A little bit about Dara H., Gravy pro from Maryland

We sat down with 11 year bartending veteran, Dara H., to find out more about why our pros choose Gravy.

When did you work your first hospitality job with us and why?

I got started in 2008 after seeing your newspaper ad and I really wanted a job that would work around my main job. I work 9-5 as a Hiring Manager, but I really wanted something that allowed me to interact with people even more and get me out from behind a desk. My first job was bartending at the Marriot Hotel and I have been Gravying 2-3 times per week ever since.

What are your favorite types of jobs from the Gravy app?

Definitely bartending at major events. Last New Years Eve, I bartended at the Hyatt and it was so much fun! It was such a beautiful event and working at major events like that feels very rewarding.

What are you doing when you aren’t picking up shifts with Gravy?

I went to college for Music Theory with a minor in Psychology and music has always been a passion of mine. I play guitar and am a singer/songwriter. Tracy Chapman and Alanis Morissette are two of my biggest influences.

What do you like most about Gravy?

The community. Everyone who works in their main office knows my name. I love working shifts with other people from Gravy and being able to create my own schedule. Any other part time job would require me to work set hours, but with Gravy, if I want a weekend off, I don’t have to tell anyone.

8 Tips for an Unforgettable Dinner Party

It’s cold, you moved to a new house, you and your friends are due for a reunion, you got new dinnerware, there are so many reasons to host a dinner party at your home! Before you start calling up your guests, take these 8 tips in to account to make your dinner party unforgettable and have your invitees dub you the hostess of the year.

  1. Music.People often forget or underestimate music at dinner parties. Music will liven up the mood and have you covered in case of any awkward silences. Check out this Spotify playlist that Starbucks created for music inspiration: Starbucks Dinner Party Playlist
  2. Set the mood.Make sure your lighting and music are right for the occasion. Candles are always great but stray away from food scents for this. A good rule of thumb with lighting is dimmer = more intimate.
  3. Know your guests’ dietary restrictions.In today’s world of 154,820 diets, it may be impossible to please everyone, but if you invite them, then you should feed them. Make sure you have options for everyone. Check out these 5 delicious meals to feed nearly anyone.
  4. Entertain, don’t cook.This one is HUGE. You don’t want to greet your guests with a spatula in hand. Cook the meal ahead of time or leave it to the professionals. Hire a chef or use our app Gravy.Work (basically uber for hospitality workers) where you can hire pros to cook, clean, serve, or more in a few clicks. It’s never a bad idea to have extra hands!
  5. Give a tour!Make sure your guests are comfortable and know where the restroom is. Nothing breaks up a good conversation like having to ask to find the bathroom.
  6. Don’t underestimate appetizers!Until it is time to move into the dining room, have a few items like cheese, olives, crackers, and fruit.
  7. Play a game.This is a great way to break the ice or transition to party mode. Create a specialty cocktail and have the guests guess the ingredients throughout the night. Whoever gets it right wins a bottle of wine.
  8. Create an escape.Your guests love you (or they wouldn’t be there!), but it’s getting late and everyone has things to do. This tip is for your own sanity too. Give out a party favor like a candle, handout leftovers (if they request it), or wrap it up with a verbal invite to the next dinner.

Get your guest list ready because it is time for your next dinner party! Cheers!