Are there any etiquette or customs to be aware of when dining in New Zealand?

Introduction: Dining in New Zealand

New Zealand has a vibrant and diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. Whether you are looking for a casual dining experience or a formal one, you will find plenty of options to choose from. However, it is important to be aware of the customs and etiquette that are expected when dining in New Zealand, to avoid any social faux pas.

Table Manners in New Zealand

When dining in New Zealand, it is important to wait until everyone has been served before starting to eat. It is also considered impolite to speak with your mouth full, or to reach across the table for food. When eating bread, it should be broken into small pieces and buttered individually, rather than spreading butter directly onto the bread. Additionally, it is customary to place your knife and fork together on your plate when you are finished eating.

Tipping and Payment Customs in New Zealand

Unlike some other countries, tipping is not expected in New Zealand, although it is appreciated for exceptional service. If you do decide to leave a tip, it is usually around 10% of the total bill. Payment is typically made at the table, although some restaurants may require you to pay at the register. Splitting the bill equally amongst diners is a common practice in New Zealand.

Dress Code for Dining in New Zealand

While there is no strict dress code for dining in New Zealand, it is generally recommended to dress smart casual for formal dining experiences. Beachwear, casual shorts, and flip-flops are generally not acceptable in formal settings. It is always a good idea to check the dress code beforehand if you are unsure.

Dietary Restrictions in New Zealand

New Zealand caters to a wide range of dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and halal options. However, it is always a good idea to inform the restaurant in advance of any dietary restrictions, to ensure that they can accommodate your needs.

Cultural Differences to Keep in Mind When Dining in New Zealand

New Zealand is a multicultural country, with a diverse population. When dining with people from different cultures, it is important to be respectful of their customs and traditions. For example, in Maori culture, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a home or marae (meeting house). Additionally, it is considered impolite to refuse food or drink that is offered to you in many cultures, so be prepared to accept graciously.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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