Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Banquet Etiquette Confusion

'Tis the season for holiday parties and banquets. It's always fun to get dressed up, go somewhere nice and enjoy a good meal, however there is one point in this process that never fails to make everyone uncomfortable. 
When is the 'proper' time to start eating?
If you're at an un-hosted table of at least 8 people you may start eating as soon as 4 people have their plates. 
However, let me tell you what happened at a banquet I attended a few weeks ago.
I was seated at an un-hosted table of - you guessed it - 8. As should happen, the servers pretty much set everyone's plates in unison. Except one.
For about five (long) minutes everyone had their food but  that one. If you notice this happening, hopefully everyone will do what my table did and wait since he was the only one without food.
This man, ever the gentleman, told everyone to please go ahead and start, which was the right thing to do on his part. 
(Note: if you ever find yourself in such a situation, please follow suit and instruct everyone to continue so their food will not get cold, then get the attention of your server).
Once, the person gives you permission to continue without them please do so. It's uncomfortable for that person if you don't.
Luckily in our case the server caught her mistake without anyone having to put out an APB on the vittles.
I hope this helps.
 May all your Christmas parties be merry and bright.


Becky said...

That does help. I am not a heathen, but I don't know most of the etiquette things to do, so it is nice to hear how I should be behaving.

snipewife said...

I really do not have much social and grown up experience so this helps. I also didn't read the Service Ettiquette book either. Thankfully the Chief helps me out. At the awards dinners I've been to (a whopping 2) none of the gentlemen would start until I (the lone woman at the table) started.