Having a plate out for Hercules when you're eating is an excellent idea. A lot of people do that.
It's flock behavior to eat when a flock mate is eating, so him eating when you are is perfectly understandable. Just watch out - he might try to eat from YOUR plate, never mind his! LOL
As for potato chips - sounds like you're doing okay with that. My guys get them, too, on a rare occasion. And what is it with birds and crusty bread? My guys go bonkers for the crusts off of my bread/buns. Silly brats, LOL!