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Dining Habits you need to know: How dining cultures differ from our own

Dining Habits you need to know: How dining cultures differ from our own

Dining Habits you need to know: How dining cultures differ from our own

There are many things that define our cultures, from fashion to music and food. When it comes to food you find that different countries have interesting dining habits that would be advisable to learn, especially if you are visiting a foreign country and you’re dining with friends either at their home or in a restaurant. At Hellofood we found some interesting dining cultures that differ from the common practices we have here at home.


In Kenya, the tipping culture has increased considerably. In a restaurant, many tip according to the service that they are offered, but there are still some who believe that they should tip what they can afford whether or not the service is impeccable. However, the polite thing to do is to tip 10% of the total bill, and the same is practiced in the United States. In Japan however, tipping is considered exceptionally rude while in China, they will even go so far as to have a non-tipping policy in their food establishments.

Serving first and sharing a meal

When dining in someone’s home it is respectful for the guest and the head of the home to serve their meal first before those who prepared the meal. Sharing is also common if people are dining in a restaurant and they have ordered different cuisines that each person can get to sample. I believe the Indian culture encourages sharing quite a bit since they serve a lot of food but in little portions for all to try. This same principle applies in other countries like China, Japan and Thailand.

Paying for the Bill

If you are in a restaurant and you are in a group of more than 2 people, then how you pay for the bill is very dependent on the nature of the relations between the people dining.  If you are a bunch of friends who know each other well, then you can each pay for your own food and drink but this is not mandatory. However in France splitting the bill is considered quite offensive – the French believe that one person should pay for the entire bill but never in between.  In some cases if someone invites others to dine with them then the inviter pays for the bill.

Asking for Salt or Pepper

If you are in the habit of using the salt before you taste the food as is practiced by some people here locally, then that would be considered poor manners in Portugal. The common practice for them is if the salt and pepper isn’t already placed on the table then you can’t ask for it because it would be insulting to the chef! In truth, one meal without salt could work in your favor as too much salt is considered unhealthy.

To finish or not to finish your meal?

In India you are required to finish everything you put on your plate whether you’re in a restaurant or dining in someone’s home as leaving food on your plate is also considered disrespectful. I feel it is safe to say that the same principle applies here at home. But in China, it’s OK to leave some food on your plate and is even considered complimentary to the chef – it implies that the food was so much and so delicious that you just had to leave some!

About hellofood

Hellofood together with its affiliated brands foodpanda and Delivery Club, is the leading global online food delivery marketplace, active in more than 38 countries on five continents. The company enables restaurants to become visible in the online and mobile world and provides them with a constantly evolving online technology. For consumers, hellofood offers the convenience to order food online and the widest gastronomic range, from which they can choose their favorite meal on the web or via the app.

About Africa Internet Group

Africa Internet Group introduces and accelerates the online shift in Africa – for its people and its culture. It is committed to running successful and vibrant internet companies which boost the evolution of African online culture. AIG is the parent group of nine successful and fast-growing companies in more than 26 African countries, accounting for over 3,500 staff. AIG cares about entrepreneurship and brings together all the key elements required to build great companies: team, concept, technology and capital. Its network of companies includes JUMIA, Kaymu, Hellofood, Lamudi, Carmudi, Zando, Jovago, Lendico and Easy Taxi.

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