VANCOUVER—A recent survey of Canadian behaviour at bring-your-own-beer (BYOB) parties and barbecues reveals that millennials may be better at etiquette than older partygoers.
The survey, done by Vancouver-based company Research Co., asked respondents how they would share a six-pack of beer or cider that they had brought to party or barbecue and placed into a communal cooler, with the options of drinking only what they had brought, drinking other cans but more no more than six, or drinking more than six beers.
While the majority of overall respondents said that they would only drink the cans they brought themselves, 73 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they would stick to only what they had brought —15 per cent more than respondents aged 35-54 and 19 per cent more than people aged 55 or older. Older generations were also more likely to drink more than six cans than millennials.
“We’ve heard so many stories about millennials being self-centred, but they are more likely to respect the unspoken rules of the BYOB than generation Xers or baby boomers,” said Research Co. president Mario Canseco.
“Boomers have been going to barbecues and parties way longer than millennials, because they are older, but it seems they have forgotten some of the rules they implemented.”
Canseco said there were also differences between regions, with Atlantic Canadians most likely to say they would only drink what they brought to a party and people in Quebec as the least likely to do so, with British Columbians falling in the middle.
He said that judging by the feedback he received from survey participants, the issue of sharing drinks at parties is a contentious one, with many different opinions.
“There was someone who went into a very detailed description of a very expensive, microbrewed, raspberry-infused craft beer he put into the communal cooler, and by the time he got to it all there was left was Pabst Blue Ribbon.”
When it comes to proper party etiquette, Sunita Padda, founder of etiquette company Table Smarts, isn’t surprised that millennials are on the right track.
“The younger generations are more likely to consume what they brought because when going out, they are more likely to split bills and just pay for what they’ve consumed, but older generations are more likely to just take turns paying the bill,” Padda said.
She said that the behaviour could be rooted in how older generations were taught that the host of a gathering must be the ones that supply everything, and today’s young people don’t host as much.
But the proper etiquette for parties is that whatever you bring is to share, she said.
“Of course, bringing something is the polite thing to do. If you are going to consume in the communal pile, stick to six and not more than what you brought,” Padda said.
Padda added that bringing flowers or a dish to share is also a good idea.