My husband and I recently hosted a clambake in Kennebuckport, Maine for 24 guests. There was an abundance of food — lobsters, steamers, mussels, hamburgers, hotdogs, clam chowder, and assorted salads and vegetables. Dessert and beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, were also served.
My question is this: Is it proper etiquette for the owners of the inn to allow wait staff to help themselves to the buffet? There was ample food left over, and I certainly understand why the inn staff would enjoy the dinner. However, shouldn’t the inn owners have asked my husband and I before the wait staff filled their dinner plates?
Also, although we ordered 24 2 lb. lobsters, there were at least 6-7 uneaten. I respect our responsibility and obligation to pay the invoice in full, which, of course we did. However, wouldn’t it have been more polite for the inn owners to ask us about removing all the food from the buffet before doing so? And, wouldn’t it have been polite for the owners to offer to pack-up some of the leftovers, at least the items that would have stayed fresh for a few days? Our family is taking bets on your answers!
–Marybeth B., Location withheld