Etiquette Tip of the Week: The Buffet Delay

There’s a lot of buffet dining in business. With buffets, comes food in slices, either in layered rows or fanned out, sometimes displayed prettily, but more often utilitarian.

No matter what it is – deli meat, provolone, pancakes, egg foo young – take the slice at the front of the row.  Don’t go sifting through the pile looking for the slice with the most pleasing shape or the portion that seems a fraction of a millimeter thicker.  It’s a buffet – it’s all pretty much the same.  Your food play is everyone else’s delay.

This is also true when you are dining banquet style where shared platters of food are passed around the table.  Take the piece closest to you and keep the platter moving to the right, counterclockwise, around the table.  Do not keep everyone else waiting while you play with their food.

When dining buffet style, you may begin eating as soon as you are seated.  But it’s polite to wait until a few people join you.  You never want to appear ravenously hungry in business.

Thank you to our friends at the Culture & Manners Institute for sharing their wisdom with us!