enjoy. Decide what the energy of the group will be, if it is a night to relax and unwind, or an evening for laughs and reconnecting. This will determine what vibe you want to go for with your music. Having a playlist set before everyone arrives alleviates the need to constantly pick songs, letting you focus on your guests and not on your phone.
Having a beverage station allows people to help themselves. Stock it up ahead of time with beer, wine, ready-to-go cocktails, water or soda, with glassware ready. This way, refills are accessible to all, and you are not playing bartender all night long.
Wear an Apron
You definitely want to avoid spills and stains while you are in the kitchen. Wear an apron while you cook- it is the smart thing to do! Not much more to it than that!
Comfortable Seating Areas
Before your guests arrive, make sure you have a designated lounging area for people to mingle- outside of the kitchen. People gravitate towards the kitchen because that is generally where the food and beverages can be found. Set up your beverage station and some appetizers in the living room or outside on your porch, that way you don't have crowding in the kitchen when you are cooking. Its challenging to prepare a meal when people are blocking the oven and stove to get to the chips and salsa!
Clean As You Go
No one likes to end up with a total mess of a kitchen at the end of the night. The best thing you can do for yourself is clean as much as you can before your guests arrive, and clean everything as you go. Finished using that pot? Don't put it in the sink- wash it! You will be glad you did later.
Pro tip: Empty the dishwasher and take out the trash before your guests arrive. This way people can throw out their scraps and load their dishes directly following the meal, eliminating the pile up of plates in your sink after everyone leaves.
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
It is easy to be overly critical of yourself as a host. By planning and preparing well, you can alleviate some stress, but odds are, something won't be perfect and that is OK! Don't waste time talking about what could have been done differently with the green beans or how the chicken is too dry. Be present and enjoy your company.
Make hosting something you actually enjoy by taking the steps ahead of time and make it a success. We hope these tips helped! Send us your best advice on hosting dinners and gatherings to email@example.com.