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to find it annoying when guests start eating before the host has finished serving

(69 Posts)
carlajean Mon 05-Jan-15 22:52:23

We had a big (13 guests) family party over Xmas. It was cold food, so there was no concern about hot food going cold, but some people couldn't wait to start eating. I think it's greedy and rude not to wait until everybody's been served, especially as some people have almost finished by the time the host gets their own food. Why can't people wait for a few minutes?

coffeeandcalpol Mon 05-Jan-15 22:58:46

If it's a sit down meal is say wait for everyone to be served and sat down, if it's serve yourself buffet style, I'd say start once you've got your food as it's more relaxed and people end up going back for more

BikeRunSki Mon 05-Jan-15 23:02:24

Very bad manners to start before the host! shock.

Mintyy Mon 05-Jan-15 23:04:22


Dh's family all like to get stuck in as soon as they have their own food on their plates. It can be awkward, as I want to teach my dc that it is good manners to wait until all are ready.

NeedABumChange Mon 05-Jan-15 23:06:13

Terrible manners, I can't stand it when parents let their kids eat before the host has even sat down.

loveareadingthanks Tue 06-Jan-15 09:38:51

It is bad manners to start eating before everyone is served, but some families do this so I guess it's just a case of different houses, different rules. And if it's a 'start straight away' house, then people don't exactly rush to settle down to enable others to start eating.

I tend to tuck into my dinner before DP is ready even though I know it's rude, but he faffs about for ages before he sits down and my dinner gets half cold if I wait. He comes from a family where everyone starts when they want, no one waits. There's no recognition that other people are waiting for you, and you are holding them up.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Tue 06-Jan-15 09:43:54


My parents do this, I find it so rude.

I always wait for everyone to have a plate full, especially the host.

The only time I will let my DS (just 3) start early is if he's getting really cranky and it's a bit later than he really needs to be eating. I would always ask the host if this was ok and is only acceptable when he is still young, he won't be allowed to for long!

Waitingonasunnyday Tue 06-Jan-15 09:46:00

YANBU. It's really rude.

We should make some sort of 'Mumsnet Manners Bucket List - 12 things to learn before you're 12' shouldn't we?

Faffyduck Tue 06-Jan-15 09:49:28


Unless it's small children and your saving others from a tantrum by allowing it.

It's disgusting manners. Even hot food - it only becomes ok if the host says "tuck in, don't let it get cold" while serving!

Toughasoldboots Tue 06-Jan-15 09:50:15

I would be bristling at that, it's so rude.

SayraT Tue 06-Jan-15 09:56:52

Under normal circumstances I'd say yes, it is rude but I always start when I am at OHs parents.

His mum will put the food on the plates them I take them to everyone except hers. Then we sit down and about 10/15 minutes later after she has faffed around (not doing anything essential - they whole family are faffers) she will come and sit down. I used to wait but no one else did and my dinner was cold by the time she sat down.

Macloveswill Tue 06-Jan-15 10:02:00

It's definitely poor table manners

UptheChimney Tue 06-Jan-15 10:05:05

Appalling manners to start eating before everyone is served.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 06-Jan-15 10:11:33

depends on the host.

If your the kind of host that's up down up down all the time and people have to wait an age to actually eat cos ya won't sit down then yabu.

If it's a case of waiting 5 mom's yabu.

Small children are excused though because if we waited for say my mother to sit down it would be Stone cold and kids lose interest grin

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 06-Jan-15 10:11:54

five mins

Bragadocia Tue 06-Jan-15 10:15:59

If other people start before I've finish serving, I sometimes like to try to slip in a "do start!". Because I'm not at all passive aggressive, oh no, not me…

In my house, you will know your place, guests!!

[wonders why people never come back…]

saoirse31 Tue 06-Jan-15 10:22:36

As host I alwats ask/ tell people to start as soon as they've food tbh so in my house you would be unreasonable

muminhants Tue 06-Jan-15 11:21:30

I agree it depends on the host. Both my mum and MIL faff around and both tell us to start while the food is still hot. If it's cold it's fine to wait. If it's hot a good host wants you to enjoy your meal. I don't faff around when serving to guests so I'd expect them to wait, but wouldn't be offended if they didn't - if they are hungry and want to get stuck in, why not?

HolyTerror Tue 06-Jan-15 11:32:24

Assuming it's not the kind of faffing situation outlined above, or involving small children, yanbu at all - it's very poor manners to start wolfing your food the second the plate hits the table, as if you were in danger of starvation.

My father and both PILS always do this, in our house and in restaurants, despite there being no faffing going on, and the fact that the 'wait' would probably be in the region of thirty seconds before everyone was served. (And don't start me on my MILS maddening habit of literally covering her entire plate with salt without actually tasting the (restaurant) food. Also, she does it with her little finger crooked, as if she thinks this is the genteel way to approach eating out, rather than potentially ruining her food.)

But my dad is dreadful at any kind of celebratory meal, anyway. He puts his head down and wolfs without drawing breath until his plate is empty, while everyone else is actually talking to one another while eating because DH and I live in another country, and this is the first time we've all been together in months...

MildDrPepperAddiction Tue 06-Jan-15 11:34:02


If your party is more than 6 people etiquette is that you may start your meal.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 06-Jan-15 11:40:19

Someone once told me that in France it is considered good manners to start eating as soon as your meal is served, out of respect to the food. Anyone know if that's true?

SoonToBeMrsB Tue 06-Jan-15 11:44:08

Very rude. I don't even like starting a meal without DP but he's the biggest faffer in the world and my dinner would be stone cold if I waited for him. By the time he finishes up what he's doing on the computer and then plates up his food (he's very particular about his dinners hmm), I'm down to the last scraps of food on my plate, sitting alone at the dinner table. It infuriates me as it's our only meal together!

MrsTawdry Tue 06-Jan-15 11:46:05

When I do a cold buffet I always tell people to start. I hate having them all staring at me...and the food...waiting to eat when they're all hungry!

ImperialBlether Tue 06-Jan-15 12:12:22

I hate it when you're putting out buffet food and people are picking up food/plates and starting to eat, knowing damn well that you're in the middle of getting it ready.

MrsTawdry Tue 06-Jan-15 12:14:26

I put plates and cutlery and napkins on their own small table....then people can gather what they need....I make the table like a counter...I go on the working side and they stay on their side!

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