Hands off! 49% can’t stand friends who take food off their plate

NEW YORK — Do you share your fries, or is that a dating dealbreaker? Over 10 percent of adults are steadfast about not sharing their food, finding the act of friends sneaking bites from their plates to be a major annoyance.

A survey of 2,000 people in the United Kingdom revealed that 49 percent get particularly irked when someone takes food off their plate without permission. Additionally, 27 percent dislike the expectation of splitting meals and sampling from everyone’s dishes.

When dining out, 53 percent experience “food envy,” wishing they had ordered what someone else is enjoying. Almost a quarter admit to yielding to temptation and requesting a taste.

Among those reluctant to share, 37 percent justify their stance by stating they order what they like and expect to enjoy it by themselves. Sixteen percent also resent potentially paying more but receiving less in return.

burger and fries on plate
Fries rank among the top four foods people are most reluctant to share, according to the new poll. (credit: Photo by Jonas Allert on Unsplash)

KFC commissioned this research, conducted by OnePoll, to promote the introduction of its Signature Fries.

“Sharing fries can be a touchy subject,” says Kate Wall, a spokesperson for KFC, in a statement. “The research proves that fry-snatching is one of the nation’s biggest gripes, so we challenged ourselves to create something to stop them once and for all.”

Another 29 percent would prefer to buy someone a separate meal rather than share some of theirs. Fifteen percent have had an actual argument when someone swiped their fries after claiming they weren’t hungry.

Fries rank among the top four foods people are most reluctant to share, followed closely by pizza, ice cream, and chocolate. Some take the saying “hands off” to the next level, with 16 percent physically intervening to prevent someone from pilfering their food.

On the flip side, 27 percent confess to stealthily snagging fries off another’s plate. Only 27 percent consistently allow others to sample their meal.

Respondents are most resistant to sharing with coworkers, friends, and siblings. Although 18 percent share their food, it’s often driven by a sense of politeness rather than genuine willingness.

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72Point writer Steve Richmond contributed to this report.

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Lea la versión en español en EstudioRevela.com: ¡Manos fuera! El 49% no soporta a los amigos que toman comida de su plato.


  1. Years ago, we were having some ice cream at great deli in our city with one of my wife’s friends. As I was enjoying my banana split, the woman used her spoon to take some of my dish…while commenting “I just want to take a taste”.
    I pushed the dish toward her and told her that it was now hers. I ordered another despite her protests about how she had just wanted ‘a little bit’. That was the last time she ‘sampled’ food when were out.
    Why would I want to share someone else’s saliva?

  2. I agree – the saliva
    Also, the gesture manifests assumptions that
    TAKER has higher rank and TAKEE has lower rank

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