If you’ve had dinner at a friend’s house or went to a dinner party, be sure to follow up with a thank-you note. Or a thank you message in another way if you don’t want to write a thank-you note card.
First, I will share some reasons why you should write a thank you note for dinner. That will be followed by one exception. And then, I will share tips on how to make your note awesome, followed by many examples.
The examples will be split between dinner at someone’s home and dinner at a restaurant. For Thanksgiving dinner, please read this post.
Tips and a Template
Suggested reasons to write a thank-you note to the host
- Their Time: Making dinner takes a lot of time and organization. Most hosts clean their house extensively to have it ready for visitors.
- Hospitality: The host opened up their home to you. They hosted a potluck for your group. They may not have had to prepare all (if any) of the food, but they still had you into their home.
- The food: To compliment them on a dish you enjoyed. You can also request the recipe in your note.
- It’s polite: Show your good manners and get invited back again! If the host feels appreciated, they are much more likely to make another dinner.
- They respected your diet: The host followed your special diet (paleo, no sugar, no whatever) or made your favorites. They didn’t make anything you are allergic to or hate.
- Gathering everyone together: Eating together is about more than the food. It’s about spending together, connecting, and building stronger relationships.
Feel free to add any other reasons that fit your situation.
When dinner was at a restaurant:
The person you are thanking most likely paid the bill if you are wanting to thank them which you should definitely thank them for. Here are other items you may want to mention in your note:
- Time Together: Spending time with the other person(s) can be the best part of the meal.
- Something you learned: If you were given any advice you appreciated, you can mention it. Or you if you learned something new about the person that was interesting.
- Organizing: If this person coordinated the time and location for several people to meet up for dinner.
When to not write the note exception: the weekly meal
If you have a weekly meal with the same group of people, you do not need to write the host a thank you note each time. Be sure to thank them in person before leaving each week. Then you can write them an occasional thank you note.
When possible, my sister has me over for dinner about once a week. And my parents have my husband and I and my sister’s family over for lunch nearly every Sunday. I say “thank you” each time, but do not send a weekly thank you note. I feel that a weekly thank you note is over the top and eventually will just become routine and not meaningful.
How to make your note awesome:
Indicate when the dinner was. Mention something specific that you liked. Only saying “Thanks for dinner” will feel very generic. What exactly are you thanking them for? If you loved a particular dish, tell them. If you met new friends at dinner, thank the host for the introduction. Recognize the amount of time it took them to prepare.
The specific details make your note awesome!
Example template for dinner thank you note
Dear [insert name],
Thank you for dinner [insert when dinner was]. I liked the [insert favorite dish]. [insert one or more of the reasons listed above – phrased in your own words]. I hope we can share dinner again soon!
[insert your name]
- Replace words in [brackets]
- See here for more details on the contents of a thank-you note.
- If the dinner was for your birthday or another event, add that event before dinner (ex. birthday dinner, anniversary dinner, book club dinner, etc.).
Thank you note for dinner at someone’s home examples
#1 Thank you for having me over for dinner last Tuesday. I enjoyed visiting with your family. And thank you for making a 21-day sugar detox friendly meal! The Brussels sprouts were fantastic.
#2 I enjoyed the dinner at your house last Friday night. I am amazed at the number of dishes that you made, and they were all so wonderful. Thank you for spending so much time preparing it. The grilled lamb chops were my favorite!
#3 I was very impressed that you bought Practical Paleo to make a paleo meal for Ted and me. I hope you like the book as much as we do! We enjoyed the meal you made for us and appreciated that you are giving paleo a chance. Next time we will have to our place for more paleo inspired recipes!
#4 Thank you for inviting Ted and me to your home for dinner. The pot roast and mashed potatoes were delicious. Your living room felt cozy with the fireplace during dessert. Next time we will have you over to our place!
#5 Thank you for dinner! Being invited over at the last minute was a welcomed surprise. I was so happy not to have to make something after work. You are a wonderful neighbor and friend. The chicken soup was terrific too!
#6 The dinner party was awesome last night! We had a great time eating, laughing, and visiting with the others. Your friend, George, is so funny! Where did you find the time to make all of that food? The walnut stuffed dates wrapped with bacon were one of the best things I have ever tasted! We are looking forward to the next party already!
#7 Thank you for having us over for dinner. We enjoyed all of the food, especially the tasty homemade dinner rolls. They were a nice treat for us. We will be looking forward to the next dinner party.
#8 Thank you for the lovely dinner party. The BBQ meal was fabulous, and meeting your neighbors was fun too. Also, the flower arrangement on the table was beautiful. You have a gift for arranging flowers.
#9 I am grateful that you hosted a dinner party to introduce me to your friends. [Friend Name] and I connected quickly and seemed to have a lot in common. The food was delicious too. I’d like your recipe for the carrot cake.
#10 Thanks for dinner! I appreciate that you have me over once or twice a week. You are an excellent cook and am always happy to try out your new recipes. And of course, I like spending time with you too.
#11 You’re dinner party last weekend was wonderful! Thank you for inviting me. I really love spending time with you and the rest of the group. The homemade pizza was fantastic.
#12 Thank you for hosting the dinner party last week. I know how much work they can be when it’s my turn. You are also an amazing cook. The 4-course meal was very enjoyable. The creme brulee for dessert was my favorite.
#13 I am writing this quick note to say thank you for the wonderful dinner. The entire meal was delicious and healthy. You are a special and caring friend to make sure none of the foods would cause issues with my allergies. Thank you for opening up your home to my family.
Thank you note for dinner at a restaurant examples
#14 Thank you for treating me to dinner at [Restuarnt Name]. Spending time in conversation with you is always a joy as well. I am always interested in hearing your latest money-saving tip.
#15 You are a wonderful organizer. Thank you again for contacting everyone and figuring out when we could all meet for dinner. It was a very nice treat that you paid for my meal. I will pay it forward!
#16 Thanks for the dinner treat! I love our time together eating out. It’s so relaxing and we both get a break from cooking.
#17 The dinner last night at [Restuarnt Name] was delightful. Thank you for finding a place with such wonderful food and a lovely atmosphere. Chatting with you was insightful. And I appreciate your input regarding [topic].
#18 Thanking for taking me to [Restuarnt Name]. It’s nice to feel appreciated and eating the best tacos ever. I am so glad that we’ve become friends. You are a wonderful person.
#19 Treating me to dinner last night was kind of you. I appreciate your generosity. And thank you for choosing the place. The food was delicious and I will go there again sometime.
#20 Thanks for dinner at the seafood place last night. Having expensive fish felt like a luxury. Learning more about your background was fascinating. You are the most interesting person that I know!
#21 Thank you for dinner on Tuesday night. The entire evening was so much fun. I appreciate the time you spent organizing to have all of my friends at the restaurant. Catching up with everyone was the best part of dinner.