The average American party host throws this many shindigs a year

4 min readNov 12, 2019
A survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BJ’s Wholesale Club asked respondents about all things party-related. (Photo by Drew Farwell on Unsplash)

When counting food, drinks and décor, the average American party host will spend $1,422.65 a year on party-planning, according to new research.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that party planning may be a bit more work — and money — than one might think.

On top of the money spent, planning, shopping, setting up and tearing down afterward, the average party takes 10 hours of labor for the host when all is said and done.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BJ’s Wholesale Club, asked respondents about all things party-related to try to uncover some details about the average American party.

For example, the average respondent will host seven parties every year, which, according to the results, turns into about 21 unique trips to the store, since the average host will hit up three different stores each time they throw a party in order to fully prepare.

Parties aren’t all fun and games: It turns out, in fact, 71 percent of respondents agree that they would classify party planning as a “stressful event.”

But who can blame them? According to the poll, when hosts ask guests to BYOB, they only actually do it 45 percent of the time — less than half.

And if you’re in that percentage of mooch-y guests, be careful — 30 percent of those polled said failing to bring something to the party can result in you being left off the guest list of the next one.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad guest etiquette, however.

The results showed that the absolute worst, most annoying thing a guest can do at a party is to show up sick.

Getting too drunk, arriving too early, being the last one to leave, and asking for food and drink that’s not already out or displayed also scored high marks in that regard.

“There’s no doubt that party planning and entertaining can be overwhelming and stressful, especially during the holidays,” said Michael Leary, senior vice president, GMM, perishables, groceries and beverages, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “That’s why BJ’s helps members get everything they need from fresh food and serving ware to décor and apparel all in a convenient one-stop shop.”

While guests can certainly suffer from the occasional social faux pas, hosts are on the hook with expectations, too.

According to the poll, the number one worst thing a host can do when throwing a party is wait too long to start serving the food and drinks.

Not having enough food and drinks for everybody at the party also came up at the top of that list, with being too pushy about people mingling, not having vegan or dairy-free options available and rushing everybody out the door also cracking the podium.


  • Average # of guests: 12
  • Time spent planning: 2 hours and 5 minutes
  • Time spent shopping: 2 hours
  • Time spent setting up: 2 hours and 4 minutes
  • Time spent cooking: 2 hours and 7 minutes
  • Time spent tearing down/cleaning up: 1 hour and 58 minutes
  • Money spent on alcohol: $67.08
  • Money spent on food: $71.20
  • Money spent on decor: $58.49


  1. Show up ill 36%
  2. Ask for a food or drink that isn’t out 33%
  3. Be the last one to leave 33%
  4. Get too drunk 33%
  5. Show up early 32%
  6. Be on their phone all night 30%
  7. Launch into politics 29%
  8. Not RSVP to invite 28%
  9. Spill drink/food 27%
  10. Not bring food 26%


  1. Wait too long to serve food/drinks 39%
  2. Ask me to mingle 34%
  3. Only serve food with dairy/gluten etc. 34%
  4. Clean too early 32%
  5. Get drunk 30%
  6. Cancel the party same day 30%
  7. Apologize too much 30%
  8. Rush everybody out the door 29%
  9. Try too hard to be accommodating 27%
  10. Not play music 26%

Party Stats:

  • Average American will host 7.23 parties a year
  • Average American will spend $196.77 per party — calculated by alcohol ($67.08), food ($71.20), and decorations ($58.49)
  • 7.23 parties/year at $196.77/party = $1,422.65 on parties yearly

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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