Buffet Dinner Etiquette

We have all faced those embarrassing moments at a buffet table, where you bump into the next person or find your self  standing in the middle of the queue unsure of what to take. For most people, a buffet dinner does not seem like the ideal concept. The feeling of embarrassment and consciousness tends to creep up while holding a plate full of food, in a room full of people.

For those of you that look for excuses to avoid a buffet dinner, we have put together a few guidelines to help you Turn this into a wonderful dining experience. Read on for a list of buffet dinner etiquette that can help you create a polished image at a business or social event.

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  • The most senior female or the guest of honor, should go through the buffet line first in family get together.
  • Start off by take a look at the courses displayed and planing the course you wish to select.
  • Patiently wait  your turn, allow the person in front of you to finish serving themselves.
  • If you think you are going to take little more time at a particular counter, let the others go ahead .
  • Maintain a good distance from the person standing beside you to avoid any awkward physical contact.
  • Keeping your right hand free to serve yourself, hold your plate in your left hand. Place your drink on a table where you wish to be seated instead of holding it while going through the line.
  • Use the provided utensils to serve each dish, also avoid using fingers to pick up the food.
  • If you would like to go for seconds, leave your used plate at the table provided and get a clean one. Make sure to use separate plates for different courses.
  • If you are unsure about a food dish, serve yourself a small portion for a taste test. Remember you can always go back for more.
  • Serve a portion of dressings  or dips on your plate, don’t dip your your food directly.
  • Move away from the food table and cover your sneeze or cough when you have to.
  • Be aware of your clothing and accessories to make sure that you don’t dip them in the food trays.
  • The restaurant staff are the ones who are behind the smooth functioning of your buffet dinner, so be polite, appreciate and tip them.


  • Avoid walking randomly at the buffet line, maintain decorum by moving along with the queue.
  • Avoid touching or scratching your body while serving yourself.
  • Do not allow children to serve themselves, be their server and avoid a messy situations.
  • Avoid piling food on your plate. Serve enough and only what you can finish. You do not have to eat everything because you want your money’s worth.
  • Do not return any item from your plate back to the food tray. If you do not wish to eat it, leave it at your table and use a new plate to serve yourself another dish.
  • Make sure not to taste the food as you make through the line.
  • Do not request take away food.

Featured image: designbydesire.com

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