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Order of Seating and Serving Guests

The host and hostess usually sit opposite each other, i.e. at the head and foot of the table. If there is a waitress to do the serving, the head of the table should be farthest from the entrance of the dining room. If there is no maid, the hostess's chair should be nearest the kitchen door or pantry. A woman guest of honor sits at the right of the host; a gentleman guest, at the right of the hostess.

The order of serving guests varies in different homes and for different occasions. Sometimes the women at the table are served before the men. This is usually done, however, for home service or when only a few persons are at the table. At a large dinner table or a banquet, guests are usually served in the order in which they sit. In many homes, the guests are served first, while in others the hostess is always the first to be served. At a family meal, when no guests are present, the hostess should always be served first.

Source

School and Home Cooking (1920).

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