Welcome! Login | Register

Horowitz: One Year In, Mueller Probe Goes Full Steam Ahead—Horowitz: One Year In, Mueller Probe Goes Full…

Organize + Energize: 7 Tips for Organizing Your Linen Closet—Organize + Energize: 7 Tips for Organizing Your…

10 Great Pets in Need of Loving Homes - May 22, 2018—10 Great Pets in Need of Loving Homes…

Worcester Couple Arrested for Possession of Cocaine—Worcester Couple Arrested for Possession of Cocaine

Clark Awards 1,052 Degrees During 114th Commencement Ceremony—Clark Awards 1,052 Degrees During 114th Commencement Ceremony

Construction in Worcester - Week of May 21—Construction in Worcester - Week of May 21

Smart Benefits: HSA Limits for 2019 Released—Smart Benefits: HSA Limits for 2019 Released

Volvo Ocean Race Boats Begin Leg 9 to Cardiff, Wales—Volvo Ocean Race Boats Begin Leg 9 to…

The Policy of Speak Softly May be Dead—Sunday Political Brunch—May 20, 2018—The Policy of Speak Softly May be Dead…

25 Things to Look Forward to in New England This Summer—25 Things to Look Forward to in New…


Newport Manners & Etiquette: Doggy Bag Etiquette, Fender Benders, Hospitality Etiquette + More

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Summers always stir up a frenzy of dating and hospitality etiquette questions from guests and hosts to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners.

How do we ask restaurant waiters to be less rude? What about doggy bag etiquette? Etiquette for fender benders and loaning money to your boyfriend.

To ask or not to ask for a doggy bag

Q.  My wife and I recently visited an old friend in Northeast Harbor, Maine, for a long weekend. One night we took him out to dine at a restaurant of his choice. When the bill came, I paid it and I asked for our leftovers to be packaged up to take back to his house. The portions had been huge and as a European, in good conscience, I could not bear to think of good food going to waste. Our friend, however, was mortified. He said I had embarrassed him because asking for a "doggy bag" was bad etiquette. What's your opinion, Didi? Do I need to apologize for supposedly embarrassing our host?  Name Withheld, Far Hills, NJ


A.  You said it all. If you didn't tell him at the time what you wrote to me, that "The portions had been huge and I cannot stand to think of good food going to waste," mention it again. In your thank-you note to your host for the marvelous weekend, say, "As a European, I cannot get used to the huge American portions and I cannot abide seeing good food go to waste."

Some restaurants are refusing diners' requests for doggy bags, either because the restaurant considers itself too formal, or there is too little on the plate to bag. Then there is the liability issue of health risk. There definitely is a stigma attached to requesting leftovers at fancy eateries. In France, for instance, the home of gourmet cuisine, it isn't the sophisticated thing to do.

There are two sides to the doggy bag issue:

  • Interestingly enough, Gen Y is less apt to ask for a doggy bag. A fourth of 18-26-year-olds in a recent survey answered that even if they wanted to ask for one, they wouldn't.
  • We're seeing a trend in restaurants refusing point-blank, or simply telling diners to bring their own containers and pack them themselves. Some restaurants will even ask you to sign an indemnity form.
  • On the other hand, consumer food waste is a bigger pollutant than cars and industry.


Here is a short list of doggy bag etiquette guidelines:

  • Doggy bags are inappropriate to ask for at business meals and social events where you are a guest (such as at a wedding or dinner party). On the other hand, if the hostess offers you the rest of the Key Lime Pie, let her wrap it up for you.
  • Also, never ask for a doggy bag at a four- or five-star restaurant because they won't have a container and you wouldn't bring your own.
  • Never take someone else's leftovers home.
  • Even if you paid for your date's dinner, don't ask to take his or her leftovers home, as it will make you look like a cheapskate.
  • Furthermore, if you take home a doggy bag and reheat it two days later, don't go whining on social media that the food from that restaurant made you sick, because it's unfair to the restaurant.


Rude restaurants

Q.  Our friend owns a popular upmarket restaurant where we dine frequently. The food is as excellent as one can expect in a resort town. The service is over the top. When I say over the top, I mean the service is too intense. I know that sounds utterly amazing for a resort restaurant, but hovering service can be extremely annoying. Every time we dine there, with friends or without, the waiter or busboy tries to remove our plates before everyone has finished eating. Much to my husband's amusement, I speak up and say, "No, go away" before rushing to explain: no plate should be removed before the last diner has stopped eating. It is rude of the waitstaff to pressure diners to hurry through an expensive meal and puts a damper on what should be an utterly pleasurable experience. When we signal that we are now through eating, the waiter stacks three or four plates, which is also tacky! Any suggestions?   MV, Newport, RI


A.  Don't make a point of this by sending a text or an express letter to your friend the restaurateur. But next time he stops by your table, or if you run into him socially or at the dry cleaner, mention your pet peeves. Ask him how you should signal your waiter that you don't want the plates removed from the table until the last person has laid down his/her fork. A good restuaranteaur will see to it that a notation of your requirements are made on the computer. On your own, in the future tell the waiter in advance that you do not want any plates removed until the last person is through eating. Let your waiter tell the busperson. A good gratuity should encourage better listening.


What to do about a fender bender

Q.  As I was getting into my car in the parking lot of our country club after a festive lunch, I heard a crash. Looking over my shoulder I could see a well established and respected member of the elder set pulling away from the car directly in back of the parking space he had just backed out of. He stopped and asked if I thought it a problem. He said it was nothing. There was a smudge of beige paint on the rear of the scraped black car left by the rear end of his beige car, but there didn't appear to be an actual dent to the fender. I didn't give an opinion either way. As the only witness, was I responsible for telling the owner that his car had been slightly damaged? Or should I have encouraged the driver to report the incident to the owner, whom we both know?  JS, Watch Hill, RI 


A. It is too bad the elderly driver didn't try to wipe the beige paint off the fender to ascertain whether or not a dent had been left. Nonetheless, the outcome would have been the same whether you had heard the crash and responded, or had not been on the scene at the time. He left without trying to find the owner and didn't leave a note. When parking in a public or private parking area one is always at risk of getting a nick or two here and there. If your response had been that the car was damaged, you should have encouraged him to report the scrape. But you didn't. The timing is such that you would risk becoming a tattletale, if you told on the elderly driver after the fact.

What about a boyfriend asking for a loan

Q. My boyfriend and I have been dating for the past six months and recently he asked me for a loan. As much as I love him, it only makes me think that loaning him money will complicate our relationship. What advice can you give me?  LC, Providence


A.  Loan nothing to a person you are dating. It is as simple as that. Loaning someone you are romantically involved with - but not legally bound to - can change the dynamics of the relationship. However, if you need to show your love and support, protect yourself. Loaning him money shouldn't be fear-based. You shouldn't loan him money because you think you might loose him if you don't ante up.


Take precautions:

  • Be sure of the specifics and know exactly why your boyfriend needs money.
  • Only lend money for paying rent, buying food, and paying bills, including money owed for child support.
  • Never lend money for luxuries, vacations, and vanities such as plastic surgery.
  • If you don't agree with the reason, don't give him a loan..
  • If you argue about money now, then loaning him money will only increase the stress.
  • If he is starting a business and you loan him money, be sure to put the terms of the loan in a formal agreement or contract, and have your signature witnessed by a friend of yours, or a lawyer.
  • Be sure to include a repayment schedule and be wary if he doesn't make payments on time.
  • Keep in mind of the fact that all texts and emails are legally binding.


Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners.


Related Slideshow: 25 Things to Look Forward to in New England This Summer - 2017

Prev Next

Sipping Del's Lemonade on a Hot Day 

While you can probably find Del's Lemonade somewhere during any month of the year, drinking it in the winter is just not the same as when it is a hot day in the midst of summer. 

As summer approaches, be sure to locate our nearest Del's Lemonade stand. 

Prev Next


Providence, RI

Waterfire is back for the summer and it's an event and experience that must be had. 

Waterfire is Providence's signature event bringing in people from all over New England and the country to see it. 

A great night out for families and couples alike. 

Prev Next

Visiting Southwick Zoo 

Mendon, Ma 

Can't wait to get back to the zoo and visit the animals at Southwick Zoo. Be sure to check out the new baby zebra that the zoo just welcomed. 

The Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Click here for more information. 

Prev Next

Taking a Cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee aboard the M/S Mount Washington

New Hampshire

Lake Winnipesaukee offers some of the best scenery in all of New England and there is no better place to see it from then the M/S Mount Washington. 

Click here for more information.

PHOTO: Winnipesaukee.com

Prev Next

The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 

Burlington, Vermont

The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival takes place from June 2 to June 11 in downtown Burlington, Vermont. 

This 10 day celebration features four stages with free live music from Arrested Development and more. The festival also will feature local food and much more. 

For more information, click here. 

Prev Next

Walking Along Narragansett Beach 

Narragansett, RI

Look forward to taking a stroll all the way from chair six to chair one as the waves crash along the shore.

Keep an eye out for sea glass as Narrow River or The Towers come into view.

Prev Next

Taking a Cruise on a Windjammer 


Head to Maine and sleep aboard a National Landmark, the Maine Windjammer Fleet. 

Go on a three, four or six-day cruise and get closer than ever before to wildlife like whales, eagles, and porpoises while you see some of the best coastal scenery that North America has to offer. 

Click here for more information. 

Prev Next


Providence, RI 

After a successful first festival, the PVDFest returns to Providence for the third year and will take place from June 1-4. 

The festival will bring in art, music, performances and more from all over the United States and the world for the free outdoor festival.

Click here for more information. 

Prev Next

Catching a Worcester Bravehearts Game 

Worcester, Ma 

Year after year, the Worcester Bravehearts are one of the best baseball teams in New England. 

They bring in some of the best college talent from across the region to compete for the Futures League Championship. 

Don't miss a game. 

Click here for more information.

Prev Next

Newport Folk Festival 

Newport, RI

The Newport Folk Festival is set to be held from July 28-30 and will feature bands such as Wilco, Fleet Foxes and The Avett Brothers. 

Don't miss out on one of the biggest concert events of the summer. 

Click here for more info

Prev Next

Visiting Cape Playhouse Theatre 

Cape Cod

Taking a ride to Cape Cod and visit the oldest summer theatre in the country, Cape Playhouse. Cape Playhouse was first opened in 1927 by Raymond Moore. 

The theatre has been home to some of the biggest stars to ever grace a stage like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart amongst others.

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Enjoying the South County Hot Air Balloon Fest 

Kingston, RI 

There is nothing quite like the Hot Air Ballon Fest. This is the place to enjoy glowing hot air balloons, crafts, music, food, fishing, carnival rides, fireworks, and more.

The festival will be held from July 21-23 on the URI athletic fields. 

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Participating in the Worcester World Cup 2017

Worcester, MA

The 2017 Worcester World Cup is set to take place from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13. 

The Worcester World Cup is more than a soccer tournament. It's a celebration of Worcester and a safe, friendly family event that people look forward to all year.

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Newport Jazz Festival 

Newport, RI

The 2017 festival is set to take place from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6. 

The festival will show off over 50 individual jazz ensembles on four stages including performances at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Fort Adams State Park.

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Seeing a Movie at the Rustic Drive-In

North Smithfield

Look forward to Calling up your friends, pack a picnic, and sit in your car as feature films are projected on giant outdoor screens.

The audio plays right through your radio, so be sure to turn the volume up high as you snack on your candy and popcorn. 

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Zip Lining in the Berkshires 

Looking for something new and exciting? Head to the Berkshires and get yourself on a zip line, maybe even do a canopy tour. 

There are three different tour options, starting with the base area tour which lasts an hour or the Moutain Top or Valley Jump tour which takes three hours. Both of those are sure to shoot some adrenaline into your day. 

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Watching 4th of July Fireworks

The 4th of July, the holiday of the summer. 

It is never too early to start planning your day and figuring out exactly where you are going to watch a parade and fireworks this year. 

Prev Next

Eating a Clam Cake From Flo’s

Portsmouth, Middletown

Be excited about heading to Flo's and taking a bite of a Flo’s clam cake and you’ll understand why they’ve been around since 1936.

Dip it in a side of tartar sauce or enjoy as is.

Click here for more information

Prev Next

The Little League World Series 

While the Little League World Series does not take place in New England, the series is arguably the marquee sporting event of the summer. 

There will be a New England team in it this year and therefore, the Little League World Series is always something to look forward to

Prev Next

Boston Calling 

Boston, Ma

Boston Calling, the first New England music festival of the season kicks off in downtown Boston on the weekend of May 26 to the 28. The festival features performances from Chance the Rapper, Weezer, Mumford & Sons and more. 

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Vermont Summer Celebration 

Dorset, Vermont

The Vermont Summer celebration features everything from horses to shopping at onsite boutiques and plenty of places for food and drinks.

The celebration takes place from August 8 to 13.

Click here for more information 

Prev Next

Playing Golf at Harbor Lights

Warwick, RI 

Harbor Lights in Warwick offers golfers a great place to tee it up this summer. 

Not to mention the amazing scenery and the great food at the Par + Tackle restaurant. 

Click here for more information 

Prev Next

RI International Film Festival 

The Rhode Island International Film Festival will celebrate their 35th anniversary beginning on August 8 and going through 13. 

The Festival features the best local films made with some of the best local talent. 

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Catching a PawSox Game at McCoy 

Pawtucket, RI

Nothing says summer time like sitting at McCoy Stadium and watching a Pawtucket Red Sox game. 

While the PawSox are already in action, the weather is getting warmer and it will be much more comfortable to go out to a game. 

Click here for more information

Prev Next

Billy Joel at Fenway Park

Boston, MA

For the fourth consecutive year, rock and roll legend Billy Joel will play Fenway Park. 

Billy Joel released his first hit song, arguably still his biggest hit, Piano Man in 1973 and since then has become the 6th best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. 

Joel was inducted into the  Songwriters Hall of  Fame in 1992 and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Click here for Tickets


Related Articles


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox