#8 ASK KATARINA: Do I have to wait for others to be served before I start eating? 🍴

#8 ASK KATARINA: Do I have to wait for others to be served before I start eating? 🍴

''Hello Katarina, I have a question regarding table manners. If I am in a restaurant and my meal gets served first, is it true that I should wait for the person I am with to get their meal served too before I start eating? Thank you, I wish you a nice day!''
S. T.

Dear S. T.,
thank you for your question!

When I read your email, I couldn’t help but notice a small etiquette mistake coming from the restaurant staff which actually resulted in the situation you are describing: When you’re dining in a restaurant, the correct etiquette is to serve meals at the same time or with the shortest possible time interval. This way, you can make sure you share the gracious activity of dining with your companion at the same pace.
An exception to this rule would be if one of you orders a special dish that takes longer to prepare, in which case, it is the staff’s responsibility to inform you about the lengthy preparation process.

Dining with someone is a shared social activity, therefore it should happen within the same rhythm on both ends. Otherwise, awkward situations may happen such as one member of the group is sitting and waiting while others are enjoying their meal, and minutes after, the one member might feel pressured to finish their just-arrived meal fast as the rest of the group is long finished.

If it still happens that your meal arrives significantly sooner than your companion’s, it is good manners to wait for their meal to arrive, unless they reciprocate the courtesy and prompt you to start eating without them.

I wish you a beautiful day. 

Yours sincerely,

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