Absent Appetizer: When to wait for others to start eating

Q: My boss hosted a Christmas dinner for us at a restaurant in December. After we ordered, I discovered my boss was the only one who wasn’t going to receive any type of appetizer prior to the main course. So, I chose to wait to eat my salad with my main course as a respectful gesture toward the host, my boss. He strongly encouraged me to eat my salad before the main courses arrived for everyone. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to allow someone within our party to only watch others eat. Please advise me on the correct etiquette for these types of situations.

A: It would have been fine to eat your salad when it was served, but it was equally fine to set it aside to eat with your meal and converse with your boss while you all waited for your entree to be served.

One Comment

  1. Jody

    I agree with the EPI advice here. It was very polite of you to wait until everybody was served, but also polite of the boss to encourage others to go ahead & start. If he kept pressing you, you could say “thank you, but I prefer to eat my salad with my main course.”

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