News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • April 25, 2017, 12:18:10 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?  (Read 2078 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

rose red

  • Member
  • Posts: 10441
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2017, 07:24:25 AM »
I also agree there's too much overthinking and "what ifs." I would think the OP knows if any of her friends can't/won't eat pizza. I assume they've ordered pizza together before. It sound like her main concern is that there may be confusion because her plan is not the "norm" for this group.

To me, the event sounds lovely and simply not fraught with peril.

I'd greet each guest as they came in anyway.  So it would be easy to add, "We're treating everyone to some appetizers, pizza, and the house brews tonight.  But our server, Sandy, is happy to open up individual tabs for anyone who wants to order cocktails or other dishes off the menu."  Everyone gets the same message, so there should be no confusion if someone is seen with a premium item.

Have fun!


I'd go with something like this. Maybe even saying that in the invitation instead of at the restaurant. Close friends treat each other more casually. I wouldn't blink an eye if any of my close friends does this.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 07:28:17 AM by rose red »

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3524
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2017, 01:11:29 PM »
Right, it's among friends, so it's not going to be a big deal either way.

But I still think that the hosts should just invite everyone to a pizza party and leave it at that, because no matter how it's worded, telling people to feel free to order other things will sound like they are apologizing and acknowledging that what they are providing isn't adequate, but they are not hospitable enough to bring it up to acceptable standards, so they're giving their guests a pass to supplement (which otherwise would be extremely rude).

If the OP does worry that the menu she is providing is not a good fit for this group, then she should rethink the menu. 

But she didn't say that -- she just was concerned about whether the fact that this group is used to going Dutch treat and ordering on their own from a menu requires her to announce that they are free to do so at this, a hosted party. 

In my opinion, it doesn't, any more than inviting a group that usually dresses casually to a black tie event requires the hosts to inform them "But if you want to wear jeans, please feel free."  You get an invitation that doesn't suit your preferences or customs, you either accept and do it a different way this time, or you decline.

The guests haven't done it the other way 500 times, and I'm sure they have all attended hosted parties where the hosts chose the menu.  It's not going to kill anyone to eat something other than what they would have chosen for themselves for one meal, or else eat earlier or wait to eat later.  I agree with those who have said that worrying too much about whether they will be caught unawares this time is overthinking this.

lmyrs

  • Member
  • Posts: 1693
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2017, 02:15:03 PM »
It wouldn't kill anyone to no t eat at any event. I just think that if I were hosting a group of friends for a milestone event and someone unexpectedly found themselves unable to eat the menu, I'd rather that they supplement off the readily available menu and not judge them for it instead of going hungry and possibly leaving early just so they don't "offend" me.

That's where we disagree. You seem to be saying that the guest should "suck it up" and be hungry and I'm saying the host should be gracious enough to allow a guest to find something to eat without considering him rude. I know that you don't actually believe this, but the whole thing just screams, "I'd rather my guest be uncomfortable than having to face the thought that maybe I didn't plan 100% for every contingency."

Mommyoops

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2017, 02:29:36 PM »
Since you know several guests are not beer drinkers would it make sense to have a pitcher or two of margaritas?

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3524
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2017, 03:47:35 PM »
It wouldn't kill anyone to no t eat at any event. I just think that if I were hosting a group of friends for a milestone event and someone unexpectedly found themselves unable to eat the menu, I'd rather that they supplement off the readily available menu and not judge them for it instead of going hungry and possibly leaving early just so they don't "offend" me.

That's where we disagree. You seem to be saying that the guest should "suck it up" and be hungry and I'm saying the host should be gracious enough to allow a guest to find something to eat without considering him rude. I know that you don't actually believe this, but the whole thing just screams, "I'd rather my guest be uncomfortable than having to face the thought that maybe I didn't plan 100% for every contingency."

Well, I didn't say that the host shouldn't "allow" people to order other things.  I just think the OP doesn't have to announce it as an option

And I don't think that a host has to "plan 100% for every contingency," nor does their failure to do so excuse rudeness by guests (and I do acknowledge that in this case, with this group of friends, ordering something else might not be rude).  The hosts should plan their menu carefully, with their guests' needs in mind.  But there is no requirement to make sure that every guest can get exactly what they like best.  Eating something other than what you would have ordered is not "going hungry."

Would you extend this principle to all entertaining?  If you give a dinner party in your home, should you, as host, have to say, "Welcome to our home!  If you don't want what we're serving, feel free to order a pizza"?  Would you ever do that if you were the guest?

The point is that some of us just don't think it makes a difference that this party is in a restaurant.  The hosts are serving what they are serving, the same as if it were in their home.  If any of their guests have true food restrictions that for some reason the OP doesn't know about, they are surely used to planning in advance for their own needs.

I agree that adding a salad is a good idea.

miranova

  • Member
  • Posts: 3681
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2017, 07:33:18 AM »
telling people to feel free to order other things will sound like they are apologizing and acknowledging that what they are providing isn't adequate, but they are not hospitable enough to bring it up to acceptable standards, so they're giving their guests a pass to supplement (which otherwise would be extremely rude).



This is a huge stretch.  If I got an invitation stating that there would be other things available for purchase I would not think any of these things about the hosts.  At all. 

I would think they were simply trying to make sure everyone is happy and fed. 



iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Member
  • Posts: 4553
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2017, 07:45:32 AM »
telling people to feel free to order other things will sound like they are apologizing and acknowledging that what they are providing isn't adequate, but they are not hospitable enough to bring it up to acceptable standards, so they're giving their guests a pass to supplement (which otherwise would be extremely rude).



This is a huge stretch.  If I got an invitation stating that there would be other things available for purchase I would not think any of these things about the hosts.  At all. 

I would think they were simply trying to make sure everyone is happy and fed.

Exactly. And these are friends. And, frankly, my friends would be upset if I attended and couldn't eat for reasons so I just sat there and watched everyone else eat.  Because they are my friends.
Nothing to see here.

camlan

  • Member
  • Posts: 9543
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2017, 06:46:40 PM »
This group of people are friends. There's a very good chance the OP already knows about any food issues in the group. If she wants to make double-sure, she can ask--that's something a host should do anyway--ask if there are any food allergies or intolerances that need to be considered.

But with a group of friends that have been together for years, most people know if someone needs to eat gluten-free, or is a vegetarian, etc. There are gluten-free pizzas and veggie pizzas. And if the OP adds a salad and makes sure the dressing is on the side, there should be something that everyone can eat, unless someone is on a really restrictive diet.

This works both ways. Yes, a host should do their best to make sure that every guest has something to eat. Maybe not every dish, but something. But guests also have a duty as guests not to make their host feel bad, and to eat, or not eat, what is offered, without complaint. And ordering something the host isn't providing--is a negative comment on the hosting. And yes, sometimes a good guest goes hungrier than they would like,  and stops at the nearest fast food place on their way home.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7888
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2017, 07:59:42 PM »
telling people to feel free to order other things will sound like they are apologizing and acknowledging that what they are providing isn't adequate, but they are not hospitable enough to bring it up to acceptable standards, so they're giving their guests a pass to supplement (which otherwise would be extremely rude).



This is a huge stretch.  If I got an invitation stating that there would be other things available for purchase I would not think any of these things about the hosts.  At all. 

I would think they were simply trying to make sure everyone is happy and fed.


I agree with the bolded.

I've received a few invitations over the years that have said that A,B,C will be provided, but X is also available for purchase. I've never given it a moment's thought beyond filing that information away should the need arise. I certainly didn't think anything negative about the hosts'.

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3524
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2017, 01:13:31 PM »
I wasn't thinking that her guests would think poorly of her. 

I was thinking that the OP was worrying that her hosting wasn't adequate and she needed to tell people they could supplement.  She wants to be a good host.

Of course people don't mind at all or, even if they do, make a big deal out of all kinds of things, especially with their friends. But "your friends won't mind because they love you and aren't picky, judgmental people" isn't the yardstick for gracious, polite behavior as either a host or a guest.

As a guest, I wouldn't think my hosts need to provide a means to supplement their menu, but I certainly wouldn't think less of them if they did.  As a host (or fellow guest), I do think I would find it kind of special snowflakey if a guest tried to supplement the menu to suit themselves.

#borecore

  • Member
  • Posts: 5042
  • Extreme normcore
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2017, 03:55:53 PM »
Your plans are fine, OP!

miranova

  • Member
  • Posts: 3681
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2017, 05:08:09 PM »
If I were the host, and I wrote that other food and drink was available, then yes, I AM giving them a pass to supplement my hospitality.  Not because I feel ashamed of what I'm offering.  I think it's perfectly acceptable hosting to offer pizza, salad, and beer. That's nothing to be ashamed of.  But if something has a hankering for something else, it's not going to offend me if they order it and pay for it.  So, yes, I'm giving them permission.   Seems like this has the largest chance of the most people walking away happy.

FauxFoodist

  • Member
  • Posts: 4848
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2017, 06:14:03 PM »
This group of people are friends. There's a very good chance the OP already knows about any food issues in the group. If she wants to make double-sure, she can ask--that's something a host should do anyway--ask if there are any food allergies or intolerances that need to be considered.

But with a group of friends that have been together for years, most people know if someone needs to eat gluten-free, or is a vegetarian, etc. There are gluten-free pizzas and veggie pizzas. And if the OP adds a salad and makes sure the dressing is on the side, there should be something that everyone can eat, unless someone is on a really restrictive diet.

This works both ways. Yes, a host should do their best to make sure that every guest has something to eat. Maybe not every dish, but something. But guests also have a duty as guests not to make their host feel bad, and to eat, or not eat, what is offered, without complaint. And ordering something the host isn't providing--is a negative comment on the hosting. And yes, sometimes a good guest goes hungrier than they would like,  and stops at the nearest fast food place on their way home.

I agree.  My parents never taught me this; I was under the impression it was something you just knew.  I recall going to the home of a couple I knew who were throwing a holiday dinner party.  One of the guys grew up with his parents throwing one of these every year and wanted to do the same.  He said his BF would make his "famous" (and very good I was told) spaghetti (we were all in our 20s so that was as fancy a meal as it got).  I told one of the other guests before the party as he was wondering what they were serving (we all worked together so it came up at work when it was just us).  He then said he'd stop at McDonald's before getting there (I thought spaghetti would be fine).  Well, I got to the party and learned the BF who was volunteered by the promising BF was too tired to cook...so they microwaved a couple of lasagnas.  It might've been fine, but they were both individual serving lasagnas to serve a group of 7-10 and were burnt (one of them had blackened cheese).  I'm proud to say we all gamely took a small amount (so that everyone would be able to partake) and actually ate it (it was disgusting).  That was all they had to offer for dinner (and a bottle of red wine I brought them as a gift that I thought could go well with the spaghetti).  It was still a nice party (other than the horrible food), but I did end up stopping at McDonald's on my way home afterwards (the guest I'd spoken to beforehand decided not to go to the party after all).  I never let on to the couple I stopped for food later (no need to tell them that); I simply thanked them for their hospitality.

Hmmmmm

  • Member
  • Posts: 8992
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #43 on: Yesterday at 05:17:28 PM »
I don't think that a host has to provide a huge variety of foods. I would have no issue with someone hosting a pizza and beer party in their home and if someone can't partake, then they either don't eat or decline. What I'm objecting to is that this is an event in a restaurant, which is normal for the OP and her friends. But the OP is flipping the script and paying for the event. If someone is a regular attendee of these types of parties within the OP's group then they will expect that this event will be like every other event where they order and pay for their own food. For them to show up expecting that and then to find out it's not happening blindsides them. It's a bait and switch.

It's great the OP is hosting! But, gellchom and camlam, you're basically telling guests, "I'm being gracious enough to provide all the food but since you can't eat it, you can sit and starve or leave. Even though you were prepared to buy your own food, that's just too bad for you."

That's not good hosting.

I honestly am usually on the side of, "eat what the host prepares". But in this very specific case where this is completely against the norm for the group, the OP should be allowing people to order and pay for their own food if necessary. It's not like it's in her home and it's not like it's normal for one person to host everyone. People with food issues need the opportunity to plan ahead. And, if someone's plan is to follow the accepted practice of the group and order and pay for their own food, then it's not rude.

Well, I think that "bait and switch" and "sit and starve or leave" are putting it a bit strongly -- but I do see your point.  I still don't think that it would be rude for the OP to proceed as we've suggested, but I agree that if this group has done it the other way so very many times that it is considered a very firmly established pattern, the OP would be wise to give them a heads-up somehow that this time it's her treat and that she is choosing the menu.  I think that writing the invitation so that it is clear that it is a pizza and beer party, in a private room, is adequate notice.  I might write "Please be our guests for a Pizza Party in honor of DH's birthday at the Harvest Room at Joe's Micropub" instead of "Let's all meet up at Joe's Micropub for DH's birthday."  Surely the OP's friends aren't so dense that they can't figure it out.  And if some don't and are disappointed at the change from what they expected, I don't think it's a catastrophe.  The number of people that both can't understand that invitation and can't find anything to eat on the menu is not going to be large.

I might agree that it is rude -- and even then I would think that is a strong word for it -- if the pattern were the other way: the hosts have always treated, but this time the guests were without notice expected to pay their own way.  But it's hard to see how "Usually we go Dutch, but this time I'm treating you all" is "rude." 

In any case, I disagree that just because the group has done it the other way in the past, the OP has the obligation to arrange for her guests to be able to order other things off the menu.  And whatever their expectations or surprise, I would consider guests who did so to be rude.  If they absolutely can't eat what she provides, and they didn't eat something else beforehand, and they absolutely cannot wait, then they should discreetly sneak off someplace and get a snack they can eat (IME, people with such severe food restrictions often carry something with them), and then return to the party. 

In other words, I don't think that this group's usual practice and even the fact that some guests might be surprised by the change either requires the hosts to offer a cash option at their party or excuses the rudeness of guests' trying to supplement their hosts' generosity.

This is a casual get-together with friends, not a super-formal dinner party with the Queen Mother. If your good friend will offend you by saying, "thanks for inviting me! I'm on a new diet, so I'm going to order a bunless burger/green salad--but the pizzas look great!" there's a problem. At that point it is not "supplementing the host's hospitality," it's joining in as best you can in a celebration you've been asked to attend. I imagine that the OP is more concerned that people turn out to celebrate her husband, and that she gets to hang with friends. She's going outside the norm for this group by paying for some pies and pints, which is great. If a guest can overlook the fact that she may not be satisfying everyone's needs, then the hostess can overlook the fact that they might have to order an extra X or a different Y to have a meal they can eat. It would be churlish as a host to resent that your guest ordered something because they need to eat something different than what you're offering. 

The OP may not even have this problem, or may already know how to deal with dietary restrictions/preferences.

To the original question, I do not think it is rude for her to change the norms of her group, and it is not rude to restrict the menu to what she can comfortably afford (or just prefers to buy). But I do think it is wise to notify friends of this in advance; earlier PPs had good lines, "be our guest for pizza and beer" and so on.

if it is a big party in a private room, she may be able to control things more. But if its a smaller group (6-10), they may just be sitting in the dining room with regular table service, so a special menu or whatever may not be possible. I'm imagining her just calling over the waiter and explaining what she was going to order/pay for. Other people would obviously be free to order differently, and would then have to pay for it. I really don't find it to be that big a deal, and not something one would have to "sneak away" to do.

I disagree. If I were the host and you arrived knowing I was planning to host the meal and informed me you could not eat what was provided I would feel obligated to pay for your alternate menu. You are my guest and I expect to take care of my guests. I would not resent you nor would I feel churlish, I'd just feel like I hadn't planned well enough to suite my guests needs. It doesn't matter if it's a meal with the Queen Mother or my own mother.

It's unfortunate when someone is on a very restrictive diet and encounters a meal where they have very limited options. However, if that is the case, I think it behooves them to assume they may not be able to eat what is served and plan accordingly. I did 6 months of almost no carbs. Yes, there were times that I made due with a salad or a few pieces of raw vegetables. But I would have never asked to order a separate meal other than what my host was providing. And I never had to leave an event "immediately" or even early because I usually made sure to have an appropriate snack before attending a hosted event.

All of us have different life situations, whether is it needing to figure out how to attend an out of the way event because they use public transportation or they have kids that they need to arrange care for. We don't expect our hosts to figure out those issues for their guests and so they shouldn't be expected to work around everyone's dietary needs. For me a host should take in the needs of the majority of their guests and plan accordingly. And if the majority of the guests would love pizza and beer, then it's adequate hosting (as long as there is a large salad offered too ;))

I think we may have to agree to disagree. But on this point (the one I bolded): If the alternative is that my guest feels limited and unsatisfied with his/her meal, I would rather take on the negative feeling (if indeed I were to feel negatively at all) than my guest. I would not want them to not order something because of how they think it might reflect on my hospitality. I wouldn't jump to making it about me. I've done low-carb too, and I find it pretty difficult. When I'm hungry, I'm hungry, and a green salad probably isn't going to cut it. Not for the duration of the party, not for the ride home, (esp given the lack of other quick low-carb options on the way). If I'm going to dinner I want to have dinner. I won't expect the host to pay for a special meal for me, but I also won't expect them to resent my efforts at self-care. And as a host, I certainly would not resent that.
Yeah, we will need to disagree. As a guest I would never want to do anything that would cause my hosts to feel they had provided an inadequate offering. As a guest I'd much rather suffer through a couple of hours of hunger (or too long standing, or too warm of a room, or too loud of music, or long of a video display, or a buffet that is cold) than to actively point out that I need something different than what is offered to make me comfortable.

I'm happy to suck it up and accept not being comfortable and having to scarf down a bunless grilled chicken sandwich on the way home to make sure my hosts do not feel like I was unhappy.

miranova

  • Member
  • Posts: 3681
Re: Etiquette-wise, is this a good plan?
« Reply #44 on: Yesterday at 06:32:11 PM »
I think some of us are talking about two different things.  As a GUEST, I would eat what was offered and not say a word.  I would certainly not ask to order something else if the offer wasn't made.  As a HOST, I would be find with my guest ordering something else if I had specifically told them they could.