Do you dive for the bread as soon as the waiter brings it over? Well, according to a woman on Twitter, this makes you “tacky.”
Posting to the social media site on July 6, an account holder by the name of Slicksister has prompted fierce debate by sharing her view on eating the free bread in restaurants straight away.
She revealed she has been talking over the topic in a group chat, but wanted to see what the rest of the internet had to say, writing: “Had this argument in a gc but I wanna know the truth. Isn’t it very tacky for somebody to eat the free bread as soon as you get it?”
Slicksister attached a poll to her question which had, at the time of writing, been voted on by 273,000 people. Some 97.3 percent were against her view and just 2.7 percent agreed.
Following this she commented on her tweet, writing: “you should wait five minutes before reaching for the bread. If you that hungry you should’ve had a pregame meal.”
The overwhelming majority of comments and retweets were confused and shocked at the idea that eating bread could ever be considered “tacky.”
Jasmyn Lawson, content executive at Netflix, wrote: “I go to restaurants for the bread. I’m eating it first. I’m eating it with my meal. I’m taking some to go.TF!”
Writer Shay Stewart-Bouley, of the website Black Girl in Maine, added: “Someone really asked if it was tacky to eat the free bread at a restaurant?
“Ya’ll are lost. Look, that bread isn’t free and depending on the place, that bread is delish. What you don’t eat the “free” chips and salsa either?”
Sporks Director at Texas-based KRGV-TV, Alex Del Barrio, stated: “I’m not letting the bread cool down and get hard and unnecessarily crummy because someone might think I am ‘tacky’.”
Comedian Kevin Fredericks, also known as Kevonstage, even made a video response to the tweet, which has so far been viewed more than 24,200 times.
In the clip, filmed from his car, he outlines his outrage, explaining: “First of all it ain’t really free bread because you pay for the rest of the meal and the bread comes with it. Second of all you’re at the restaurant because you’re hungry.”
However, a select few did comment their support for the idea that we should practise restraint.
One account holder, _TYDennis, wrote: “If I’m on a date I’ll wait, honestly, you look like you’ve never had a meal before if you just jump on it asap but if I’m with family or friends I’m getting at it as soon as it hits the table.”
Another person, BelleRideaux, added: “At an etiquette class in college they stressed that the bread is part of the entrée, NOT an appetizer, that it’s tacky to ask for it to come out beforehand, & if you’re THAT hungry, order an app.”
Meanwhile, Geenaawynn, commented: “It is very annoying & actually quite difficult sometimes when people dig in immediately and go ‘keep it coming’ while barely ordering anything else.”
Newsweek has contacted Slicksister for comment.
Restaurant Bread Etiquette
What exactly is the etiquette surrounding restaurant bread consumption, and does Slicksister’s view have any backing in tradition?
Crystal L. Bailey, director of The Etiquette Institute of Washington told Newsweek: “In a restaurant, when bread is presented to your table, it would be sinful to not enjoy it while it is fresh and warm.
“An exception would be in formal settings such as a banquet or wedding where the bread is pre-placed. In those situations, bread should be enjoyed with a course and not on its own.”
She added: “We do stray into tacky territory when we ask for a second complimentary basket. One should never purposefully fill up on bread.”
Maggie Oldham, who is also an etiquette coach, agrees with this rule, writing on her website that at formal or business dinners it may not be wise to snatch a bread roll as soon as the server puts down the basket.
This is because “bread is viewed as an accompaniment to the courses.”
However, the expert goes on to stress that: “If you’re at a casual dinner with friends, it’s totally OK to eat the bread first.”
Etiquette teacher Candice Smith states on her site that one should not appear “famished by going for the bread the minute you are seated at the table. Pace yourself.”
She does caveat this by saying: “It’s fine to indulge if you’re too hungry to wait. However, if your host has not begun eating, it may be best to wait.”
Additionally, if you don’t want to go against the grain of established etiquette, the correct method for eating a bread roll is to tear off a bite-sized piece and butter that small bit before putting it in your mouth.
As for other social media dining debates, a woman on TikTok recently prompted outrage for demonstrating how she eats a banana with a knife and fork.