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What time is brunch etiquette?

Brunch is a popular mealtime that combines breakfast and lunch and offers a casual atmosphere for people to hang out and catch up. However, the question of what time is appropriate for brunch can be a little confusing. Depending on where you are and who you’re with, the rules of brunch etiquette may differ. While there is no hard and fast rule on when brunch should be served, there are some general guidelines that can help you navigate this social occasion with ease. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of brunch etiquette and help you figure out the best time to sit down and enjoy a delicious mid-morning meal.

1. The basics of brunch etiquette

Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, so it typically falls somewhere between the late morning and early afternoon hours. In general, it’s considered appropriate to arrive at a brunch gathering within 15 minutes of the designated start time. If you’re running late, it’s always best to call the host or hostess to let them know.

2. Dress code for brunch

Brunch is usually a casual affair, so the dress code can be more relaxed than what you might wear to a formal event. Jeans, slacks, sundresses, and button-down shirts are all appropriate choices. Avoid anything too revealing or too formal, like tuxedos, gowns, or cocktail dresses.

3. Seating etiquette

If you’re attending a brunch event with assigned seating, be sure to find your designated seat and wait for the host or hostess to give the signal to start eating. Otherwise, it’s generally acceptable to choose your own seat, as long as you’re not taking someone else’s spot.

4. Ordering and paying for food

Brunch is typically held at a restaurant or café, so it’s important to order your food and drinks promptly so everyone can eat together. Paying the bill is usually split between the guests unless someone has offered to treat the entire group.

5. Buffet style brunch

If brunch is in a buffet style, it’s essential to only take as much food as you think you’ll eat and not overdo it. Be sure to use the serving utensils provided to avoid contamination of the shared food.

6. Eating and drinking etiquette

When it comes to eating and drinking at a brunch event, it’s essential to pace yourself and stay within your limits, especially if alcohol is involved. Don’t talk with food in your mouth, and always use utensils, not your fingers, to avoid being “the messy one.”

7. Conversational etiquette

Brunch is an excellent opportunity to catch up with friends and family. Keep the conversation light, and avoid controversial topics, like politics and religion. Avoid cellphones use and vibrate or silent your phone and keep interactions focused on the people around you.

8. Dietary restrictions and allergies

If you have a dietary restriction or allergy, it’s always best to inform the host or hostess beforehand. If you’re attending a brunch party with someone who has food allergies or intolerances, try to choose a restaurant that caters to those needs.

9. Thanking the host/hostess

It’s always polite to thank the host or hostess before leaving the brunch event. You could do so by sending a thank-you card or text message at a later time.

10. Be respectful and courteous

Finally, being respectful and courteous is always key to good brunch etiquette. Be mindful of others and don’t be too judgmental. Remember, brunch is all about enjoying good food, good company and good conversation.

When Brunch is Appropriate

Brunch, known as the combination of breakfast and lunch, is becoming an increasingly popular meal for many people. It is a great way to catch up with friends and family, or simply indulge in some good food. However, before you dive into the world of brunch, it’s important to learn about the etiquette surrounding it. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Time of Day

The name brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, so logically it shouldn’t be consumed too early or too late. Brunch typically starts between 10 AM and 12 PM and goes on until 2 to 3 PM. This is the accepted time frame of brunch in most cultures. If you’re hosting brunch at your home or attending one, make sure you time it right.

Time of Day

2. Weekend vs Weekday

Most people reserve brunch for the weekends, especially Sunday as it marks the end of the week. However, if you are brunching on a weekday, keep the time in mind, and make sure it doesn’t interfere with work or other appointments.

Weekend vs Weekday

3. Dress Code

The dress code of brunch can vary depending on the occasion and the venue. If you are brunching in a casual outdoor setting, for instance, you might want to opt for comfortable summer clothes and accessories. However, if the brunch is for a special occasion or at a fancy restaurant, you might want to dress up and wear something more formal.

Dress Code


When you are invited to a brunch, it’s always polite to RSVP within a day or two of receiving the invitation. It helps the host know how many people to expect and how much food to prepare. If for any reason, you can’t attend, let the host know as soon as possible.


5. Arrival Time

Arriving late to brunch is generally frowned upon, especially if it’s a small gathering. If you are running late, it’s a good idea to inform the host beforehand.

Arrival Time

6. Seating Arrangements

The host usually decides the seating arrangement of the guests. However, if there are no assigned seats, don’t try and hog a seat. Wait until the host directs you to a seat.

Seating Arrangements

7. Server Tip

The general rule of thumb is to tip the server 20% of the bill. However, you should also check the bill to see if gratuity is included.

Server Tip

8. Alcohol Consumption

While alcohol is commonly served during brunch, it’s important to know your limits. If you plan on drinking, pace yourself, and don’t drink too much. Remember, it is still daylight, and you don’t want to ruin your afternoon by overindulging.

Alcohol Consumption

9. Mobile Phone Use

It’s best to keep your mobile phone usage to a minimum during brunch. Only take your phone out if it’s an emergency or for a quick picture of the food or drinks. Constant phone usage can be seen as disrespectful, especially if you’re having a conversation with someone.

Mobile Phone Use

10. Conversation Topics

Finally, keep your conversation topics appropriate and sensitive. Avoid controversial topics such as politics or religion. Instead, talk about non-controversial subjects like travel, food, or hobbies. The idea is to have an enjoyable conversation without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Conversation Topics

In conclusion, now you know the proper etiquette for brunch. Remember, the goal of brunch is to enjoy good food, drinks, and company. So, let’s raise our glasses and toast to a delightful and stylish brunch. Cheers!

Do’s and Don’ts of Brunch Etiquette

When it comes to brunch, there are certain etiquettes that should be followed to ensure that everyone has a pleasant experience. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do dress appropriately

Brunch is typically a more casual affair, but that doesn’t mean you can show up in your pajamas. Dress comfortably, but still put together. Avoid anything too revealing or flashy, as it can be distracting and take away from the focus of the event.

Dress for brunch etiquette

Don’t be late

Brunch is usually a time-sensitive event, with reservations and limited service hours. Make sure to arrive on time to respect other people’s time and to avoid causing a scene. If you’re running late, make sure to call or message the host to let them know.

Do share dishes

Brunch is all about sharing and trying different dishes together. Offer to split dishes with others at the table and try to order a variety of dishes to share. Avoid eating directly from the communal dish and use serving utensils instead.

Do Share dishes
Offer to split dishes with others at the table and try to order a variety of dishes to share.
Avoid eating directly from the communal dish and use serving utensils instead.

Don’t be too loud or disruptive

Brunch is a social event, but that doesn’t mean you can be loud and disruptive. Keep your voice at a normal level and avoid shouting or causing a scene. Pay attention to those around you and adjust your behavior accordingly.

Do tip generously

Tipping is always appreciated, especially in the service industry. The standard tip for brunch is 20%, but feel free to adjust it according to the quality of service you received. If you’re splitting the bill, make sure to factor in the tip as well.

Brunch tip

By following these basic brunch etiquettes, you’ll ensure a smooth and enjoyable dining experience for everyone involved.

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Say Cheers to Brunch Etiquette!

Thanks for taking the time to read this article on brunch etiquette. Now, you can confidently show up at your favorite spot and know exactly when to order your bottomless mimosa. Remember, brunch is all about relaxation and enjoyment, so don’t get too caught up in the rules. If you have any friends who love brunch, share this article with them, and let’s all raise a glass to the best meal of the week. Don’t forget to come back and visit for more helpful tips and tricks on all things foodie. Cheers!

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