Basic Hosting Etiquettes
Here are the basic tips for hosting a dinner at home. These small gestures of care and kindness can leave a mesmerising impact on your guests.
If you ever find an opportunity to host a dinner, do it. I’m saying this because I’ve learnt that guests are blessing from God, and once a guest enters your house, your house becomes blessed. With that, hosting someone is one of the biggest virtues loved by God Himself. The reward of feeding a hungry or even quenching someone’s thirst for water is enormous.
In the current global crisis where people are spending their lives without leaving their abodes, I realised that we are deprived of a big blessing that is to invite someone for a meal.
If you have a chance to host a dinner, you are lucky. And to host your guests in the best way, here are some tips that I listed from my own experience.
1. Invite Properly
When you decide to host a dinner, invite your guests in a polite and generous way. Your invitation should be clear and concise. Any ambiguity in the invitation will create disturbance for you and your guest.
2. Bring the Home in Order, Especially the Guest and/or Drawing Room
We don’t clean our houses daily. But if there are guests coming to your home, make sure your house is neat and clean. When the surrounding is clean, your guests will be more comfortable, and that’s the ultimate aim, let your guests feel comfortable in your house.
3. Have the Sufficient Meal Already Prepared
These days, people judge any dinner party with the food. So instead of giving your guests a chance to bash you in the post-dinner gathering, maximise your effort in making yummy food for the dinner. And keep in mind the quantity as sometimes, people forget the number of invited guests and focus on the quality of food. Make sure the food is in enough amount.
4. Welcome Your Guests at the Gate with Real Smile
Spread your arms for your guests. No matter who your guest is, it’s a blessing in disguise. If you have any grudges, any past discord, forgive it by heart. You have to be as genuine as possible while welcoming your guest at the gate. Being a host, if you are not seen at the gate, your guest will feel unease.
5. Show Way to the Rest Room
This one is critical. Once you enter the house with the guests, tell them the way to the restroom. It’s a sympathetic practice because sometimes, out of shyness, your guest won’t ask you even if he or she is in need to use the toilet. Take care of your guests nicely!
6. Greet Each Guest Personally
Now, as you have entered the guest room or the drawing hall, greet each guest personally. Ask them how are they, are they comfortable, do they need anything? Be as polite as possible.
7. Serve Water (Mild Cold)
Without a second thought, bring mild cold water for your guests. Even though they are not thirsty, they will take a sip or two to relax. If the drinking water is already there, that’s better. If not, serve them water in a glass that’s dry from outside.
8. Introduce New Member to Them
If there is a guest who doesn’t know your family member, introduce that member to them. It’s a gesture of familiarity and kindness. It also shows the unity in the family.
9. Talk Nicely
Be positive but not assertive. You are a host, not a boss. Treat your guests as gifts from God. Come up with some nice topics of discussion. Spread joy, especially if someone has recently got recovered from a misfortune.
10. Prepare the Dining Table
After some chit-chat, start preparing your elegant dining table. Make sure you do that prior to the dinner timing so that your guests can prepare themselves for the big moment. Organise everything with balance. Check out the sequence; appetisers first, then the main course. Also, the seating arrangement must be easy.
11. Be Generous During the Dinner
The decisive moment of your dinner party is here! One mistake, and you are done! Be nice and courteous while serving the meal. During dinner, secretly keep an eye on the dishes and the plates of your guests. If a refill of a dish is needed, do that quickly.
Why it’s important to keep checking the plates of your guests? Sometimes, you have no idea of the food preference of your guest. By doing so, you will know that your guest is not eating, and you can arrange something in such a case. Play smart!
12. Keep Offering Them Food
Never stop offering food to your guests. When I’m a guest at a dinner, I seldom eat completely out of nervousness. Your guest can also feel the same. Nervousness, shyness, say it whatever, but if your guest eats completely, you will win. And don’t bother them during dinner. Ask gently without any sarcasm or negative intent!
13. Pick Up the Leftover
When everyone is done eating, offer your guests to take more. If they refuse, only then ask them if you can pick up the plates. This one will surely leave an impact! Be careful while doing that.
Place a tissue box, NOT EMPTY, on the table once you are done picking up the leftover.
14. Time For the Dessert
Bring the dessert because everyone loves sweet-dish after the meal. Don’t make a mistake by offering a cold drink before dessert. No one rejects a cold drink, but when you offer the dessert first, this trick will give you different results.
15. Offer Cold Drink After Dessert
Once your guests are done enjoying the dessert, only then offer them the cold drink. The likes of accepting this offer will be quite low because you made your guests feel the taste of the dessert, and since they enjoyed the sweet dish, no one would want to drink a tasteless beverage now; sugary elements tend to cancel the sweetness on the tastebuds when taken one after another. Again, smartly played!
16. Leave Them to the Gate
Now since the bellies are full, everyone will have the urge to go back home. You are tired too. After a few minutes, your guests will ask your permission to leave. Never permit them to leave. Let your actions give them the consent they asked for. First, thank them for coming. Use respectable words so that they can invite you to their home (so smart, eh!). Go to the gate with them and keep smiling. Don’t let your guests think for a second that they were a burden on you.
17. Say Goodbye
Say goodbye, shake hands, and hug if there is nothing like covid around you. Leave your guests at their ease.
Thank the Almighty after entering your room, for everything was executed easily and smoothly. Good night!