Buffet etiquette dos and dont's revealed... and pushing in the queue tops Brits' bugbears

17 December 2019, 12:04

Is there a more beautiful sight than a freshly laid buffet?
Is there a more beautiful sight than a freshly laid buffet? Picture: Getty

The buffet is a British institution - but it seems not everyone is happy to queue politely to fill their plate.

New research has revealed that 44 percent of Brits have gotten in to a row in the queue for a buffet - and coughing, pushing and being greedy are the most likely triggers.

Over 2,000 Brits were surveyed about their thoughts on 'buffet etiquette', and 58 per cent said coughing and sneezing over the table is the worst behaviour around the serving table.

The other trip faux-pas were pushing into the queue (48 per cent); fighting someone for the last of something (45 percent); and grabbing food that someone else is reaching for (43 percent).

And if you're the type of person who sends a friend or relative to get you second helpings so you don't look greedy, that's on the list, too. A second trip to the table is OK, but a third is seen as greedy, and 17 percent of Brits agree that asking someone to go up for you again is totally unacceptable.

The research by KP Nuts also found Brits believe it only polite to wait for at least five minutes after the food is laid-out, before heading over to help yourself.

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Taking photos of the buffet is also seen as a huge no-no
Taking photos of the buffet is also seen as a huge no-no. Picture: KP

Liz Brewer, a UK expert on social behaviour and etiquette says: “It is often argued a buffet style party is a more casual affair, yet the research reveals that manners are still of upmost importance within this setting.

“My advice would be never to breathe or cough over the table, and do not scramble to be the first in line. Never hover at the buffet table, it does not belong to you.

“Don’t indulge in the veggie or vegan options just because you like the look of them. Leave these for those who are dairy intolerant and/or vegan.

“Don’t drink while serving yourself. Leave your cocktail, wine or drinking glass behind when approaching the buffet."