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How to organize a mystery dinner?

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Hello, my name is Jaqueline and I am a travel lover. During the trip, I like to have the possibility to know all the hidden places that I haven’t know yet. One of the things that I like to do is to go to the cinema. I am passionate by movies and I would like to see them in cinemas. Eating in a good restaurant would be a nice idea. I love cooking and taste different types of food, specially when the food is a traditional plate from the country.

Do you want to break the routine? I recommend you an activity that is very fashionable in the United States and is gathering in Spain: a mystery-themed dinner. It is a great way to turn another gathering between friends or family into a memorable night, and I assure you that if you try it you will end up repeating.

It is an innovative concept that you can include in your next group meeting. You may still like the idea but you are wondering how can I organize a themed dinner? Simple, you just have to keep reading and know the essentials to spend a memorable night with friends and family.

What is a thematic dinner of mystery?

A themed dinner is about a fad in English-speaking countries in which dinner guests take on the role of characters in a crime novel and try to solve the mystery before them, usually a murder, and find out who they are the culprit, in the Cluedo style.

Themed dinners are a typical habit of Anglo-Saxon countries that has become fashionable in recent years and has spread throughout the world. These events are about a dinner that begins as a conventional gastronomic gathering.  However, at one point in the night an event occurs, which is usually a murder.

Dinner guests who take the role of characters in a crime novel (we recommend wearing costumes to make it even more memorable) quickly begin to suspect each other. One of the most important roles is that of guide or game-master, he or she will be in charge of directing the story so that the guests get to solve the mystery without murdering someone during dinner, this is usually the host of the dinner or even a hired person.

And the true is that is really funny! If you are thinking about to organize your own thematic dinner, I will give you some advices in order to everything to be a success.

Advices to organize an excellent mystery dinner

A thematic mystery dinner is a safe activity that you will love. Although, you will need materials and a good planification in order to be successful. Do you want to learn how to do a mystery dinner? Follow the tips and you will succeed:

Create your own story or hire it

My first recommendation is give you two options: create your own thematic dinner or hire a professional that provides you all the necessary and guide you in the experience. If you lean the second option you only have to worry about the food and the guest list. When hiring a mystery a mystery dinner includes: scripts, characters, conflicts, costumes, and everything that builds it. However, if you want to be original and personalize your mystery dinner, here are the steps you should follow:

  • The story should be divided into several chapters or scenes. All should be actionable for the night to become dynamic.
  • Each person invited to the thematic dinner, must have their assigned character. It must be unique and linked to the selected topic.
  • You can indicate to the guests what their role in the scene will be by placing a paper under the chairs and that when they search for it they will know their roles.
  • The game must have a murderer and a victim, and it must be relatively easy to discover. For this you have to generate questions, collect clues and any other technique that allows you to lead with the guilty.

What will be the theme of the mystery dinner?

It is essential to select a theme for the mystery dinner. These can range from murder, a stealing, or an unusual situation. The objective is that the invited people try to solve the mystery generated.

Try to make the environment extravagant, mysterious or fantasy. If you hire a professional, obviously he will take care of all this. However, if you do it on your own, you must take in account the setting as it is the key to having a memorable dinner although sometimes a little improvisation is good.

Where will we do our thematic dinner? 

The location is extremely important since it must be according to the event we are going to prepare. If it is a small meeting, with 8 or 10 people, a living room of a house can be enough. If you want something more intense and with a larger audience, a party room or a very open space is the ideal choice.

In this type of thematic dynamics, the key to success is the details. And one that makes a big difference is the accessories and and equipment that will be used. You can create them yourself or buy ready-made ones, like a toy or investigator plate.

It all depends on what is going to be done, but these elements of attraction and realism of a mystery dinner can never be missing. You can look for old, used and very cheap things; You don’t have to invest much money, but you do have to put as much creativity in the location of the objects.

Will there be prizes?

Awards are characteristic of themed dinners, but are not mandatory. However, you can give a symbolic gift to thank all the guests or just the winner for participating.

The important thing is to announce from the beginning that there is a reward for those who discover the mystery. This excites the participants.

Food is essential

Bring a mystery themed dinner, the food will be the main protagonist, you do not want to leave your guests with an empty estomac. However, for the greater comfort, you can make a Buffet format, and while they are eating the event can occur.

The food can be a normal and a distracting element in a meeting and makes the guests lower their guard over the mystery that is going to be presented to them.

When can we make our themed dinner?

For the mystery dinner to make sense, you need to have enough guests so that there are enough roles and suspects to make the event as memorable as possible. That is why choosing a date where everyone can attend is important, it is usually good times such as birthdays, business dinners or stag or hen parties.

How many guests will go?

The number of people to invite depends on the selected theme. Many people can intervene in it. We recommend groups of minimum 6 people onwards. Another factor that intervenes is the location and if it is suitable to receive that certain amount of individuals.

On the other hand, to know if your acquaintances want or not to participate in a mystery dinner, you can ask without being so invasive. As a general query, for example: Have you heard about themed dinners? It would be interesting to make one, right? Depending on their reactions, you can have a sounding of the candidates.

11 Tips for you thematic mystery dinner

  • Put together the space where the guests will eat. Remember that this is a mystery dinner and there must be food; Either at the table or a buffet.
  • The atmosphere must have a touch of mystery to enhance the place. If it is a secret for your guests, try to do something conventional but with these special touches.
  • Being to distribute the clues and roles with the respective roles and functions of the If the roles are random, try to make it ambiguous or versatile; or you can even put messages like – if you are a man your function will be this…, in case of being a woman
  • When everyone arrives, try to act as normal as possible. Greet them as you always do and try not to raise suspicions that something strange is happening in the place.
  • Allow a few hours for people to get in the mood, trust and relax.
  • When you consider necessary, let the magic of mystery begin and begin your mystery dinner.
  • If you have people hired at the theme dinner other than the guests, they can make the dynamic even stronger. They may be incognito as the catering service or waiters or spontaneously arrive at the place. 
  • Music always help to enter the environment and give more realism to the situation, to be according to the situation and let everything flow.
  • At the end of the theme dinner, reward the winner of the meeting, thanking everyone for participating in such an entertaining dynamic.

Our Experiences – Mystery Dinner: Live Cluedo

If you are interested in having a different experience dining with your friends or family, let us organize it for you. It can be at your house or in a place with dinner and open bar included anywhere in Spain and accompanied by a professional actor who will guide you during the game. Sign up!

If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will respond as quickly as possible. And remember that at Sendaecoway we offer dozens of author experiences so you can forget about boredom in the best possible way.


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