Party food etiquette debate goes viral after Mumsnet user asks 'Is it wrong to take leftover food home?'

Would you ever take party food home with you?

We all have one of them - a friend who gets a little stingy and takes their half eaten plate of sandwiches home with them after a party.

But if you'd organised a party and asked people to contribute, is it wrong to assume they'd leave their food and drink contributions behind, or is it to be expected they'd take their own food home?

One mum encountered this very situation recently, and shared her thoughts on Mumsnet. The user, CheesedOffChiquita, had planned a surprise party for her friend and asked guests to bring along dishes of their favourite food, along with some drinks.

But some guests left the party, instead of leaving their dishes for the other party goers to enjoy they took their food home with them. 'When the party was about halfway through, several of the guests left together but before they did so, they gathered up every single sandwich, cake, mixer and bottle of alcohol leftover from what they'd brought and took it home with them,' she explained.

'I couldn't believe they would sit and eat and drink everything that other people had brought with them and then gather up what they'd brought and take it away.'

She went on to say: 'I wouldn't dream of taking things home with me after a party unless it was demanded of me by the host? What is the usual party etiquette?'

Many other mums agreed with her post, sharing their own stories of stingy friends at parties: 'I went to a BBQ last month and it was bring your own food. So one couple decided that because they had to travel a few hours to get there that their contribution would be 36 hot dog/burger rolls. They then continued to eat everyone's meat.'

One user also moaned about a friend's taste for their expensive wine, when she only brought a £5 bottle: 'She treats herself to a nice £20 bottle from the fridge, necks half of it and then claims she thought it was hers'.

'I now hide good wine if she's visiting,' she added.

However, one user was on the receiving end of a host's stinginess when she turned up to a friend's BBQ: 'We'd bought loads of beautiful meat, lovely steak and burgers, and the host just popped it in the freezer and we never saw it again,' she said.

'So no it's not normal etiquette to take stuff home with you IF you've enjoyed other food and drink available. But we hadn't so we were a bit annoyed.'


Sarah Finley
Freelance wrtier

 Sarah is a freelance journalist, writing for various women's magazines and national online consumer titles including the BBC and The Daily Mail, for over 10 years. Sarah has interviewed CEO's, real-life case studies and celebrities. Writing on everything from travel to fitness, and business to beauty - some of her features have been read by millions of people - in just one day.