8 Things Every Host Should Know for Outdoor Entertaining

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Sep 13, 2018 6:09:30 AM

Outdoor EntertainingWhen it comes to hosting, planning, cooking, and cleaning is just the beginning. A good host knows that the most important part of a gathering is how your guests feel when they leave. Were they able to let their guard down and relax? Did they get enough to eat? Would they come back? These are all feelings that a host has the power to influence.

Let's look at 8 ways you can be the perfect host for the guests you invite to your outdoor living space!

Your greeting matters

Your greeting sets the tone for the party. Make it your goal to ensure that every guest receives a warm welcome, not just the first few.

Even if a guest arrives 30 minutes early, it's important to greet them enthusiastically. Stop your party prep for a moment to pour them a drink, or let them sample a few things from the appetizer platter you're still assembling — "You have to try this cheese I found!"

When a friend who doesn't know anybody else at the party walks through the door, immediately introduce them to somebody new rather than chatting with them in the corner until you get pulled away. By introducing them to someone early on, you can be sure they're able to enjoy themselves when you're not at their side.

Practice proper phone etiquette

It goes without saying, that a good host won't be scrolling Instagram or Facebook when they should be talking to their guests. However, you shouldn't hide your phone completely either. Keep your phone within reach so that you don't miss a call or text from a guest who can't find your house.

Tune in to the temperature

If you're hosting a party on your sunny patio in the heat of the day, make sure your house is also open for guests to wander inside and find a little relief from the hot temperatures. You can also beat the heat in your outdoor kitchen by installing fans, a misting system or an evaporative cooler.

On the other hand, if you're hosting a party that's going to last after the sun sets, it may be a good idea to set blankets out, especially if you have a fire going in your fire pit or fireplace. Even if it's not necessarily cold, your guests will enjoy a cozy blanket when curled up next to the fire. 

Offer alcohol alternatives

Have plenty of beer, wine and mixed drinks, but also have alternatives. Even if you know all of your guests typically drink, there's always that chance one of your friends decided to give up wine for the month or somebody is expecting and not quite ready to spill the news. Give them options so they don't have to ask for them.

Make the trash can visible

Certainly, you don't want the trash can to be the first thing guests see, but try not to hide it in a closet or under the sink either. Nobody wants to be that person opening every cabinet in search of somewhere to toss a dirty plate while other guests eye them curiously — or judgmentally! Save your guests the stress and just put the trash can out. If you're worried about the garbage attracting flies or emanating an odor, get a can with a lid.

Also, if you're serving shrimp, chicken wings or any other finger foods with tails, bones, pits, etc., set out small bowls for guests to put their leftovers. Also, be sure to label them so that guests don't use these bowls to eat from.

Stock the bathroom

If there's one room in your house that you can guarantee your guests will visit during your backyard party, it's your bathroom. A good host makes sure the bathroom is fully stocked with toilet paper and hand soap, but a great host lights a candle and leaves a plunger and poo-pourri by the toilet.

Adopt a guest-first mindset

As you enjoy yourself at your own party, watch your guests and do whatever you can to make sure they're enjoying themselves more. If you notice a guest's beer is almost gone, offer to grab them another. If all of the wine bottles on the counter are unopened, open one so that guests feel free to pour themselves a glass when they're ready. If your friend is sitting a little too quietly, pull them into the conversation or start up a game that the entire group can play together.

Keep calm and clean up later

Part of the guest-first mentality is to be more attentive to your guests than cleaning up the mess they're creating. Instead of offering to throw someone's empty plate away, ask them if you can get them more food. Instead of washing dishes, set them out of sight and get back to mingling. Remember, your guests take their cues from you, so if you're cleaning up, they'll assume it's time for them to go.

Leave the design to us!

Focusing on being a good host is enough work without also trying to design the perfect outdoor living space for your parties. When you consult an expert kitchen designer, you can share your ideas without having to do the research or make all of the decisions. Call us today at (888) 747-4554 or click on the banner below to get started!

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle