Etiquette discussion - You are at a restaurant & having a post-dinner conversation. Is it rude to move your plate to the side provided it’s not in front of someone else? (Assume family style or casual restaurant.)
Goodness, I hope not. I do that all the time. I don’t like to have a half eaten plate of food in front of me after I’m done.
If you put it on the side it lets the waitress know you're done. I always forget about the silverware so I put it on the plate while she's taking it away. (I'm terrible I know)
Why not just have the waiter take it? Are we too shy to speak to strangers and be a functioning member of society in this scenario?
Maybe the waiter is really busy & not around.
I can’t say I’ve ever worked as a waitress, but isn’t their first (and maybe only) priority to tend to the tables they’ve been assigned?
After I’m finished, I put my fork and knife across my plate. Hopefully a waitperson will clear it from the table. If they don’t, and we are lingering over a drink or desert, I have no problem moving the dirty plate out of the way.
In Germany (maybe all Europe?), diners place cutlery on side edges of plate if they're still eating, but taking a break, crossed (🛠) on plate if they disliked it, and parallel like you describe if finished and everything OK.
In Russia I was taught it was rude. When you are done, you cross the cutlery on the plate. However, putting it to the side was the norm.
In the US it is the norm and I don’t think rude.
The three best ways to signal your server to take your plate are these:
1: Put the plate to the side/middle of the table
2: cover the plate with your napkin
3: finishing your plate
There's a fourth: put knife/fork side by side on the plate.
There’s a 5th: do nothing and just wait for the waiter to come by and do their job.
No. It signals the server that it is okay to removed the unused plate and dinnerware.
I don't have a problem with it, but you can always cross your silverware over the plate so that your server knows you are done.
I think this is polite.
I do this routinely! Whether I’m having conversation, or not; whether I’m by myself, or not; whether anyone else is still eating or not, when I’m done I will neatly stack my plates, place silverware on top, lay my napkin over it, and move it to the side. It is nearly always picked up by SOMEone, and always express their appreciation! :)
No, it’s fine.
Not at all. ❤️
I don’t think so. I just listened to a discussion on this & thought it would make a good poll.
Let’s the waiter know he a take the plate.
Agree with statement that no one should have plate removed before everyone is finished eating. That is rude!
I don't see it as rude. I'm not sure what would be perceived as rude.
As long as it’s not the in front of someone, it should be fine.
That being said, I was always taught you leave all plates where they were until everyone is finished eating. It’s not something I would do and something I would correct my children on. Mostly because the only reason to move the plate would be because your hands or part of your body is on the table and, unless eating, that should not be done (according to etiquette).
Not rude in any restaurant