I have had an idea brewing in my mind for a while, but am curious about the ethical and legal potholes it could bring. At the very least, a discussion is in order.
I love to cook, I think I'm fairly good at it, and I love hosting parties. Unfortunately, people rarely come and when they do, I feel like the food is under-appreciated- it is not usually the emphasis of the gathering. So, I had the idea of a supper club- invite four people once or twice a month, at random (1st 4 to respond to an ad, an online invitation, etc, even random strangers if there is interest) to create a 4-course meal with wine/cocktail pairings for a small fee, or do as some dinner clubs do and put out a basket for anonymous donations. It wouldn't be explicitly for the money, but it would help to offset the fees of cooking and executing such a dinner.
I am chiefly concerned about the issues this could bring and how they would be dealt with- allergies, illness, licenses. If there is a transaction involved, does that make it a business? (I'm a 1L so we haven't gotten that far in contracts yet, ha ha) If no set fee is charged and people donate at their own discretion, is that income? I'm really curious because I want to achieve something casual, yet really fun- in between a party and a restaurant, and am curious to hear your thoughts. I just love the idea of spontaneous, seasonal dinners with mystery menus and want to know how I could best do this and share what I love. And it could be a great way to meet new, food-loving people. :-)
Thank you for your suggestions and input!
Please note that I am not looking for explicit legal advice. I am more interested in fostering a dialogue on this theoretical party that I would eventually like to actualize.