The Real Reason You Should Avoid Bread Baskets At Restaurants

Can we all agree one of the best parts of restaurant dining is when complimentary bread is offered? By welcoming a customer to a table loaded with bread, the restaurant demonstrates hospitality via good bread etiquette. LA Times suggests there are well-thought-out reasons bread baskets are given to patrons, including encouraging reciprocity, simple carbohydrates (like those found in bread) make you hungrier, and it's a form of entertainment before the main course.

While you may be tempted to break into the bread basket, there are reasons to take a pass. First, eating too much bread may negatively impact your health, including a higher likelihood to overeat, a spike in blood sugar levels, bloating, and constipation (via Eat This, Not That). According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, these spikes in blood sugar negatively impact type 2 diabetes and can increase the risk. "The bread basket is super tempting, but it's ultimately not worth it. You're getting enough calories from your appetizers and main course, so there's no real need for the bread," registered dietitian Regina Fazzini tells SheFinds.

You may be eating someone else's leftovers

Another big reason to say no to the breadbasket is that it may not be sanitary. In fact, they may be serving you someone else's breadbasket, according to Reader's Digest. Katie Heil, a certified food safety professional, told Reader's Digest, "The U.S. Food & Drug Administration Food Code forbids restaurants from re-serving any uneaten, unpackaged foods." Heil suggests uneaten bread from a breadbasket is highly likely to fall into a top food violation category and is difficult to regulate.

Recycling or re-using bread can easily happen if restaurant management isn't paying attention, according to Culinary Lore. Additionally concerning is the fact that restaurant workers themselves would be wary of the breadbasket. A survey in which restaurant employees were asked which things they'd never eat from their restaurant revealed it was indeed the complimentary bread that they admit gets reheated and served to the next customer (via Readers Digest).