Boss Attending Your Dinner Party? 7 Tips to Impress

Most career women have the opportunity to work closely with a boss or supervisor. Many will invite that executive over for a dinner party at some point, offering a chance to impress them in both their personal and work lives.

On such an occasion, you want things to run smoothly. While your boss shouldn’t judge your work efficiency by your personal life, it can be hard to separate the two. Throwing a fabulous dinner party could mean good things for your work life. To make it a success, use these suggestions.

Carefully Curate the Guest List

Are you planning to invite only your boss and his/her plus one? Or would you prefer to make it a larger party? Depending on your relationship with your boss and your intentions for the party, you might want to invite a few extra guests to remove any awkwardness.

Choose guests that make sense, given the honored guest. For example, a random cousin or best friend might not be as fitting as a few of your co-workers. Try to avoid guests that will clash with each other and could potentially make a scene.

Set the Perfect Table

The type of party you’re hosting will determine the way your table should look. If it’s more casual, a gingham tablecloth and whatever dishes you have in your cupboard should be fine. Avoid paper or plastic plates and utensils.

Generally, if your boss is coming, it calls for more sophistication. Consider a French-inspired theme. Food and dinner parties are big in French culture, and their tablecloths and Laguiole cutlery with a beautiful floral arrangement in the center make a pretty table for any party.

Additionally, brush up on proper table settings, putting your fork and napkin on the left and the glass, knife, and spoon on the right side of the plate. If you’re having a multi-course meal, make sure there are enough utensils to accommodate.

Have Appetizers and Drinks Available

Even if you never indulge in drinks and appetizers before dinner, remember that this is a party, and you have your guests to think about. Choose appetizers that are always crowd pleasers, keeping in mind any dietary restrictions for your guests.

A full bar might not be necessary but learn your boss’s favorite drink and have the supplies to make it. A small selection of beer, wine, and spirits is also recommended in case they’re in the mood for something else.

office christmas party

Select the Menu

First, consider the dietary needs of those on your guest list, and cater your menu accordingly. If none arise, go with something simple and delicious. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re trying too hard.

Additionally, simplicity in meals often turns out best. Good party meals should be well-cooked and flavorful, but they shouldn’t be too unique, since you don’t know what all your guests will enjoy. When in doubt, stick with an option of lean meat or pasta and traditional sides.

Watch Your Dinner Conversation

The topics that come up at dinner with your boss should be carefully selected. Whatever you do, keep a polite and civil tongue. Avoid office-sensitive matters and language, office gossip, coworker judgments, and any other negative talk. This will reflect badly on you.

Additionally, don’t keep the topics focused on the office alone. If your boss accepted a dinner invitation, it’s probably because he/she wants to get to know you personally. Hopefully, the dinner conversation will flow naturally, but just in case, consider rehearsing a few interesting topics ahead of time.

Remember Your Manners

While your boss is there, you’re probably on your best behavior, but sometimes you need a reminder to keep your elbows off the table and take small bites. In casual settings, many people forget to finish chewing fully before answering a question, but don’t forget with your boss present.

This might be a good time to remind your family about table manners as well, especially if your children will be eating with you. Stress the importance of them chewing with their mouths closed, keeping elbows off the table, and not talking with their mouths full. You might want to give this lesson several weeks in advance, so they have time to practice.


Most importantly, keep things light and relaxed all through the event. If you’re tense, the rest of the party will be, and no one will have a good time. Remember your manners and keep a civil tongue. Loosen up and be yourself, and your boss will have a great time too.