Mar 16, 2024 - Real Estate

D.C. millennials and Gen Zers have entered their dinner party era

 A tablescape by North Carolina-based dinner party wares rental company Canary. Photo: By Emily Bennett, courtesy of Beth Nash

A tablescape by North Carolina-based dinner party wares rental company Canary. Photo: Emily Bennett, courtesy of Beth Nash

D.C. loves a dinner party — and the younger generations are putting their own twist on the time-old tradition.

Why it matters: Entertaining at home is one way for people to get the connection they crave, on a budget.

What they're saying: Sharing a meal with people in your home will never go out of style, Nycci Nellis, host of the Foodie and the Beast and Industry Night podcasts, says.

State of play: Searches for "dinner parties" on Evite increased 148% from this time last year, according to data the online invitation company shared with Axios.

  • Millennials and Gen Zers are especially leaning into their "hosting era," with an emphasis on creative tablescapes and themed experiences.
  • That's partly because "visually appealing content around hosting is highly valued and widely shared" on TikTok and Instagram, Olivia Pollock, senior brand director at Evite, tells Axios.

The big picture: A host of dinner party startups like Hauste, Canary and Picnic & Peonies are catering to younger adults, at a time when dining out is still expensive and many have soured on drinking.

  • The businesses aim to make food-focused fetês easier to pull off, offering menu ideas, plate rentals, Spotify playlists and other services.
Chart: Axios Visuals
Chart: Axios Visuals

Zoom in: Nellis throws dinner parties and holiday gatherings galore, but her favorite party trick? Hosting brunch.

  • If you start around 1pm, you never know who will end up staying through dinner, the epic entertainer tells Axios.

What's next: More couples are opting for intimate dinner parties over large wedding receptions.

  • Pinterest searches for "wedding dinner party" grew 150% year-over-year, according to the platform's 2024 trend report.

Go deeper: How to make the most of your dinner party

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