I’m personally a huge proponent of sharing food. Most of the time eating really delicious meals is part of some sort of social interaction anyway, so I feel like you might as well make the most of it. It usually happens when you’re at a new restaurant and the menu looks so good you just can’t decide on one thing to order. So, you and your friends decide to get a bunch of different items to share. Usually, this works out great.
On the other hand, sometimes you just want some personal time with your plate and really don’t feel like splitting it with anyone. So in that case, what is the actual etiquette when it comes to sharing food?
1. Let them have a bite first before asking to try it
There’s nothing better than taking that first bite of food when you’re starving. Don’t be that person who just goes right in for your friend’s plate before they’ve even had a chance to taste anything yet.
2. Wait for them to offer it to you
You know that this is probably going to happen anyway, so just wait a couple of minutes before automatically helping yourself. It’ll make you seem more polite and probably make them more willing to share.
3. Make sure a bite is actually a bite
Unless you guys decided to order multiple things to split between you, make sure you’re actually just having a taste and not half of their entire plate.
4. Don’t experiment with new things if you know you’re not going to like them
I get that the whole point of going out to eat is trying new and exciting foods that you normally wouldn’t eat, but if you know that you’re kind of a picky eater, don’t order something completely foreign to you and then proceed to eat the other person’s food when you don’t like yours.
5. Check before adding any sauces
This one is important because it could actually end up ruining the entire meal for whoever you’re sharing it with. If you’re splitting some fries, ask if they’re ok with ketchup before smothering the whole plate with it and then checking afterwards.
6. If it’s not easily shareable, don’t attempt it
Some foods like fries or even pizza are awesome for sharing since they don’t make a mess and boundaries are pretty much set. What’s annoying is having to split your burger into 5 different pieces, resulting in the toppings all coming off and one person getting stuck with half a bun. Not cool.
7. Don’t ask for food when you said you weren’t hungry
Ok, so we’ve probably all done this at one point or another. I know I’m 100% guilty of this, so much so that my friends and family end up ordering extra for me even when I say I’m not hungry. It’s really annoying for the person eating though, especially since they probably asked you if you were sure you didn’t want anything at least five times.
8. If you try the food and don’t like it, don’t make a face
You might not like the food that I decided to order but I’m still eating over here and I’m actually liking it, so making a face and commenting on how I could possibly be enjoying the dish is not the best way to go.
9. Ask about allergies before offering
I guess this one is pretty obvious, but you wanna make sure whoever you’re offering food to is able to eat whatever it is that you ordered. You might not know them well enough yet, so double checking couldn’t hurt since you definitely don’t wanna be responsible for any allergic reactions or food poisoning.
10. No can actually mean no
Honestly, some people have really particular eating habits and it’s perfectly ok that they don’t feel like sharing their food. In that case, don’t keep asking because most likely the answer isn’t going to change.