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Do Millennials Still Host ‘Dinner Parties’?

Group of friends having burger at restaurant. Cheerful young people eating burger and enjoying at a fast food restaurant. - Image

When was the last time you were invited to a classy formal dinner party with multiple courses of food served on fine china? The answer is likely years ago, or even never. Vox recently published an article by Nishal Chittal titled “Millennails have dinner parties, they just don’t call them that,” which speculates the recent shift in dining behavior among todays’ 20-30 year olds living in a post-recession era.

It’s not to say dinner parties no longer exist. Chittal argues the concept of it has just changed, adapting to the social-economic environment. Millennials’ value of friendships is stronger than ever, but rather than convening in the style of formality, the emphasis is on casual comfort and fun. I mean, how many times have your friends brought White Claws to your house for a get-together during the summer this year? (Probably too many times to count).

Food writer Alison Roman shares pictures of in-house dining parties. #NothingFancy

The general consensus among those interviewed in Chittal’s article is that people neither have the time to set up fancy tableware nor the budget to create fancy four-course meals. It’s all about convenience and helping yourselves to whatever you like at friendly gatherings. The modern take on proper-etiquette almost completely excludes attire and behavior, but it still involves not coming empty handed, hence the coined-term, “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Bottle).

So, we millennials may have killed CD players and shopping malls, but “dinner parties” is definitely not one of them. But just don’t call them “dinner parties.”

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Vivian Wang

Vivian is a travel enthusiast and food connoisseur living in New York City. Her curiosity and passion for languages and culture has taken her across eight countries over the past year. When not working, you can find her meandering in art museums or sampling food at the street markets.

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