Impress your hosts by following these five easy guidelines.
- Offer assistance. Yes, you should always ask if you can help with preparations. If asked to bring food, inquire if there is a specific recipe or dish you can bring to compliment what is often a carefully planned menu. And if your host declines help preparing food, don’t bring food (see #4, below).
- Mention allergies. Speak up as soon as you’re invited, not when you arrive, or worse, when dinner is served. A good host will try to accommodate you, but that’s much easier to do ahead of time.
- Don’t be late. But definitely don’t be early! A party starts as soon as the first person arrives, even if hosts aren’t quite ready to receive you. And at the slightest hint your host is growing tired, pack up and head out (after offering to help clean up, of course).
- Bring a gift. Your host is gifting you with a party, so return their kindness with a (budget-friendly) bottle of wine, box of candy or floral arrangement.
- Dress to impress. This sends a message to your host that you find their party (and them) to be special.
Rachael Perron is the culinary & brand director for Kowalski’s Markets.