Communal dining of some form is a custom amongst virtually every human society. Whether inviting friends around for a meal or going on a date together social eating is a common way of tying communities together.
This extends to international diplomacy, where formal banquets and informal lunches all provide ways for people to meet and communicate and network.
In a future society though with multiple alien races mingling at all levels of society how would different dining requirements be accommodated, especially when some might seem disgusting or revolting to one species or another.
For example if a society has;
- A species that eats live maggots
- A species that eats dung
- A species that vomits on its food and then slurps it up (like a fly).
Would those species just never dine together, or would customs develop that allow them to co-exist? Even if the actual eating is done separately could people cope with seeing a buffet laid out for all those species on one table? Or would dining be completely segregated?
A child's birthday party might have members of every species invited, especially if people were actively trying to integrate the various cultures. Equally the ambassadors reception would have guests from each species and maybe more. How would these situations be handled?