Why do restaurants place roti plates on the left side for right-handed diners?
Have you ever wondered why restaurants place roti plates on the left side for right-handed diners? This seemingly simple question has a complex answer rooted in history, culture, and human psychology. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this intriguing dining practice.
Historical and Cultural Significance
Historically, in many cultures, the right hand was used for eating, while the left hand was used for other tasks, including serving food. This practice was particularly prevalent in cultures where food was traditionally eaten with hands, such as in India, where roti – a type of flatbread – is a staple. Placing the roti plate on the left side allows the right hand to be free for eating.
From a psychological perspective, placing the roti plate on the left side for right-handed diners can create a sense of balance and harmony at the dining table. This is because the majority of people are right-handed, and the act of reaching across the body to the left side to serve oneself can feel more natural and comfortable.
On a practical level, placing the roti plate on the left side also makes sense. It allows the right hand to be free for other tasks, such as cutting food or holding a drink. Additionally, it can help prevent accidents, as the right hand is typically more coordinated and less likely to knock over a glass or spill food.
Etiquette and Manners
In terms of etiquette, it’s considered polite to serve others before serving oneself. By placing the roti plate on the left, it encourages the diner to serve others first with their right hand before serving themselves. This can foster a sense of community and sharing at the dining table.
In conclusion, the practice of placing the roti plate on the left side for right-handed diners is a multifaceted one, with roots in history, culture, psychology, practicality, and etiquette. So, the next time you’re at a restaurant and notice the placement of your roti plate, you’ll know there’s more to it than meets the eye!