How to Throw a Dinner Party for Your Boss

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Entertaining at home is stressful enough, but throw job security into
the mix and the stakes go way up. Time for an attitude adjustment--
there's no need to dread this day. Plan ahead and keep in mind that
the bottom line for your guests--and yourself--is to have a great
time and enjoy the relationships you are building.

  • See 316 Throw a Dinner Party.

  • Clarify the purpose. Is this a working dinner, or a relaxed gathering of co-workers? Is your boss flying in from the out-of-state headquarters or just driving down the road? Your reason will dictate who comes and how you set up the party.

  • Determine the guest list. Keeping in mind how many people will comfortably fit at your house, invite confident, interesting and lively colleagues and friends who complement your boss's interests or share similar passions, such as golf or travel.

  • Learn your boss's food likes, dislikes, allergies and latest diet, before you plan the menu. See 301 Plan Theme Menus, 303 Cook Ahead and 315 Plan Party Foods Ahead.

  • Plan seating. It prevents an awkward moment when guests must choose who to sit with. See 320 Plan Dinner Party Seating.

  • Set up an open bar (see 328 Set Up a Bar) or arrange open bottles of wine on a side table with ample glasses so guests may serve themselves. Or mix a signature drink for the evening, such as blended mojitos or a classic cocktail. As the host, keep your consumption in check.

  • Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of your dinner is that your guests enjoy themselves. Be sincere, have fun and relax.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pick a weekend night so you don't have to work all day and host a dinner that night.
  • See 317 Finish Dinner on Time.
  • Splurge on a caterer. If there was ever a time to be free from cooking responsibilities, this is it. See 331 Hire a Caterer.
  • Do not download on your boss, whine about a project or deadline, or otherwise abuse his or her willingness to join you for dinner. If you do, rest assured that you've just had your last party for your boss.

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