Asking your waiter to wrap up your leftovers can be a tricky subject to broach, with many of us feeling too embarrassed to ask, especially in a more upmarket restaurant. Here is our guide to approaching the doggy bag question.When is it ok to ask for a doggy bag? YOUR WAITER OFFERS TO PACK IT UP FOR YOULeaving food on your plate is often interpreted as a sign that you didn’t enjoy your meal. If the waiter offers to wrap it up for you, what she is really asking is — did you enjoy your food? Responding in the positive, and asking to take it home, can be reassuring to your server. THE RESTAURANT ALSO OFFERS A TAKEAWAY SERVICEFor example pizzas. This means that they will most likely have takeaway packaging on hand. YOU SEE OTHER GUESTS LEAVING WITH WRAPPED UP LEFTOVERSAs above, this is a clear sign that the staff are used to packing up leftovers and sending you home with snacks for tomorrow. Reasons why a restaurant may not offer take home parcels.THE WAITER ADVISES AGAINST ITMany foods don’t travel well, and are best enjoyed fresh. Waffles, tempura vegetables and even french fries are often never the same again when reheated. THE MEAL IS A HARD TO PACKAGE ITEMAny dish that contains ice cream, soups, sauces or multiple components is not going to be as tasty after you’ve shaken up all the different sauces into each other and kept in your fridge for 24 hours. Gross. It is not a given that the restaurant will have adequate packaging. The restaurant is not required to offer doggy bags, and for the reasons above, may choose to not stock plastic and tin foil containerIT’S NOT OK TO ASK FOR TAKEAWAYS WHEN: • The restaurant is offering a special deal — buffets, all-you-can-eat, and limitless are usually only valid for sit down consumption only. Check the fine print, or ask the manager. • You were not happy with the food (and told the manager) — if you complained about the food, and didn’t eat it, it is not acceptable to take it away with you. Just don’t.Remember to thank your server — it can take time and effort to leave the dining room to package up your leftovers. Leave a little extra tip with the final bill to say thank you for accommodating my request. — Food24.