As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, many of us are eagerly awaiting the moment when we can get together with friends without worrying about the deadly disease. Recent delays in large-scale vaccination programs suggest that day is still a few months off, but, all the same, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re probably already imaging what you’ll do with your friends once the virus has been defeated, and you’re likely considering the possibility of a dinner party. Having your friends over for food and drinks is certainly a great way to reunite, especially if you do it right. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your post-pandemic dinner party.

Serve Delicious Appetizers Before the Meal

As tasty as your main course may be, it’s often the appetizers that steal the show. Some of your guests might be hungry when they arrive, and you might have to wait around for some late-arriving stragglers. Having a few snacks out on the table will keep everyone happy and ready for more of your delicious cooking. Chips with buffalo chicken dip, pigs in a blanket, and fresh cut veggies are all excellent options.

Keep the Fridge Stocked With Craft Beer

Your first post-pandemic dinner party will be a special occasion, so you should make sure the beer options match the unique circumstances. Typical brand beers might be great for a night of watching football, but your dinner party will benefit from a more eclectic offering. Try to get a few different styles of beers since not everyone will like an IPA or a dark lager. Buying beer from a local brewery is a good way to give the party a homey feel and support your community.

Ask Around Beforehand to Make Sure Everyone Likes the Main Dish

There’s no reason your main dish has to be a surprise. In the days leading up to the party, send out a few quick texts to make sure everyone will enjoy the meal. Nothing is more embarrassing than watching your cooking go untouched, so you’re better off avoiding such a debacle altogether. When everyone enjoys the food, then it’s more likely that a good time will be had by all.

While times are still tough, we can make out the end of the pandemic shining somewhere in the distance. Keep these ideas in mind as you plan your triumphant post-pandemic dinner party.