I heard about Stammtisch a few years ago from my Austrian girlfriend, and just like you, I said “stamm what”? I brushed it off until I heard about it a few more times – all the cooking and preparation that goes into it – getting all your friends together – and beers, huh?
Once I finally understood how everything worked – a few months later – and just a few weeks after returning back home, I got all of my friends together and we held our first Stammtisch dinner.
What Is Stammtisch?
Stammtisch is a German word that translates loosely to mean “traditional table” or “legacy table” and it can be taken to different degrees of seriousness. Basically, Stammtisch is one dinner a month with your closest friends and it takes place at the same time each month – we chose the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7 pm. Some groups like to eat at the same restaurant and the same exact table each month, but we actually made a rule that you can’t eat at the same restaurant in a 12-month period. Stammtisch is all about the rules, so let’s talk about the inherent rules and the ones that you
Stammtisch is sort of like the mafia with your closest friends. One of the first rules is that nobody else is allowed to sit at the table if they’re not part of the Stammtisch group – that means no distant friends, significant others or family members. Another inherent rule is that there needs to be an air of predictability and scheduling should be worked out far in advance so that everyone will be able to make it.
Another important part of Stammtisch is participating in the special tradition of Stammtischausflug once a year. Stammtischausflug is when your Stammtisch group goes away for a weekend and you hold Stammtisch dinner in a special place. Depending on how creative you want to go, you might hold Stammtisch at the casino over a couple of games of Black Jack or at a beach house in Central America after surfing lessons.
Naturally, this is going to take quite a while to plan and it’s going to cost a bit of money and that’s a perfect thing to use Stammtisch rules for 💡. Each month, every member of Stammtisch donates a pre-determined amount of money to the Stammtischausflug fund that is used to fund drinks, activities, or whatever you want to use it for. This is usually $10 or $20 and if you have 5 members in your group then that’s $100 a month – after 10 months you’ll have $1,000 spending money for Stammtischausflug.
You can always implement new rules to fund the Stammtischausflug fund – for instance, charging members $10 if they’re late to Stammtisch by 15 minutes or more.
Other than that there aren’t many rules that can’t be changed and one of the most fun parts about Stammtisch is coming up with the rules.
Why Should Americans Celebrate Stammtisch?
If you haven’t figured it out by now or you’re not intrigued enough to start your own then I’m not here to convince you but it’s a great way to keep your friends together, which gets harder and harder the older you become.
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