Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

When you bring food/drinks to a party, do you expect to take the leftovers home?

Asked by nikipedia (27333 points ) July 6th, 2012

As asked.

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51 Answers

tedibear's avatar

No. I bring it expecting it to be eaten, and if it’s not I assume that the host will enjoy it later. It’s like a very small token of appreciation to them for opening their home.

SuperMouse's avatar

In our family, if it is a family get together it is understood that everyone takes their leftovers home. If I am bringing stuff to a friend’s house I leave the leftovers.

bkcunningham's avatar

It depends on whose hosting the party. I have friends who won’t keep anything and ask you to take what you brought – and more – in some cases. There are other instances when I leave it.

bkcunningham's avatar

But as a rule, no, @nikipedia. I bring food or drink to party expecting it to be eaten, drank or left for the hosts. I think that is what you meant with the question. I think I misread the question the first time. sorry

Coloma's avatar

No, not at all. I often offer to send people home with leftovers that I know I will not use, sooo, if they can enjoy them great! Otherwise I have never taken home my own contributions.

gailcalled's avatar

Never. It is a gift or my contribution.

augustlan's avatar

No, unless the hosts insist.

marinelife's avatar

No, I plan on leaving them for the hosts.

zenvelo's avatar

Generally, no. But I do want to take my dishes, pots and pans, or tupperware home. So if there are leftovers it gets brought up in conversation as “where can I store the leftovers so you can enjoy them?” Most of the time I get asked to take it home.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Never.
If I bring food I expect the host to eat it. Usually anything I bring is eaten within minutes ;)

Also, unless impossible due to the type of item I’ve brought, I serve it up on something the host can keep. If I don’t have something in my collection I go to the nice thrift store down the street from my home to buy a platter or server ware to put the food/drinks in.

YARNLADY's avatar

If I take food in my own container, I take it home with me. If I take it in a disposable container, I leave it, unless asked to take it back.

nikipedia's avatar

@SpatzieLover, very considerate. I use disposable thingies, but it never occurred to me to pick up thrift store dishes.

We had some people over for a barbecue on the 4th, and a friend of mine sent me a text mentioning he forgot to bring his leftovers home and asked me to bring them to him (we work together). I forgot and felt bad about it until I realized that it might have been an odd request in the first place.

bkcunningham's avatar

@nikipedia, he wanted you to bring his uneaten food or just his container? What did you say to him? I think it is a very strange request.

Blondesjon's avatar

There are never any drinks left over but if I bring food I only ask that I get the dish I brought it in back within a reasonable amount of time.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No, I leave any uneaten food behind for the hosts to do with as they like.

janbb's avatar

i see it as totally up to the host to decide.

nikipedia's avatar

@bkcunningham, he wanted the the uneaten food.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think that is a little odd, @nikipedia. I guess you think it is odd too or you wouldn’t have asked. It takes all kinds.

Blackberry's avatar

Not at all.

creative1's avatar

Nope I hope that everything gets eaten and if not that others will want it to go.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Interesting. That’s the first time I have ever heard of someone asking for their dish’s leftovers after the party. Maybe at the end of the party, but a day later is a new one for the books. Even my uber frugal 95 year-old aunt doesn’t do this. She just wants her dish back before she leaves.

flutherother's avatar

That is an odd request. I would have told him it was all gone. What you bring to a barbeque is for everyone to share, it doesn’t remain yours. It is for the host/hostess to decide what to do with any leftovers.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Not usually. Now, I do know that hosts/hostesses often offer little “goody boxes” for leftover sweets or something like that when people are leaving. But when I take a dish, I expect it to be eaten, or for the host of the party to keep it if they so choose.

I’m also one of the ones who usually takes the food in something that I don’t mind leaving behind. I have abandoned numerous cheap cake platters and casserole dishes.

Bellatrix's avatar

No. If the host asks me to I would but I wouldn’t expect it.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m kinda relieved I am not the worst person you have met.

Bellatrix's avatar

I love @SpatzieLover‘s thrift shop container idea. I am going to use that one.

roundsquare's avatar

Nope. If there is something left over, I see it as a gift to the host for going through the pain of hosting the party, what with the prep and clean up after, etc…

What did this person bring to the BBQ that he wanted back? The only time I would imagine this happened is if he cooked something he was proud of but it wasn’t very popular… maybe he was a bit insulted/sad but still wanted to make sure it was eaten and not wasted? I dunno, that’s all I can think of.

nikipedia's avatar

@roundsquare, it was some bread and cheese.

roundsquare's avatar

@nikipedia How much of it was eaten? (I know, lots of questioning, but I’m curious about the psychology of this).

jca's avatar

No. If by chance, the host insists I take the leftovers home, and it’s something I like, I may agree to take some home, but by no means is it something I expect. To me, it belongs to the host and I don’t anticipate getting any to take home.

nikipedia's avatar

I think about ½ of each item.

nikipedia's avatar

I hate to sound like I’m bean-counting, but I found it particularly odd because this friend comes over each week for game night. We serve dinner (cooked by me) and provide drinks. Sometimes the attendees contribute a snack or drinks, but usually we provide everything. I am happy to do it and it doesn’t bother me at all, but the more I think about it, the weirder it seems that this guy wanted his bread and cheese back.

gailcalled's avatar

Even weirder that he wanted ½ of it back. That is really cheap, cheap, cheap.

jca's avatar

I would give it to him but think it weird and cheap.

bkcunningham's avatar

It seems a little sad to me, @nikipedia. Maybe he’s having some financial problems nobody is aware of or he’s trying to avoid financial problems. Who knows? It is a strange request. As an aside, I love that you guys host a game night.

nikipedia's avatar

Thanks, I also love our game night and am so glad we do it :)

I know the guy has “family money” as he puts it and isn’t having financial troubles…I figured maybe this was just an etiquette thing that changed from one person to another. But from this thread it doesn’t sound like it.

jca's avatar

Maybe he thinks his bread and cheese are extra good and special, and nobody will appreciate them like he does, so he wants it back so he can savor it? Still weird and still cheap, IMHO.

Bellatrix's avatar

Hopefully he has other endearing features that will allow you to overlook his short arms and long pockets.

nikipedia's avatar

@Bellatrix, he is wonderful and we will keep inviting him for game night as long as he’ll keep coming!

Bellatrix's avatar

He would probably be horrified if he knew he had commited such a faux pas. Good that he is a nice man. Perhaps if he invites you over and you take food, you can lead by example. “No. We brought it for you! Keep the leftovers.”

Sunny2's avatar

I participate in 9 to 3 chorus rehearsal pot lucks for over 70 people. I always make something I’ll be happy to take home, should it not all be eaten. Some people leave their leftovers and hope someone else will take them Desserts go fastest. We have a lot of wonderful cooks; we work hard ;and everybody enjoys the gatherings. It’s different if it’s for a smaller group at a private home.

jca's avatar

@Sunny2: Your last comment reminded me why I usually take desserts to people’s houses when I’m invited: because then, even if their food is awful, I know that there’s going to be a good dessert at the end!

Leanne1986's avatar

Not at all.

Sunny2's avatar

@jca I agree!

tedibear's avatar

@jca – I do that when we go to the SIL and BIL’s house. Lovely people, just not good cooks.

Kardamom's avatar

I have not yet read anyone else’s answers so this is just what I do.

If it’s a family party, it’s assumed that each potluck guest will take their own un-eaten food home. And the host, will ususally ask if anyone wants any of their leftovers. Everyone knows my Dad cannot resist anything chocolate, so we often end up with more food going home than we brought. I usually bring entrees and salads, but bring home desserts : P

If it’s a work potluck, then I personally usually bring a bunch of disposable plates, take-out containers, foil, and other storage items (some that we keep at work for this purpose) and then load the leftovers into containers (with labels so people can distinguish between vegetarian stuff and everything else so they don’t have to open every single container). And then put them in the fridge. Sometimes I’ll just load up individual dishes, like spaghetti or salad. Other times I’ll make up vegetarian meals and meat meals, because there’s often other people that couldn’t come to the party, because they had to be at he front desk, or guards that come in later. Sometimes I’ll even write people’s names on them, if I know who will be coming in later. Then I’ll leave a big sign on the fridge, announcing which containers are up for grabs.

If the potluck is at someone’s home, who is merely an acquaintence, or if I’m invited by my friend to someone’s home who I don’t know, I’ll bring my dish in my own big tupperware, in my cooler, then I’ll bring along a big zip-lock bag and keep it in my cooler until the party is over. If there’s anything leftover, I’ll spoon my dish into the ziplock bag and put it in the hosts fridge (with their permission) and let them know that they can eat it, or dole it out to any of the guests who would like to take some home. Or if they don’t want it, then I’ll take it home.

Paradox25's avatar

It’s been a while since I’ve been at any party or get together, but my answer is firmly no here. I’m more worried about whether they’ll like what I made rather than worrying about taking the leftovers home, lol.

nikipedia's avatar

Update: The friend who, months ago, asked me to bring him his leftovers hosted his own potluck party yesterday. I brought homemade spinach artichoke dip. At the end of the party, I asked him for some saran wrap to cover the leftovers so I could take the dish home.

He asked if he could save the leftovers in a tupperware container for himself, or if he could just return the dish to me later, because he really wanted the leftover dip!

I guess it takes all kinds of people…

Bellatrix's avatar

@nikipedia. Wow. This guy really has a handle on social graces.

augustlan's avatar

That is really weird, @nikipedia. He just wants ALL the food!

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