Here are some planning points:
1. Decide how many persons you think you can include in your club–think about the size of your friends’ dining rooms. Decide If this will be for couples or singles. Think about what couples/singles you know who might get along the best. Think about whether you want to have all guests who drink or all guests who don’t. Ask friends to see if they are interested in learning more about cooking or just want to enjoy good meals together. Find out if they have time to commit to a monthly club gathering.
2. Once you have come up with a group of friends to invite to join your supper club, poll these friends about specifics. See what type of club in which they would enjoy participating–a monthly gathering at different restaurants, a monthly potluck themed to a particular cuisine like Italian or Chinese in one member’s home, a monthly meal produced by one member, a cooking class and meal which all members create, or other options. Find out what days of the month suit members-such as the first Sunday late lunch or the third Friday evening. You could send out an email survey.
3. Before the first supper club meeting, choose a regular time and date and stick to the schedule. Once everything is set, adhere to the agenda even if some aren’t able to attend. Changing times and dates each month only confuse the guests and defeats the purpose of having a schedule.
4. Establish what guests need to know so they can come prepared as to the attire expectations, if what food or drink to bring, etc.; clarify the club guidelines so everything is known by all. It’s up to the host to make everyone comfortable, so be specific about your wishes to ensure every one has a pleasant time. Make certain everyone knows about members’ food allergies.
5. Try having several gatherings so guests can get to know each other. Then have a meeting so the club members share their opinions about how things are going. Members may want to include additional new members or some may feel they need to bow out. It’s important to give folks a way out or a way in. Some may want to try different cuisines or different ways of preparing the meals. The club may decide to rotate meals at different members’ homes or to meet in the same place each time.
6. During the first few trial gathering of the club, you need to evaluate which procedures work for your members. Once you have set a calendar of who is hosting each gathering, the host can email several weeks in advance three possible menus from which your guests will vote. Then you have to let all the members know what they should bring. Sometimes the host only provides the beverages since she/they have cleaned their home for the gathering.