(Closed) Eating at a friend's house

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 32
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would only make a point if it were a known dietary choice (vegetarian/vegan) or an allergy. I was a vegetarian all through high school, and my junior year I went to Spain for a month as part of an exchange program. We were told ahead of time that our area was very rural and vegetarians would have a difficult time there, so I made the decision ahead of time to include chicken and fish in my diet for that month (and a few weeks ahead of time so I could adjust) to be more accommodating.

Post # 33
120 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I was raised that, as a host, you should be aware of dietary restrictions and protein preferences of your guests and choose your menu accordingly (or at least to the best of your ability if there are multiple conflicting preferences), and that as a guest, you can offer to bring dessert or wine or ask if there is anything you can bring to help the host with the main meal, but you never EVER bring unrequested food to a dinner party. It is the equivalent of saying “Your food is not good enough for me and I don’t appreciate that you’ve cooked for me.” Beyond rude.

Post # 34
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

Uh, no.  The Guests should not be making inquiries (unless it is IMMEDIATE family… that is usually ok… “Sis, is there anything I can do / bring ?” )

BUT a Good Hostess will ask her Guests a few basic Questions most of the time* …

“Glad to hear you and Bill can make it for Dinner on Saturday Night, so tell me is there anything you guys cannot eat / don’t like ?”

* Asking is POLITE but not a requirement.  A Host can serve whatever they sooo choose.  If a Guest doesn’t like it so be it.

But ya, Guests don’t get to set the parameters of the event.  The only thing they have control over is saying YES or NO to going, and at what time they need to make their farewells

Guests should also not be BYOing either… the exception is for infants, toddlers, and if someone is on a strict diet for health reasons (but in those cases the Guest would usually confirm all that with the Host when they say YES to attend.  “And you don’t have to worry about Bill Jr, I’ll bring along his Sippy Cup and Baby Food… just let me use your microwave to reheat it” )

OR IF it is that type of event where BYOing is expected … Pot Luck, Backyard BBQ where everyone brings their own Steaks, a Dish etc (often this last one tho is determined by local customs)

Hope this helps,


Post # 35
2513 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I was also raised to eat what you are given.  

When I cook for friends I will double check on allergies and preferences if I’m considering making something a little different.  One of my good friends is vegan (and I am not) so I always double check with her on the rules of things, to make sure there’s some options that are suitable for her as well. 

Post # 36
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

The only time I’ve ever asked a host what they’re preparing is when we’re doing a potluck-style evening and thus I want to know that I’m not planning to bring something they’ve already decided on. I’m a firm believer in eating what I’m served and my daughter has been taught the same – even if you don’t like something much, our rule is that you finish the serving you’ve been given, or as much as possible.

Of course when I’m hosting I make sure I’m aware of actual allergies and intolerances as well as religious prohibitions, and I cook for vegetarians/vegans. If you just happen to be a picky eater, you won’t have much luck in my kitchen.

Post # 37
576 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think it might be age, but when I have friends over for dinner it tends to be a pretty open and collaborative conversation! Like it’s never really been something where I’ve planned it out a week in advance and set a menu; normally we’ll decide to have dinner and someone will offer to cook and we’ll all decide what to have and what to pitch in!

At more formal dinner parties I’ve attended and helped my mother to prepare, there’s been a set menu planned by the host but usually some discussion about what will be offered, especially because people usually plan to bring something.

If a friend called me up and asked me to cook her XYZ I’d probably laugh and say fine, as long as she knew she was being bratty and brought some awfully nice wine!

Post # 39
3083 posts
Sugar bee


what!? I would never dream of asking whats for dinner (or stating preferences) when going to someone elses house for dinner. Unless, as you stated, I had some allergy or I was vegan.

That is rude IMO. Its free food, just eat it! haha

Post # 40
3083 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@Ap2010:  I think it would be, unless as stated, there was an allergy or diet restriction.

But I think brining a sandwich *incase* you don’t like the food is considered poor etiquette. I suppose it is hinting that the host/hostess is a bad cook or the food prepared is not good enough for you?

Post # 41
2831 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Unless there is an allergy involved; NO.

Post # 42
956 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@Carolsays:  I was just in this situation. New Years eve a friend invited us over and we accepted. I offered to make pie and the host decided on a menu of schnitzel (pork) and spaetzel. I don’t eat pork. Its not a religious or dietary thing, I just don’t like it. So what did I do?

I ate it.

I don’t like it, and I NEVER eat it by choice, but she offered me dinner.

IF I was adament about not eating it, I would have said “I will also make a chicken and rice casserole to have as a side.” I would eat that along with the sides she made. I would never tell someone to change their menu for me unless it was necessary, like my allergy to shellfish.

Post # 43
2871 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@Carolsays:  Wow. If kids have special dietary restrictions, they can bring their own food or let me know well ahead of time. I understand for allergies and am happy to accomodate certain dietary restrictions within reason. 

Unfortunately, if our dining habits are incompatible, we may end up being the kinds of friends that only meet up, out or at their house. I love hosting, but not if I’m going to have to accommodate your paleo, gluten-free, free-range/wild caught, organic pescatarianism. I just won’t. 🙂 

Post # 44
4435 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Carolsays:  I would never tell a host what to make! If specifically asked what I would like for options, I will give a vague indication- like we were invited for brunch before and the hostess asked what we like- I said I love anything sweet, but always add that I eat and like anything (which is actually true).  Volunteering preferences other than allergies is rude imho.

Post # 45
1555 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’ll usually let people who I invite what I plan on serving and that if they’d prefer something else, I’d love for them to bring a dish to share. I have friends who are vegetarian, gluten free, have severe allergies, and one who simply can’t stand vegetables. I usually prepare at least one dish that is hearty and fulfills most restrictions, plus a protein, and a couple sides. It covers most bases. 

I also let people serve themselves rather than plating food for them.

Post # 46
5658 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

That seems like the ultimate in poor guest behavior.

The topic ‘Eating at a friend's house’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors