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Americans Still Enjoy Hosting Dinner Parties, Survey Reports

April 11, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — With the rise in two-career households and the increasingly hectic life styles most people lead, you would think that Americans would spend less time entertaining. After all, why spend a lot of time and energy preparing dishes when so many things come prepackaged?

Nevertheless, Americans spend a great deal of time and get a great deal of satisfaction out of entertaining, according to a survey by Food & Wine magazine.

According to the study, American adults spend about 8 1/2 hours getting ready for a dinner party. That includes cleaning, planning, shopping, cooking and setting the table.

Consumers spend an average of $75 on food, wine, liquor, flowers and decorations per dinner party.

Four out of five of those surveyed said they felt that presentation is as important as the food actually served, and most hosts spend a little more than three hours cooking. Only a very few will take a chance on a new recipe when company is expected.

"The sample group of typical American households told us they prefer to entertain informally, and most entertaining is done for friends and family," said Food & Wine publisher James S. Berrien.

Entertaining is a reflection on the host's sense of style, declared 64% of the respondents. And the majority of participants--89%--said they get a sense of personal satisfaction from serving a fine meal.

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