Etiquette on Taking Food From a Dinner Party

Friends chatting while hostess serves dessert

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

A dinner party is a way for family and friends to share each other's company while enjoying a meal together. Going to a dinner party with a spirit of generosity and shared enjoyment can help you avoid some common etiquette snafus. Remember that anything you bring to a dinner party is meant for the enjoyment of everyone there, not just you.

Traditional Dinner Parties

When you receive an invitation to a dinner party, ask if you should bring something. If the host says no, arrive at the party with a small gift. If your gift is wine or food, do not expect the host to open it at the party. If you're offered left-overs to take home, it's OK to accept, but never ask or expect to take food or drink from a dinner party.


At potlucks, guests usually each bring a dish or two to share with everyone. Eat moderately at potluck to ensure everyone has a chance to try each dish. If there are left-overs at the end of the party, it's polite to check with the host before taking your own home. Never take another guest's left-overs.