Social distancing due to coronavirus has kept friends and family isolated across cities and continents, but technology provides a lot of ways to reconnect, even over the dinner table.
If you can’t share a meal in person because of COVID-19, share dinner over the internet with a virtual dinner party.
Here’s what you need to pull one off and stay connected.
Pick your video platform
The video conferencing space is full of great options for seamless digital connection. Most people are familiar with Skype, and FaceTime is also popular though only for those with Apple devices. Zoom and Google Hangouts make great options as well. Just make sure everyone has the necessary software and account logins before dinner is cooling on the tables.
Prepare your space
Living and working in a space, especially with kids, all day everyday can leave your home looking pretty messy. Clean up the same way you would for an actual dinner party, at least in the space directly in front of the camera.
Eat the same food
Whether you agree on a favorite recipe to cook separately or you order takeout from the same restaurant, ensure you have the same food on all the participating tables. It will make it easier for everyone to believe they’re sharing the same room. Be sure everyone can find the same ingredients, since many grocery stores are running low on certain supplies, or that everyone can order from the same restaurant if you live further apart.
Don’t forget drinks
Sharing a bottle of wine is great for bonding, but there’s no reason you can’t do so virtually. Plus, this way everyone gets an extra glass. Again, be sure everyone has access to the same brand before making a purchase.
Extend the evening
Don’t limit yourself to a meal. Play word games with your dinner guests or take turns putting on little shows. Maybe even start with an ice breaker to help the evening flow right from the beginning, or end the evening with a movie.