How To Host The Perfect (Virtual) Dinner Party

Words: Katrina Rose Wind

2020 has felt two years long and we’re only in April. Who knew that I would be writing an article about hosting a virtual diner party, when in actuality I want nothing more than to have a real-life dinner soiree. But here we are, in the age of Corona, and I’ll take a virtual dinner party with my friends, who I miss dearly, over than nothing at all – I’m sure you feel the same.

Choose Your Preferred Means Of Video Chat

I’m sure by now you have a preferred video conferencing platform. If you don’t, make sure to check out our list of the best (free) video conferencing apps out there. Once you have decided what platform to use, send your friends a google calendar reminder of your virtual soiree. Don’t forget to make sure with all your guests that everyone has the same conferencing platform.

Keep in mind time limitations of some platforms. Zoom only allows you to chat for free for about 40 minutes. Nothing kills the vibe more than the video cutting out. Imagine your friend Cheryl is telling a story about how she fell asleep in the tub last night with a glass of red, and then *poof* the screen is black. Avoid this faux pas by deciding as a group which platform or app is better for everybody for this virtual dinner party.

Guest list Is Key, Even During A Pandemic

At a real dinner party, there can be side conversations among your guests while you make sure everything is going smoothly in the kitchen. Unlike a real dinner party, introductions of new people can make it slightly awkward and can make the virtual dinner party feel more like a conference call with your office. Avoid uncomfortable situations and keep the guest list small and close. Invite people who know each other in order for the conversations to run smoothly.

Another thing to keep in mind during your virtual dinner party is talking etiquette. Set up a system where people speak one at a time as otherwise you lose the train of conversation. This can be with a hand raising system or any other creative way you might think of.

Decide On A Menu That Everyone Will Like

You can take the easy way out and let everyone eat what they want as you all video chat with one another ooor you can make it interesting. Why not come up with a menu that is not only scrumptious but also relatively easy. You all can prep on your own time or even prep together and make that part of the virtual dinner party evening.

Take it one step further and set up a theme for the evening. You could suggest an Italian night and you all have to pick a pasta recipe that you and your friends haven’t made before. Or even a Mexican night, where you and your guests can build your own tacos and sip on some delicious margaritas. This is your time to be creative and come up with something that will be fun and delicious for everybody.

Virtual Dinner Party Playlist

This one is not a must but could add greatly to the ambiance. Why not make a playlist either on Spotify or YouTube and send the link to your guests. That way you all can listen to the same music at the same time, just like a real dinner party. Avoid playing the music too loudly so that you can all hear yourselves speak. I am aware that not everyone needs a link to the playlist but it’s a sweet keepsake of your virtual dinner party evening.


The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has a toll-free number for the public that deals with Covid-19 related issues or questions: 0800 029 999. The line is operated 24 hours a day.

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