Posted by: Cat
Posted: 21st May 2008
I find it really odd that people invite their friends over for BBQs, dinners, etc., and then ask them to bring their own food! I only moved to Oz 1½yrs ago from England, and find this BYO culture really bizarre. I've even been to an engagement party that had formal printed invitations sent out, but it was BYO food and drinks!! My thinking is that if invite people round to my house, whether it be for a formal dinner party or a BBQ, I provide the food. If I am invited somewhere for a meal I do not think I should have to bring food, as I could then just have stayed at home and cooked it myself. By the same token though, I find it incredibly rude if guests turn up empty handed to a dinner party; I expect them to bring a bottle of wine, flowers or a hostess gift of some kind. I think if you're having a BBQ and there is large group of people it is fair enough that people are asked to bring a side dish, bread, desert or something, but not the main meal, and you should certainly not have to feel bad about eating something you didn't bring. I think in those situations BYO alcohol is ok as well, but I would only drink what I myself brought.
With regards to eating out: I hate sharing meals and the bill. I will order what I want and pay for it, I am not paying for other people's meal. As my husband and I can be a bit fussy and don't eat very large amounts of food we inevitably end up with the short end of the stick. We have been out to dinners with friends where we've been bullied into splitting the bills and have eaten maybe 1/3 of what other people have but still have to pay a share each. One time we went to a moderately priced chinese restaurant in Sydney's Chinatown where the birthday girl ordered everything for everyone to share - I only ate one of the dishes and some rice, my husband picked at a few things, I didn't drink and my husband had 2 glasses of wine, yet we ended up paying $160 between us, and even then we ended up putting in more as the collective money came up short and the waitress was making us feel uncomfortable. (We all went to a bar afterwards, and by the end of the night with the taxi and food bills added up we were $250 out of pocket, and people wonder why we don't always attend these 'casual' birthday events!) Now I always make it very clear at the beginning of a meal that not only will I not share dishes, I was also not share the bill! Sometimes this rubs people the wrong way, but I think a lot of people secretly wish they could say it. Reply