Etiquette on Taking Home Party Leftovers

by Gina Scott
Follow the party host's lead when taking home party leftovers.

Follow the party host's lead when taking home party leftovers.

Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Part of what makes a successful party is serving delicious food all the guests rave about. There's a reason people usually congregate in the kitchen during parties and just on a day-to-day basis. It's all about connecting over sharing food. You always want to have enough for your guests to eat at a get-together. Various ways are used to feed partygoers including catering, having guests pitch in or creating all of the dishes yourself. Regardless of the preparation method, you're likely to have leftovers. You can apply certain etiquette to distributing party leftovers.

Always Ask First

Never assume that leftovers are available for you to take home from a party. The hostess of any occasion is in charge and you should ask her about taking home leftovers. If you're not comfortable directly asking, you might try hinting that the spare turkey you brought would make great sandwiches for lunch the next week. There's nothing wrong with asking the question about taking some leftovers but just make sure you ask politely.

Take What You Brought

If the host has indicated that you are welcome to leftovers, assume that he means what is remaining from the dishes you brought. Grabbing a plate and starting to fill it up with samplings of every item on the buffet is in poor taste. Wait for your host to offer that you take whatever you like before you indulge in other concoctions. If there are cookies left that were really delicious but you didn't bring them, you are welcome to politely inquire about taking some of them off your host's hands or hint that they were delicious and wait for him to offer.

Use Your Own Storage Containers

When taking home some goodies from a party, use the containers that held the food you brought with you. If you didn't bring any food, wait for your hostess to offer dishes you can take with you. When thinking about leftovers ahead of time, It's not in good taste to walk into a party with a set of containers in anticipation of loading them up on your way out.

Thank Your Host

It's always proper etiquette to thank the hostess of a party. Depending on the nature of the party, you can choose the formality of your approach, be it mail, telephone, email or text. When sending your gratitude, be sure to mention how delicious your family found the party leftovers.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images