Moneek
Lv 4
Moneek asked in Food & DrinkEntertaining · 4 months ago

How long after guests arrive at a dinner party should you serve the food.?

I like to invite guests two hours before the actual meal.

I always serve drinks and snacks and like people to mingle and enjoy.

The problem I have is....there is always one person who does not want a drink and feels I should serve dinner right away. That makes me feel uncomfortable.

18 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Invite says: Appetizers, beverages, games at o'clock-dinner promptly served at o'clock (one hour later)  so they know

    Before the guests arrive lay out the appetizers, beverages, and always some good chocolate - and mints- have it out before the first guest arrives

    One hour later the main dishes-wait for no one

    If someone is late - set aside some food for them in the kitchen 

    Always finish with some strong hot coffee and tea and dark chocolate with sugared pecans and pastry

    have some informal games along the way with prizes-never too old for that

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  • GEEGEE
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    I think an hour and 15 minutes is about right, 90 minutes tops

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  • 4 months ago

    I think 2 hours is a bit long.

    Satisfy all and when you invite say you will serve appetizers and cocktails from 4 pm to 6 pm and dinner will be served at 6. This way anyone that does not want to have a full 2 hours of drinking and appetizers can arrive anytime before 6. They should not arrive after 6 though. Do not hold dinner for any latecomers.

    • Jerry
      Lv 7
      4 months agoReport

      I predict that an invitation worded in that way would result in "minute men" arriving 5 minutes before dinner is served.

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  • 4 months ago

    Not everyone drinks, and snacks should be available as well as nonalcoholic beverages upon their arrival. Then there’s no rush for the food.

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  • denise
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    Your house your rules, A dinner party is a social occasion, not just a 'diner' where you eat and leave!

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    You should not feel uncomfortable about a guest declining a drink as long as you have water/non-alcoholic option as well as adult drinks.   If someone doesn't want a beverage, that's their choice and it's fine.

    That being said, I think two hours is too long to wait to serve dinner.   I prefer not to be hungry for two hours or to fill up on hors d'oeuvres only to have to stare a full dinner in the face afterwards.   Plus, I really don't need a dinner party to last 4-5 hours by the time dessert is served.  

    But if you and your guests all seem happy with the way it's been going, there are no dinner party police.   Party on.   And don't worry about someone who doesn't want a drink.   It's there if they want it. 

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  • 4 months ago

    You can serve it any time you like, but let your guests know what your proposed time is. That's so they don't arrive hungry and have nothing but drinks and snacks for two hours. Speaking for myself, if I arrived expecting dinner within a half hour and it wasn't served for two hours, by the time dinner came around I'd be too drunk and or too full of snacks to care much about dinner. Or have a headache by then from a combination of alcohol and not enough food. There are those, such as diabetics, who need to know when they'll eat.

    So say when you invite people: Come any time after seven. We'll be serving drinks and snacks starting then, and dinner will be at nine.

    Those who don't care to stand around mingling for two hours can come later than seven.

    For those who don't want to drink alcohol, you will of course provide other beverages. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices.

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  • 4 months ago

    maybe you shouldnt invite that person since theyre trying to tell you what to do

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  • 4 months ago

    If you serve dinner right away--like you invite people for 7:00 and dinner hits the table at 7:15, then anyone who's late is a problem.  You have people coming in and sitting down during the meal, which is awkward.  And a lot of people are never on time for a party--they want to arrive 'fashionably late' or they have problems getting out of the house (especially if they have kids).

    But you can't just serve dinner whenever most of the guests are there.  Dinner has to be planned for a certain time.  So it's a good time to serve drinks and snacks and give people 'mingle time'.  Put on the invitation 'Party starts at 6, dinner is served at 7 ', something like that.  Then people who don't want to drink and mingle can come closer to 7.  If someone arrives earlier and complains, you can tell them what I told you, that guests arriving after dinner is served causes a problem.

    • Moneek
      Lv 4
      4 months agoReport

      That was a perfect response....thank-you very much.

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  • 4 months ago

    If dinner is the key ingredient, I'd say as soon as they've all arrived. Unless some will be super late, just eat

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