Dining Etiquette: Serving Food

Serving Food

Waiters serve from the left, and remove from the right. When possible, help out by moving out of the way.

When you finish eating, leave the glasses and used dishes where they are. Do not push your dishes away from you or stack them for the waiter. Ask the server if you need dishes or glasses to be removed from your table. That is the server’s job.

Passing Food

Food is passed from left to right. It is helpful to remember that everything of importance is to the right. For example, the guest of honor sits to the right of the host and food is passed on the right. Also pass the salt, pepper, butter and sauces to the right.

Passing the Bread

Always include the service plate in passing. The butter is passed in the same way as the bread.

Dining Etiquette: Serving / Passing Food

Salt And Pepper

If asked for the salt or pepper, pass both together, even if a person asks for only one of them. Pick them both up and place them on the table within reach of the person next to you. They are never passed hand to hand. This avoids the search for one of the shakers around the table.

Never Intercept a Pass

Snagging a roll out of the breadbasket or taking a shake of salt when it is enroute to someone else is a no-no. No one else other than the original requester should sprinkle their food when they have the shakers in their possession.