Do’s and Don’ts at the Christmas Buffet

photo @Mikaela Morgan

Knowing how to handle yourself  at the Christmas Party Buffet which can really enhance your image and reputation. Here are a few tips I’ve taken from the etiquette guru Gloria Starr

  • Wash your hands before handling food
  • Buffets move in one direction only. Do not cut in to the line, move past other people that are in line ahead of you or go the opposite way in the buffet line.
  • Select appetizers and salads or salad and an entrée for your first plate as you pass through the buffet line. Dessert selection will require a separate plate and another pass through the buffet line. Do not overfill your plate.
  • Always escort your young children to the buffet and assist them when needed.
  • Do not pick up or touch the food with your hands or fingers. Always use the serving items, tongs and cutlery provided. Do not move or use the tongs from one serving platter to another as someone may have a food allergy, be kosher or vegetarian.
  • Do not eat food items as your pass through the buffet line.
  • Buffet dining is a visual feast. Select a few items on your first pass through the buffet line, then go back through the buffet line for seconds if you want additional food.
  • If you go back for seconds, leave your used plate and cutlery at your table. The wait staff should have your used dishes and cutlery removed prior to you returning to the table with a new plate of food. Put the knife and fork side by side in a 4/10 or 6/12 position to indicate to the wait staff that you are finished.
  • Do not ask for a doggie / take home bag, no exceptions.
  • When you are seated at the table you may begin to enjoy your food. Place your napkin on your lap with the fold facing your stomach. You do not need to wait for other people to return from the buffet. Season your food after you have tasted it.
  • Bring your food up to your mouth using the proper utensils. Do not move your head down to the food on your plate. When eating soup, place your spoon in to the front of the bowl and move your spoon to the back of the bowl, catch the drip as your spoon touches the back of the bowl and then bring the spoon up to your mouth and sip from the side of the spoon.
  • Do not blow on your soup or food to cool it down.
  • Ask for the bread to be passed around the table to you. Break your piece or slice of bread and butter a small portion of a one or two bit sized piece.
  • Appropriate dinner conversation should be pleasant, light and relevant to the attendees at your table.  Say please and thank you to the wait staff and be polite to the other guests.
  • Yes, table and dining manners really do matter. I recommend learning to eat in the European or Continental dining style for an elegant, global experience. Everything you say, do and wear makes a statement about you. Your dining skills or lack of can leave a very big impression on family, friends, colleagues and your boss.

Leave a Reply