After Bidens caused a stir by ordering the same dish twice while dining out, an etiquette expert weighs in
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden both ordered the same rigatoni dish, sparking a debate about whether this is acceptable or not on a recent night out at The Red Hen, a restaurant in Washington, D.C.
The Bidens’ matching orders provoked strong reactions from people on social media, with one person tweeting, “I have honestly never heard of a couple — married or otherwise — who order the EXACT same [meal] at a restaurant.”
While it is perfectly fine to have the same meal as a date when dining out, there are certain foods that people should reconsider choosing to prevent potential awkwardness.
“Most of the time, partners who know one another extremely well will often order different entrées, so they can try a little bit of both,” longtime etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore of Palm Beach, Florida, told Fox News Digital via email.
Whitmore founded The Protocol School of Palm Beach and is the author of “Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at work.”
She continued, “But it is not a faux pas to order the same meal as your partner if you like the same thing.” She added, “If you are on a date and your dining partner wants to order the same thing, so be it. It’s not a big deal.”
She also mentioned that ordering the same food may give a chance for a laugh. “You might even make light of it and say, ‘I’m so glad we share the same taste in food!’” Whitmore said.
She added that while there is “no etiquette rule that states one side should defer to the other,” sometimes societal norms do come into play in situations in which both parties want the same thing. “In a social setting, a man may want to defer to a woman, as a courtesy,” said Whitmore.
“In business, the host should always defer to his or her guest.” Nonetheless, there are several dishes that a person on a date should avoid eating in order to prevent an embarrassing scenario.
According to etiquette, people should avoid ordering “difficult-to-eat foods,” such as seafood and “big, bulky sandwiches,” according to Whitmore.
Meals with red sauces and “big bones” should also be avoided on dates, according to Whitmore. “Don’t gnaw on the bone!” she added.