How to Start a Weekly Supper Club

“Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.” Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

Let’s put Mitch’s words of wisdom into action! Hosting a casual gathering is a cinch—but let’s up the ante by carving out a few hours each and every week to gather with friends over a home cooked meal. Eating together is an intimate, bonding act that has brought people together since the beginning of time. Food has a powerful way of connecting best friends with new friends, young friends with old friends.

Here are a few tried and true tips on starting and maintaining a weekly supper club.

Map out logistics.

Source: Appointed

As the hostess you have to cover your “w” bases: who, what, where, when. Who will be invited? What will be prepared? Where will it be served? When will it be consumed? As the hostess you are in control, so pick a day and a time that works best with your weekly schedule. The size of the gathering is up to you and know that weekly attendance will likely ebb-and-flow. An intimate 2-3 person evening is just as great as a large group of friends as long as you are gathering on a weekly basis—that’s what counts.

My husband and I host a weekly dinner on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. at our home. We end every weekend on a high note with full bellies and happy hearts surrounded by the people we love most.

Communicate easily.

Source: UO

From old-fashioned phone calls to chic Paperless post invites, use whatever form of communication your guests will be most responsive to. I blast out a group email over the weekend and then individually text those who don’t check their digital inboxes to make sure they are aware. If you are unsure how your guests want to be notified, simply ask for a preferred method of communication. 

Commitment is key!

Source: Julie Blanner

Consistency is key to maintaining weekly gatherings. Instead of cancelling one week due to a schedule restraint, pass the torch to a frequent dinner guest so she can play hostess for the week. Keeping the plan consistent—same day, same time, same guest list—will help keep this weekly gathering on track. Like any new habit, one blip in the routine and you may stop hosting all together. Avoid this pitfall by having a back up hostess for the weeks you are unable to host. 

Make it potluck.

Source: The Fresh Exchange

What’s genius about potlucks—besides the variety of dishes, flavors, and ingredients— is you always end up with just the right amount of food, no matter the head count. Using a potluck method puts less stress on you as the hostess and eliminates the need for RSVPs. Trust me, it’s all in the magic of potlucks! It just always works out. Bonus: As the hostess you usually score the homemade leftovers, which you can pack for lunch the next day! 

Or, try themed a potluck.

Source: Host the Toast

Stick with the potlucks, but every once in a while mix things up a bit by hosting a theme potluck. For example, try taco night—you can be in charge of grilled chicken or braised pork and have your guests bring the supporting ingredients: tortillas, salsa, guacamole, cilantro, sour cream, onions, queso fresco, cerveza. If you are going with a themed meal, sometimes it’s best to delegate out what your guests can bring to make sure you have all the bases covered.

Some great collaborative meals include: bruschetta bar, build your own burgers, baked potato bar, or pizza night. Want to skip the cooking all together one week? Check out my guide on How to Build the Ultimate Cheese Board, and ask everyone bring over a wedge of cheese with their favorite accouterment! Done and done.

As the hostess, be flexible.

Source: Renne Kemps

Your guests might be late, guests may not show up, or some might bring a friend unannounced, you might end up with a meal of four different salads, or one entrée and three desserts—that’s all OK! Roll with it. Embrace the unexpected. After all, this is a casual gathering with friends. 

As the guest, contribute any way you can.

Source: The Daybook Blog

Did you run out of time to prepare a dish because work ran late? Swing by the local bakery to pick up a loaf of fresh bread or the corner liquor store for a bottle of wine. Feeling uninspired in the kitchen? Splurge on a nice bar of chocolate to share after the meal. Is money tight this particular month? Pick a posy of flowers from your neighborhood for the dinner table or offer to do the dishes and tidy up the home at the end of the gathering. No matter what, there is always some way to contribute to the weekly supper club, even as a guest. 

Like any new routine, establishing a rhythm may take a few weeks before the habit sticks. Over time, the logistics will fall into place and hosting will become second nature. Maintaining casual weekly gatherings strengthens friendships and nourishes the mind, body, and soul. Community is everything and time is finite—you might as well spend it with the ones you love!

What are your supper club tips? Share with us in the comments below!

  • Nikki Laraja

    This is such a great idea, I want to suggest this to my friends immediately!

    http://www.shopthecoconutroom.com

    • Kendra Aronson Creative Studio

      Hi Nikki—let me know how it goes! 🙂

      xo,
      Kendra Aronson
      kendraaronson.com

  • I want to do this, but I think it would have to be monthly. Weekly would be too crazy for me. Pinning this now!
    elle
    Southern Elle Style

    • Kendra Aronson Creative Studio

      Hey Elle—that’s a great idea. Start monthly and eventually work your way up to weekly if you’d like 🙂 I’d love to hear how it goes!

      xo,
      Kendra Aronson
      kendraaronson.com

  • Amie Melnychuk

    We have a weekly potluck!

    It started as a themed supper every week before watching Game of Thrones. We would pick an area that we thought the show would focus on that week, and pick food we think the people would eat there.

    Then after the season ended, we continued with Sunday Night Suppers and play board games afterwards.

    Each week a couple/person shouts out what part of the meal they are doing and others chime in with what they can bring so we try to be cohesive. It also allows for the mains to be shifted around, same with dessert.

    It was the main source of non-husband or baby conversation for me when I was on parental leave. And it continues to be our highlight of the week as we are showing our daughter table manners, helping out in the kitchen and how to have people over.

    It’s been just over a year now that we have started SNS, and it shows no sign of stopping.

    • Kendra Aronson Creative Studio

      Amie, hey! This sounds AMAZING! SNS! Sooooo goooood 🙂

      xo,
      Kendra Aronson
      kendraaronson.com

  • Ali C

    We did a Wednesday night (for consistency, since weekends we often go out of town or end up being busy) weekly meal for about 6 months. When we began, we invited everyone we knew via email/word of mouth/Facebook and linked to a Google Spreadsheet with the menu and 4 spots to RSVP (we could only seat 6 max in our small apartment). Each week we prepared a simple, one-pot meal (e.g. mac and cheese, stir-fry, casserole, chili) without sides/individual portions so it didn’t matter how.many people showed. If no one did, more for us!! If guests wanted to bring something we said drinks or dessert.

    • Kendra Aronson Creative Studio

      Ali, I love this! Such a good idea doing it on a weekday instead of a weekend. I also love that it was limited to just 6 folks 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

      xo,
      Kendra Aronson
      kendraaronson.com

  • Thanks for sharing my housewarming party photo. Happy Holidays!

  • Love this! I am part of a supper club that is a bit different. We have 8 “members” and each month, we invite four other people we want to get to know better. We have created a list of folks, that will take almost three years to get through before repeating invites! This past year has been so much fun — and we love meeting monthly with a different themed dinner.