Was this acceptable cafe behaviour or a big faux pas??

(218 Posts)
AHardDaysWrite Tue 18-Mar-14 20:45:58

We're having lunch in a busy cafe (me, DH, two dcs). We ordered a main meal each plus two sides of chips to share. All the chips were soon polished off. On the next table was a woman and her son. She ordered chips for him, but when they arrived he only ate a couple and refused the rest. They left soon afterwards. My DS wanted more chips, so I gave him the (largely untouched) portion from that table. DH was aghast but my reasoning was that the waiter was only going to bin them anyway - why waste food? Was I BU?

SirChenjin Wed 19-Mar-14 17:49:44

No, not clear the tables - just take the stuff you fancy grin

WorraLiberty Wed 19-Mar-14 14:49:56

My advice, in the circumstances, is always to take a plastic bag with you when you go to a restaurant. You can then take the leftovers surreptitiously home or back to the car where they can be eaten.

You mean go round and clear the tables?

SometimesLonely Wed 19-Mar-14 14:22:01

Taking other people's leftovers is not the done thing, really. I suppose you could have asked for a doggy bag but might have been refused.

My advice, in the circumstances, is always to take a plastic bag with you when you go to a restaurant. You can then take the leftovers surreptitiously home or back to the car where they can be eaten.

amicissimma Wed 19-Mar-14 14:20:08

My first reaction was to laugh.

My second to think 'I wouldn't do that'.

My third to think 'Why not?'

Perhaps we should start a trend. Obviously excluding those who are scared of other peoples' breath and so on.

dustarr73 Wed 19-Mar-14 14:14:52

See i have no problems with buffet or bbqs as they are communal.But eating leftovers that other people have eaten from is just wrong.

Sparklingbrook Wed 19-Mar-14 13:27:41

No, never if I can avoid it Puppy. I know it's probably weird. But it's ok, I don't go to many things where buffet eating is required. smile

PuppyMonkey Wed 19-Mar-14 13:25:31

You've got a nerve - well done I say.grin

Sparkling, you don't eat from buffets? What, never? confused

(Love a buffet)

Kitsmummy Wed 19-Mar-14 13:24:20

I just think it's a bit scummy tbh

Sparklingbrook Wed 19-Mar-14 13:20:16

I don't eat from buffets. <shrugs>

BBQs-the meat is either burnt to a crisp or still alive, so I will only join in if DH is in charge. But TBH I prefer my salad indoors without bugs in. grin

manicinsomniac Wed 19-Mar-14 13:19:02

The starving children aren't being brought into it because they are ths same as the OP's son wanting more chips.

The are being mentioned in response to the hysterical action of 'omg germzzzzz'! Our visceral reaction to taking food from someone else's table is only possible due to the luxury we live in. It actually won't do us any harm.

The social unacceptability argument is different.

MajorGrinch Wed 19-Mar-14 13:18:17

Loving all the people on here who must never eat from a buffet or go to a BBQ at a friends house - what with "all those people near & breathing near the food".

I think it would be different if you'd nicked the tip, but food - fair game if you fancied it.....

Well done for your commitment to recycling grin

mercibucket Wed 19-Mar-14 13:13:46

asking is not skanky

being genuinely in need of food makes it fine too

but this is just socially unacceptable, hence all the shock

Amber76 Wed 19-Mar-14 13:00:42

I worked in restaurants for years and can honestly say I never, ever saw or heard of anyone doing this. I think I would be a bit "ugghhh" if I did see it. Yes, there is nothing wrong with the chips but I would class it as unacceptable café behaviour.

drnoitall Wed 19-Mar-14 12:54:16

Ewwwee. Really? You took a random persons leftovers?
Can't explain why but it reminds me of a tramp taking a burger from a bin that he saw someone drop in there moments earlier. Yukkk!
Id be mortified if I saw my dc do what you did, you have demonstrated that this is ok to your dc.
How did you know the other person hadn't been picking their nose, or have worms!!!

dustarr73 Wed 19-Mar-14 12:45:55

Its different if the food was offered ,it wasnt.Im not some germ phobe but some things to me are ick.And taking leftover food from another table is up there.
If you are eating out and someone said there is a plate of chips to many nobody touched them would you like them is completely different to going over to someone elses table helping yourself to food left behind.

BrianTheMole Wed 19-Mar-14 12:33:55

Well if the people on the table next to me wanted my bowl of barely touched, unwanted chips, I would be more than happy to let them have them. Not mumbling to myself that they were grabby, skanky, and whatever other unpleasant names have been used on here. Who would have known some unwanted chips would cause so much angst. grin

MatryoshkaDoll Wed 19-Mar-14 11:36:46

Although I can see all the rational arguments for this, my gut reaction is that it's greedy and grabby.

Can't put my finger on why though. Will have more of a think about it.

Ploppy16 Wed 19-Mar-14 11:20:04

I saw this a lot at the restaurant I worked at grin, usually customers would ask if the other table were leaving the food though. It was quite a posh place as well, full people who could easily have ordered another plate of chips or whatever if they wanted, but free food is free food!
It will have been binned otherwise and that much left over food will have more than likely pissed off the chef..
Can't really get that worked up about it and I certainly don't see that you were teaching your children to scavenge for food or to eat until they are sick tbh. You were doing the staff a favour by clearing plates.

oakmouse Wed 19-Mar-14 11:18:50

It's not done, but I bet the boy and his mum would have been perfectly happy for you to have them.

I don't feel either disgust or moral outrage. I'm quite surprised by the depth of feeling on this, to be honest. It seems like an unconventional, but essentially harmless action.

FrankCarsonsDressingRoom Wed 19-Mar-14 11:16:09

Grabby, skanky, greedy behaviour.

It's not a good lesson for your kids either.

Sparklingbrook Wed 19-Mar-14 11:14:15

Yes Daryl they may have rushed off because 'chip leaving child' had a dose of D&V. shock

How do you know the reason the other child hadn't eaten the chips, was that he had been ill, or was feeling ill? That would be my first suspicion, and for that reason alone I think you were BU. ewww

But also it is just really grabby...makes me think of someone I know, (she wouldn't do it with food) but she would take something that had been left behind just to make her own grandchild happy, oh look here's the thing you want no need to get upset oh here look have this one, there there darling hmm

Joolsy Wed 19-Mar-14 09:43:11

"That is really awful hmm. Your kids now think it's acceptable to forage through other people's leftovers like starving mongrels...
Jesus hmm" - yes of course they do, one day eating some chips from the next table, the next scavenging through people's bins because their parents don't feed them! hmm

melika Wed 19-Mar-14 09:32:58

Wasting food on our own table, yes, I agree everything has got to go.

But from someone elses table, no, how do you know if they had touched them, infectious diseases etc.

Yuk.

LokiDokey Wed 19-Mar-14 09:28:47

My mil is borderline obsessive overt wasting food. On holiday one year (all inclusive I add) the kids wanted a kfc for a change. They gave them a little pot of coleslaw, which neither dc like.
A few hours later we had this smell lingering, after some debate it was discovered mil had said pot of coleslaw her bag and it had burst. When asked why she just said she didn't want to waste it. God knows what she was planning on doing with it but on the same holiday she saved left over bread rolls to feed to the camels...

She also saves leftovers at home and thinks nothing of re frying chippy chips for several days after. I've always found it incredibly ott.

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