11 Things You Should Avoid at a Dinner Party

When you are invited to a dinner party, a lot of things might cross your mind. You could be worried about what to wear or how to behave during the dinner party. While it is good to know what to do, what should you not do at a dinner party?

This is a good question, and being a guest at a dinner party can be nerve-wrecking.

It is important to know what you should do or not do as a guest in a dinner event or party. You will save yourself from embarrassment that comes with dinner mistakes.

Understanding basic dinner etiquette is critical to your success as a guest at events.

In the section below, you will learn a few things you should not do at a dinner party.

What Should You not do at a Dinner Party?

It is always exciting to receive a dinner party invitation. Dinner events offer a great opportunity for individuals to catch up or meet new people.

However, there are things you should not do at a dinner party. These include;

  1. Arriving too early.
  2. Showing up empty-handed.
  3. Tagging along other people.
  4. Failing to remove your shoes.
  5. Behaving like the host of the event.
  6. Not informing the host of special food needs.
  7. Eating fast.
  8. Talking with your mouth full of food.
  9. Wearing the dinner napkin as a dib.
  10. Not helping to clear the table.
  11. Forgetting to send a thank you note.

These are just some of the things you should avoid at a dinner party.

Having proper dinner etiquette is an important aspect of dining with colleagues, friends or family.

11 Things You Should Avoid at a Dinner Party

When attending a dinner event or party, there are certain things you should not do.

Here are eleven tips and ideas of things you should avoid at a dinner party;

  1. Arriving too early.

While keeping time is important, you should not arrive too early for your dinner event.

It is good to give the host enough time to ensure everything is in order. Arriving too early can spook the host and he or she might feel rushed to prepare everything.

That is why it is important that you should not get to your dinner party too early.

  1. Showing up empty-handed.

Another thing you should not do is going to a dinner party empty-handed. It is wrong.

You should find a way to get a gift for the person hosting you for dinner. Carry something along when attending a dinner event.

  1. Tagging along other people.

Unless you have prior arrangements with the host, you should never tag other people along to your dinner invitation.

It is not only rude, but can also have other un-intended consequences.

For example, the host might have prepared food and drinks for a specific number of people.

Extra guests can stretch the available portions, including the seating arrangements.

Therefore, call and seek permission to bring someone else to the dinner.

  1. Failing to remove your shoes.

When you visit someone’s house, it is respectful to remove your shoes before you enter the house.

Failing to remove your shoes is something you should not do when invited to a dinner event.

You do not want to be the one to add dirt to a clean house or carpet.

This means you should wear correct clothes, shoes and socks when attending events.

  1. Behaving like the host of the event.

It can be tempting to help and be all over your host’s house. This happens a lot when you are being hosted for dinner by someone you know or a close relative.

While this might seem friendly to you, it is not a good idea.

You should not behave like you are the host. Take your seat at the table and allow the host to run the show.

  1. Not informing the host of special food needs.

One of the biggest concerns of a dinner host is not having enough food and drinks for the guests.

You can imagine arriving at your host’s house or dinner venue and finding that there is no food for you.

Not failing to inform your host that you have special food needs is one thing you should not do. This also includes not saying that you have certain food allergies.

In this regard, you should not fail to tell you hosts if you have any special needs or food allergies.

  1. Eating fast.

You and I have different eating styles. Maybe you eat fast or slow.

Whatever the case, you should not eat fast when you attend a dinner event. You should pace yourself.

It also means that when food is served, you should not dig into it right way.

Take it slow and ensure everyone is ready to start eating.

  1. Talking with your mouth full of food.

This sounds pretty straight-forward, but it is not. You still find a lot of people doing this at dinner parties.

You should not talk with food in your mouth. It is bad manners.

  1. Wearing the dinner napkin as a dib.

While the dinner etiquette may vary depending on the venue, the basic dinner napkin etiquette remains the same.

One of the things you should not do at a dinner party is to wear the dinner napkin as a dib.

  1. Not helping to clear the table.

When you are a guest at someone else’s house, it is common for your host to not want to engage you with work.

This could include clearing the table, re-arranging the table or washing dishes.

While you might think this is okay, it is not.

You should help out with some of the chores after the dinner. This simple gesture of clearing the table will be appreciated.

  1. Forgetting to send a ‘Thank You’ note.

After the dinner party is finished and you go back home, it is easy to forget about it.

Life happens and you get back to you daily routine.

However, you should not forget to send a ‘Thank You’ note after the event.

Get a card and write something genuine. Then send to your host. He or she will appreciate the thought that went into remembering to say thank you.

Related: What Music Should You Play at a Dinner Party?


It is possible that you have been invited or attended a dinner party at some point in your life. That might be for business or pleasure.

Whatever the case, there some things you should not do at a dinner party.

The above list provides you with tips, ideas and specific things you should avoid as a guest at a dinner party.

As an entrepreneur or professional, you can ruin your career or business by your dinner etiquette.

Equally, you can make social interactions very awkward if you make mistakes during dinner events. You can get yourself in a sticky situation.

It is my hope that the advice shared on what you should not at a dinner party will help you have a pleasant evening.