BY PHILIP DEWAR
In the last issue, we provided you with five tips to being the best host to a dinner party or a BBQ. It’s always fun to welcome your friends and family into your home (or backyard) and show them a good time. However, chances are you probably spend more time as the guest than you do as a host. It’s equally as important, perhaps even more important, to be a good guest as it is to play host. Think of the parties you’ve thrown and chances are you can remember “that guy” or “that girl” that always does something unexpected and frowned upon. Let us give you five tips on being on the other side of the coin. Be the guest you would want to host!
- Arrive on Time – Your host has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure everything is ready and that the event flows on a schedule, at least until after lunch or dinner. Be respectful and courteous in honoring their time frame. Unlike a job interview, it’s not expected that you show up early. In fact, this can be just as annoying as showing up late. You don’t have to arrive while your host is still tidying, setting the atmosphere, or worse – just getting out of the shower. Same to be said for being late and having everybody sit around waiting for you. It’s best to show up no more than ten minutes early or twenty minutes late. Stay in that half hour window and you should be okay!
- Bring a Gift – When somebody welcomes you into their home, it’s always a good idea to bring a little something to show your gratitude. Wine is customary, but it’s fun to go off the norm with something like local honey, a homemade jar of jam, or maybe some fresh herbs. In the instance you know what is being served, it’s a great idea to bring something to compliment it. That shows you care, have been paying attention, and didn’t just grab any old thing out of the pantry. Tip: Don’t bring something like fresh cut flowers or anything that requires the host to give it immediate attention. They have enough on their plate!
- Keep the Attention on the Party – Whether you’re at a dinner party or on a dinner date, keep your nose out of your phone. Show that you are actually happy to be there and enjoy the company. If you’re not interested in being there, you shouldn’t have gone in the first place! You can always excuse yourself to the washroom if you need to take an urgent call or text message, but as a general rule keep the phone hidden.
- Offer Help – We mentioned in the “Best Host” tips not to spend the entire time in the kitchen or at the grill. With that said, sometimes you’re running behind or stressing out and some help is needed! Don’t be afraid to pop your head in the kitchen and ask if they need anything. It could be something as simple as setting the table or cutting some lemons and limes. It’s also an opportunity for social time with the host who might be feeling the pressure. Same with helping to clean up after it’s finished! Often times the host will insist, but it never hurts to ask. Especially if it’s an outdoor BBQ with kids and there might be a lot of paper plates and cups to toss in the garbage.
- Say Thank You! – Often times this can get over The party might end for you when you leave, but it’s not ending for the host. They have to worry about cleaning up, doing the dishes, putting away the leftovers and resetting their home. Sending a thank you email, message or note the following day expressing your gratitude for them opening up their home will do wonders. People remember that, and it makes it worth it. It also probably ensures you’ll be invited to the next one!