Q: My coworkers and I get invitations to many fine restaurants from vendors frequently. The question is, when being taken to dinner is it proper to take the leftovers home? I was always taught when someone else is buying that it is not proper. Several coworkers not only take their own leftovers home but ask for others as well.
A: When you have food left over that you don’t want to go to waste, it’s usually acceptable to ask for a doggy bag. When not to request one? First, at most business meals. (If you’re dining with a business associate who is a close friend, it’s fine to request a bag if you’re splitting the bill– but if s/he’s the host, leave leftover food behind.) Second, at a wedding reception or other function.
It is never appropriate to ask for other people’s leftovers to take home, unless they are your intimate family members.