Is it Rude to Eat in Front of Others?

Nearly everyone has eaten a meal, or at least a snack or two, in front of someone else. But, was it rude to eat in front of others? Read on below and find out the truth of this matter.

Is it Rude to Eat in Front of Others?

Eating in front of others can open up a mixed bag of feelings, depending on where you are and who you are eating in front of. 

In a formal dining setting, it is absolutely rude to start eating in front of others before everyone is ready.

On the other hand, if you are on a school or work break, there is nothing rude about eating in front of others.

How Rude Is it?

rudemeter-rating-07

On a scale of 1 to 10, on the rude meter, eating in front of others rates 7

The reason eating in front of others is more often considered rude than it isn’t is that people tend to eat together and it is polite to wait until the whole part is ready. 

By beginning to eat in front of others (in a formal dining setting, like a home or restaurant) you are showing them disrespect. 

That said, if others have already finished eating, or you are at school or work on break, there is nothing wrong with eating in front of others (and it is not rude).

Why is it Rude?

Eating in front of others is rude for various reasons in different situations.

For example, if you are out on the town with others, eating without offering them something is rude because they may not have the means to buy food at the moment. 

Further, eating at the dinner table before everyone is seated and ready to eat is also rude because others may be just as hungry as you.

In a formal dining situation, you are breaking proper etiquette by eating in front of others.

Common Questions

Is it rude to start eating before everyone is ready?

If you are planning to dine with family, friends, co-workers, or others in general, it is absolutely rude to start eating before everyone is ready.

Even if you are absolutely ravished, you should merely sip on a glass of water while waiting for the other to be seated and ready to eat.

Is it rude to eat while someone is talking?

It isn’t rude to eat while someone is talking so long as you are polite with your chewing.

Further, if the person is expecting responses from you, do so only once you’ve chewed your food and swallowed it.

Also, try to do your chewing as quietly as possible so as to not distract anyone.

How to politely eat in front of others?

There is nothing rude about eating in front of others in certain circumstances, such as you are on break or having lunch and the others present have made the decision not to eat (or have already eaten).

Simply eat as you otherwise would. However, you should follow proper table manners and keep your mouth closed while eating.