In my Dining Etiquette Seminars I am frequently asked; “Should salad be served before or after the main course?”
The foundation of what we refer to as dining etiquette dates back to the Victorian and Edwardian times. The rules of fine dining and the order of food service were established during these periods. In the Edwardian and Victorian times the salad course was presented after the main course. This is why most formal dinners today still serve the salad course after the main course.
In North America the salad course was originally served after the main course. After World War II, this started to change. In California, restaurants started serving the salad before the main course as a way of keeping their diners entertained while the meal was being prepared. Obviously it caught on, and today Canada and the United States are the only countries that serve salad before the main course.