If you're sick of eating dinner alone or with the same old ‘family’, but can't invite your friends over, host a virtual dinner party!
If you’ve been wanting to plan a virtual get-together, host a dinner party to see how much fun you can have without even leaving your house!
These days, the technology you need to host a virtual dinner party is easy to access and navigate, so don’t fret if you aren’t tech savvy! With your smartphone, laptop or tablet you can virtually connect with your friends and family from anywhere and feel like your together in the same room.
Though you won’t have to leave the house to see your dinner party guests, you should still dress up and decorate a little. The more extravagant your outfit and decor, the more fun your virtual dinner party will be. So put on your best dress, make up your hair and set the table with silverware, flowers and candles to set the mood.
If you’re in need of some inspiration and advice, look no further. This guide will assist you in planning your virtual dinner party that your friends and family will be happy to attend from the comfort of their own homes.
1. Pick the date
Even though no one has to physically leave their house for the dinner party, your guests will still need some notice so they can clear their calendar and buy all the ingredients for the meal they’ll be cooking. Make sure to give your friends or family a heads up so they can plan and get excited about the night.
2. Pick your platform and send the invites
When scheduling your virtual dinner party, ask if your friends or family have a preferred video chatting app or platform that they would like to use because they are familiar with it. Try to find a common ground here and go for the easiest and most affordable option to accommodate all of your guests. Platforms we recommend include Zoom, Houseparty, Skype or Facetime.
Once you’ve settled on a platform you can send out an official invitation via email that people can add to their calendars. If you need a code or link to join the party for the video conferencing platform, attach it to this e-invitation. You may also want to include in your e-invitation details of the dress code, decoration ideas, recipes, a grocery shopping list or cocktail, beer or wine suggestions.
Prior to your dinner party remind all guests to make sure that they have downloaded the app (or created an account), have tested the app and have their devices (phone, laptop or tablet) fully charged and ready to go!
3. Create your menu or find a great caterer!
There are a few options when it comes to the menu. You may not want to worry too much about the menu for your virtual dinner party and just use this time as an opportunity to laugh and connect and not feel so alone when the world around us is so crazy! Foodies however may want to go all out and cook a special meal together virtually. In this case, you’ll need to share recipe ideas and shopping lists in the lead up to your virtual dinner party, so everyone is prepared on the day.
Alternatively, you and your guests may wish to have a night off cooking, in that case go all out and find a caterer who can deliver a dinner party to your door! In this case only minimal prep will be required and you and your guests can enjoy the evening catching up with little cooking and cleaning involved. Perfect!
4. Decorations and theming
You and your guests may want to go all out for your virtual dinner party and create a theme, the options are endless however some themes we are loving at the moment are Mexican fiestas, Summer in the Mediterranean with an Italian feast and lots of limoncello and Aperol Spritz or for something totally quirky why not revisit the 80’s – think prawn cocktails, prosciutto-wrapped rockmelon, roulades and vol au vents (all of which we still love today!).
If you don’t want to theme the menu and decorations still go to some effort with setting up for your online dinner party to add to the ambience. Create some floral arrangements, light some candles and dust off the special cutlery, crockery and linen!
5. Dress for the occasion
Use your virtual dinner party as the perfect opportunity to finally get out of your trackies (or pyjamas!) and get dressed up! Get into the party mood and make a real night of it by wearing something special. You may want to go all out and set a dress code for you and your guests. If you want it to be more casual, at a bear minimum ban the trackies and pyjamas! As we mentioned before, the more extravagant your outfit and decor, the more fun your virtual dinner party will be.
If a virtual dinner party isn’t up your alley there are plenty of other virtual catch up ideas that you may want to consider instead. Some of our favourites include:
- Wine and Cheese Night: A simple concept for the low-fuss virtual catch up for everyone involved.
- Games Night: pick a game that everyone might have a home (Guess Who or Cards Against Humanity are some of our favourites) or something that is simple to play virtually like Charades.
- Trivia Night: you can either pick a quiz master or organise for everyone to host a round each and find out who is the smartest of your family or friends! This option will need some planning in advance so make sure everyone involved is on board!
- Movie Night: using an app like Netflix Party you can now watch movies together, apart!
The way we come together over a shared meal might have shifted but with some creative thinking virtual dinner parties are helping us come together over food with our loved ones – while still safely social distancing.
For assistance planning your virtual dinner party contact us on 03 9670 4361 or order online here.