Piled High: Stacking dishes on the table after eating

by epi on March 8, 2013

Q: Is it polite to stack your dishes on the table after you are through eating at a restaurant?

A: No, it is not polite to stack your dishes on the table after eating at a restaurant or even at home.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cooper March 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Really? As a former server for many years, I always appreciated it when customers stack plates, making them easy to clear away; particularly when it’s busy and the table is difficult to access (such as a booth). As a diner, I have always thought this was courteous and it seems that servers appreciate the courtesy. Of course, this doesn’t really apply in upscale restaurants (in which case, it would seem in appropriate).


Elizabeth March 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm

I agree with you that it depends on the level of formality of the restaurant. At a busy diner, or at a place that tends to serve items on many different plates or things in baskets, guests sometimes like to tidy up the table for their own comfort as well as helping the waiter or busboy clear. There are some places that only clear plates after the guest leaves, so if they want to hang out for a bit and chat over coffee, stacking makes for a more pleasant and less cluttered table.


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