entertaining · indulging

How to Organize a Dinner Group

How to Organize a Dinner GroupEntertaining can be expensive, but cost shouldn’t keep you from being social.  Organize a dinner group and you can entertain while still being on a budget and frugal.  Schedule your dinner group meetings regularly and you’ll see your friends more often and try new foods.  The idea behind a dinner group is that it’s a fixed group of people, who trade-off responsibility of hosting a dinner party. Dinner group (or dinner club) members, share in the work and expenses, while socializing regularly.  Follow these simple guidelines for fun, hassle free entertaining at your home, or a friend’s home.

How to Organize a Dinner Group

Invite people you’d like to see more often.  Think of different combinations of friends or neighbors or suggest the idea to gauge interest.

8 people is an ideal size for a diner group.  More than this and you can’t talk with everyone.  Couples are nice but not necessary.  Don’t feel like you can’t invite individuals to be a part of your dinner group.  Different life experiences bring more interest to a group.

It’s better to sit at a table.  Balancing a plate of food on your lap is not fun.  It’s too difficult getting your food to your mouth.  Conversation flows better at a table.  Place cards are a nice touch and you can mix up couples and genders at your table.  Dessert can always be served elsewhere.

The host (or hostess) is responsible for entrée and a side dish, if necessary.  The host gets to choose, and prepares the main course, then assigns the following dishes to the other participants:

  • appetizer
  • salad
  • dessert

Each attendee can bring a drink of their choice.  A special drink of the night is nice, too, but not necessary.

Think green!  Invite people in your neighborhood or friends who live close so you can all walk, ride bikes or carpool.

Get your dinner group on a regular schedule and try to stick with it.  Agreeing to meet every other month is a good starting point.  Schedule dates far enough in advance so people can plan for it.

Now, go round-up some friends to join you.  Our dinner group has been meeting regularly for nearly 7 years – since September, 2004.  Meeting for dinner group is something we all look forward to.  Stylish, frugal and fun?  That sounds like….Go Gingham!

Are you in a dinner group?  Any suggestions to add here?  Inspired to start a dinner group?

Go Gingham related links:

Last summer’s dinner group gather is here and the appetizer we brought is here
Our dinner group followed Bon Appetit’s menu last fall
The last time we hosted diner group – in between decorating seasons
Dinner group in spring – well, it felt like winter
The appetizer – white bean dip – brought for dinner group

4 thoughts on “How to Organize a Dinner Group

  1. A few of us keep talking about getting together just for snacks and drinks, but with prepared entrees for each of to take home and share with family. A little twist on your idea. We all make something we specialize in to share with the group. Maybe this will prompt us to get going on it!


  2. My husband and I have been talking about starting a dinner group. We live in a very small town though so it’s hard to exclude anyone because word travels so fast! Every time we try something small, we hear from others about how they wished they would have come.


  3. I’m part of a monthly “supper club” of about 15 people — it’s super fun and a great way to get to check in on a monthly basis with some of them that I don’t see too often otherwise. We always have a theme (i.e. Mediterranean, comfort foods, Southern, homegrown vegetables, etc.) that keeps it different from month to month!


    1. Lindsey, I love the theme program. Sometimes we have a theme but not often enough. Part of it is that I need to be forced to try new recipes. I just keep making the old tried and true! Thanks for the comment.


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