Author Topic: More Lack of Food for Your Guests  (Read 7061 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

sammycat

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6054
More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« on: February 18, 2007, 12:25:10 AM »
The recent thread about the in-laws not having enough food for extra guests reminded me of the times where I have been someone's invited guest and there hasn't been enough - or any -food.

10 years ago DH and drove 45 minutes to attend an engagement party for some friends' of ours (engagement parties are a big deal in Australia, probably more common than a bridal shower).  We arrived at 6pm assuming that we would be fed a decent sized meal/buffett or plenty of finger food.  There were about 60-70 guests there, spread out at various tables.  Some tables had bowls of potato chips, crackers and dips, others did not.  About 90 minutes after our arrival a few trays of party pies and sausage rolls were brought around.  We only took a few, assuming that as more food would be coming later we didn't want to spoil our appetites.  Nope, that was it.  Aside from the engagement cake, the only food that was served to 70 guests all night was a few bowls of chips and a couple of trays of finger food.  We stopped at McDonald's on the way home.

I've also noticed lately that when I go to visit someone's house I'm often offered nothing more than a glass of water (I don't drink tea or coffee).  If it wasn't for the food I took with me to share (a cake or muffins etc), then there would be nothing to eat.  These people know I'm coming as they have issued the invitation, so I'm puzzled as to why this happens.  When I issue an invitation I always ensure there is plenty to eat and drink as I can't imagine having someone sitting in my house for 4 hours with only one drink of water (or tea or coffee).  I'm not expecting a 3 course sit down meal every (any!) time, but how hard can it be to at least offer a piece of cake, or to put out a plate of biscuits?

Am I being too picky, or has entertaining gone by the wayside these days?

« Last Edit: February 18, 2007, 12:43:57 AM by sammycat »

Veronica

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5158
  • the Patron Saint of Judgmental Statues
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2007, 12:30:41 AM »
It's not you.  I've noticed this too.  IMHO if you invite someone to a party that is being hosted between 5-7 pm and dinner is not included you should state that clearly on the invite. 

Florida

Chocolate Cake

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5138
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2007, 02:52:17 PM »
Also, I think a lot of people were never taught how to "receive" guests.    It used to be a very formal process, with lots of guidelines and clearly understood expectations (on both the part of the hostess and the part of the guest).  However, because this kind of activity is not so common anymore, people don't think through what is needed for their visitor's comfort.    Common sense should prevail, but many people don't have much of that these days.  The only thing a guest can do is cut short their visit when it becomes clear that the host is less than hospitable.

MadMadge43

  • MadMadge43
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5561
  • Etiquette is making others feel special
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2007, 03:03:12 PM »
Oh my, I wouldn't even know what to do. I don't think I've ever not been fed in my life. Sometimes I've been fed horrible awful food I have gulp down as not to taste it, but never been left starving.

I might cut my visit short and go get something to eat.

JeanFromBNA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2261
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2007, 01:30:22 PM »
We went to a 6 PM wedding last year, and at the reception were served crackers, cheese, pickles, bottled water, champagne, and wedding cake. The wedding program instructed guests to "fill their plates and enjoy the festivities."  Guests were streaming out of the place by 9 PM to fill their plates elsewhere.

A few years ago, we were at a wedding reception that ran out of appetizers and punch for the many guests about an hour into the reception.

At a different reception, an hour and a half after the ceremony, the B & G were milling around the church hall, greeting guests, but we had no idea what was going on as food and drink were not served.  We heard that the reception for the families was taking place elsewhere.

I later discovered that these events had amateur wedding coordinators and caterers giving poor advice.  Vendors that had no business taking on the jobs.

IMO, food is the backbone of hospitality.  People are not accustomed to issuing invitations and the obligations of a host, and bad, self-serving advice is everywhere.

Lisbeth

  • I am a rock, I am an island
  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 29353
  • a/k/a KeenReader
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2007, 01:42:50 PM »
Often, people try to cut corners in the wrong areas because they don't know how to properly entertain-it's something they've heard about but never experienced.  (I think this might account for some of the "entitlement" issues that 'zillas come up with-they've heard of them but due to lack of personal experience don't know how the rules really apply.)

Unfortunately, because people feel obligated to hold big parties to satisfy their families and friends, they end up inviting people whom they then can't afford to entertain because there are just too many people and too many costs for them to do it well.

It's been suggested that one should draw up one's guest list first and then cut costs, but sometimes it seems like you can't do it well-your family or co-workers put pressure on you to invite everyone, including permanent partners, and there's no way to cut the guest list without unpleasant repercussions, so all you can afford to feed them are water and mints.
I'm away from sanity right now...please leave a message after the beep.
NYC

Evil Duckie

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3962
  • This is not the duck you are looking for
    • My dragon scroll
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2007, 04:30:27 PM »
I am seeing this more and more.

I think that people are not only trying to save money by having less food.

The new trend is also showing that you are not contributing to world hunger and other problems by not being wasteful. I have heard from several people that having leftover food was rude because you are being wasteful, even if you use the extra food later.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2007, 07:16:06 PM by mom of boys »

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15857
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2007, 06:37:39 PM »
How does this excuse sound:  Thinking that the enjoyment of food is declasse and that superior people don't need to eat in social situations.  I've known a few people who didn't have food for guests for this reason.

Of course, that could also have been a smokescreen for miserlyness.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28380
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2007, 07:34:48 PM »
I am seeing this more and more.

I think that people are not only trying to save money by having less food.

The new trend is also showing that you are not contributing to world hunger and other problems by not being wasteful. I have heard from several people that having leftover food was rude because you are being wasteful, even if you use the extra food later.
But they ARE contributing to world hunger! Their guests are going hungry!

In any event, it's a ridiculous notion. The world grows enough food to feed everyone - poverty, distribution problems, and sometimes deliberate policies on behalf of governments that use food as a way of controlling rebellious areas, cause world hunger. Having leftovers after a party does not.

They would be better off skipping the party altogether, and avoid having their guests drive to see them, so that they don't contribute to global warming.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

supernova

  • thanks for all the fish
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2300
  • dancing alone
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2007, 05:07:55 AM »
Eeesh.

I will happily and proudly wear the label "trashy" or "low class" if it means that I can still entertain my guests with a table groaning from the weight of all the food.   ;D  They can call me anything they like, as long as they take thirds... 

Seriously, though...  I think it's really rude to not feed one's guests.  I'd sooner not have company than not be able to feed them.

     - saphie

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15857
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2007, 08:48:40 AM »
Eeesh.

I will happily and proudly wear the label "trashy" or "low class" if it means that I can still entertain my guests with a table groaning from the weight of all the food.   ;D 

My late mother was always afraid of not having enough food on those few occasions she entertained.  "If there are no leftovers, there wasn't enough," was the thinking.  She never insisted on people having third helpings, but wanted to make sure there was enough food.  She grew up in Europe during the depression when one was lucky to get a pound of meat per WEEK for a family.

kingsrings

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9708
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2007, 12:06:30 PM »
Fortunately, the majority of my social circle is not like this, and there is always more than enough food at our parties. In fact, there is always a ready supply of paper plates and aluminum foil so that people can take leftovers home afterwards! But I do have this problem of not enough food when I visit my father and stepmother. When I have politely questioned the lack of enough food, they just tell me that they don't understand, because the amount of food they have is always enough for them and they're never hungry. Sometimes when I have arrived at their house at night (they live across the country, so I fly) after having no dinner, their offer of food is a sandwich and soup! Finally I put my foot down one time and politely but firmly told them that that was not a sufficient dinner, and could we please stop at the nearest fast-food restaurant so I could purchase my own meal. Then they finally got what I was saying and served me a real dinner when we arrived at their house. What they need to realize and so does everyone else hosting others is that different people have different appetite sizes. Just because my dad and stepmom eat like birds doesn't mean that everyone visiting them do as well, and so hospitality-wise, they should be prepared with more food. It is far more worse to end up with too much food at the end of the night than having your guests leave hungry and then having a bad impression of your hospitality.

Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6613
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2007, 12:52:11 PM »
What they need to realize and so does everyone else hosting others is that different people have different appetite sizes. Just because my dad and stepmom eat like birds doesn't mean that everyone visiting them do as well, and so hospitality-wise, they should be prepared with more food. It is far more worse to end up with too much food at the end of the night than having your guests leave hungry and then having a bad impression of your hospitality.

I have this problem sometimes at my IL's, too, especially if there's a larger than usual gathering.  There'll barely be enough for one small serving for everyone. 

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11729
  • xi
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2007, 01:28:44 PM »
I have never seen that at a party.  But, I have seen where people invite a couple of guests over for dinner, but do not put out any more food than for just the two of them.  Actually, I have only seen that with older people.  I don't know why.  I don't eat an abnormal amount.  1/2 to 2/3 of a restaurant meal is usually perfect. 



VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12782
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: More Lack of Food for Your Guests
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2007, 02:04:46 PM »
I have never seen that at a party.  But, I have seen where people invite a couple of guests over for dinner, but do not put out any more food than for just the two of them.  Actually, I have only seen that with older people.  I don't know why.  I don't eat an abnormal amount.  1/2 to 2/3 of a restaurant meal is usually perfect. 

Due to slowing metabolisms, older people may have to cut back the amount of food that they eat to avoid gaining (substantial) amounts of weight.  Or their appetite may have naturally declined since their taste buds and sense of smell have declined (especially bad if they've smoked tobacco).

So - what they "see" when they look at an amount of food is how many servings they would get out of it.  Without realizing/remembering that the teenaged boys in the family could wolf the entire "four to six servings" down in one meal and ask for dessert........

Or that someone with diabetes, low blood sugar, or other medical conditions might find the "servings" acceptable but need to eat AGAIN in three hours - five or six times a day - not just three meals.  (I represent that remark.)

It depends on the age, gender, appetites, activity levels, and medical conditions of the "guest".

I would swear that having food left over is easier in the long run than running out of food - as microwaves are in many homes and simplify fixing a snack or small meal later if someone else shows up hungry.  But I grew up with grandmothers who went by the "is the table and part of the kitchen counter completely covered except for barely enough space to sit and eat?" method of determining "enough".

We had to eat at least half and maybe two-thirds of the food for it to fit back into the fridge after the meal was over.  More cans or frozen food would be prepared to eke out the meager remains for the next meal..............(ha, ha, ha).  Or the leftover meats would be sliced and bread, cheese, tomato slices, onion slices, pickles, and lettuce would be left out with condiments for a "light meal" of sandwiches...........usually sandwiches which Blondie's Dagwood would have envied in their towering approach to battling hunger.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?