Aug 8, 2017

People look forward to being invited to food meets, restaurant launches, and other dining-related events. Foodies, critics, bloggers, and every other significant influencer has to make an appearance. Who wouldn’t want to be the first to try out a new menu, right? But in situations like this, it’s fairly easy to get carried away—and by carried away we mean take home all the extra food that you haven’t tried yet (or just want to stock at home).

But how far is too far?

Jeman Villanueva, an editor for a news and media website, posted on Facebook a few days ago about an incident that happened during a food event:

[“If there’s no instruction from the host permitting you to take home food, please don’t make it a habit to hoard food from events and worse, to bring a food container with you. It’s embarrassing. Please don’t.”]

The Facebook post did not specify whether Villanueva was pertaining to a particular blogger, but he said that it was for ‘social awareness’ and was generally addressed to the public. He also said that he has encountered many bloggers in the past who take advantage of food events, which is why he was compelled to post on social media.

Villanueva’s post spawned a couple of violent reactions from friends, colleagues, and other bloggers:

Whether you’re the host or the guest, one thing always needs to be in check: manners. Regardless of age, social status, or salary, it’s crucial to learn—and keep practicing—proper etiquette.

We do it for two reasons: for ourselves and for others. How many times have you dined with someone who coughed or sneezed in front of their food? Or caught someone putting away a container full of leftovers? These instances may sound ludicrous, but it happens 50 percent of the time.

We’ll get this out of the way first: It’s almost unprofessional to bring food containers during food meets with the intention of scurrying with leftovers after the event. Junjie Goño from Food x Travel PH says, “If the owner or PR insists and it’s my leftovers. But if they’ll order a new batch for me to take home, [I won’t accept it] even if they insist.”

There’s no trouble in asking

It’s proper etiquette to always ask the host or the restaurant if it’s okay to bring home leftover food. Buffet restaurants don’t usually allow takeout mainly because of food safety but if they do, they prepare a separate takeout plate.

Is it stealing?

Unless the food is served buffet-style, most restaurants allow takeout. Technically it’s not stealing per se but buffet establishments don’t encourage their guests to take home food. After all, it’s called all-you-can-eat and not all-you-can-fit-in-your-bag.

TAGS: buffet etiquette dining dining etiquette fixture nolisoliph table etiquette table manners