Who Gets To Serve Themselves First at a Potluck?

Your potluck table could be the wild west or a civilized orderly affair. You decide.

Who gets to serve themselves first?

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Scenario: Your guests have all arrived for your Thanksgiving potluck, and the food is ready to be served. Should certain guests be allowed to dish up first, or do you embrace the mad dash for forks and plates from everyone? The Simply Recipes editors weigh in below.

Just Go For It

Potlucks are the wild west and it is every person for themselves. It's literally a table crammed with food, out for the taking. No need to pass, just grab. Will you be quick enough to get there first? Or will Uncle Frank swoop in and snag the best piece of turkey? Exciting stuff.

That being said, it doesn't have to be uncivilized. Take your time walking towards the food line, scanning the room for any aggressively hungry individuals, and graciously allow them to get ahead of you. (Unless that really hungry person is you. In that case, run for it.)

If someone needs help getting through the line, then help them. That way you can fill up two plates and help yourself at the same time, if you catch my drift.

Laurel Randolph, Editor

Take Care of the Old and the Young

Older folks go first. Inevitably a line will form along the potluck table. Do you really want grandma to stand in line while you and everyone else decides between the kale salad and the potato salad? Be kind.

Young children go next, along with their adult. I was once a mom of three kids under four, and oh my goodness did I appreciate being able to shuffle my kids through the line as quickly as possible so that I could settle them down in chairs as soon as possible. I speak for all parents with young children—help us please!

Then, everyone else can go in whatever order makes them feel courteous and kind.

For this orderly plan to work, the host needs to conduct traffic.

Myo Quinn, Senior Editor