Party Etiquette: Can you take your leftovers home?

Party Potluck Leftovers Etiquette A reader’s question about party etiquette: at the end of a party, could you expect to return home with leftovers of the food or the drink you contributed to the party?

No, not unless the host offers.

You’re a guest in your host’s home and anything you contributed to the party is tantamount to a gift. Unless the host decides not to preserve the remainder of your contribution and suggests that you take your leftovers home, don’t expect to return with your leftovers. Just return with your empty dish.

At potluck parties, however, you can take your leftovers home, but first offer to leave some or all of the leftovers for the host.


  1. Nph says

    It is very tacky to tote someone’s leftovers out the door at their function. The host may have late guests and it is embarrassing to have to say “thanks for the gift you brought me but sorry all the food is gone). The host is usually hosting and doesn’t get to eat. The host may decide to serve their own family the leftovers the next day considering they paid for The food. The food is for the party. The party is not a grocery store. Go buy and cook your own food for later.

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