Restaurant Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts of Dining Out
Reservations:If you are running late and you do not wish to lose your reservation, call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know how late you expect to be.Barging in an hour late and demanding your table is inconsiderate. Be courteous, and by calling ahead, you could be in luck because there might be […]

Reservations:

If you are running late and you do not wish to lose your reservation, call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know how late you expect to be.

Barging in an hour late and demanding your table is inconsiderate. Be courteous, and by calling ahead, you could be in luck because there might be a last minute cancellation.

 

If you do end up losing your table, do not yell at the staff. If you do not show up on time, they will have to assume that you are not coming.

Ordering Food

It can be frustrating to receive food that is undercooked, burned, tastes bad, or food that you simply did not order. You have a few options in this situation. You can eat it anyway, say nothing at all, or alert the waiter. If you choose to alert the waiter, calmly explain that the food is not to your liking, or that it is not what you ordered. The waiter is usually accommodating, and if the food is not what you wanted, he or she will gladly replace it for you.

Remember that waiters do not cook the food, they serve it. Do not yell our curse at the waiter if you do not like the food.

Cell Phone Use

Avoid using your cell phone in a restaurant. It is especially difficult for the waiter who is trying to communicate with you. If you must use it, wait until after you have placed your order, excuse yourself from the table, and make your call.

Carrying on a cell phone conversation at the table is not only disrespectful to your guests, but to the other diners who do not want to be disturbed by your cell phone conversation.

Children and Dining

According to an LATimes interview, experts suggest that if you will be bringing your children to a restaurant, you should first practice a few things at home:

  • Ban electronics from the dinner table
  • Parents, lead by example at the table. Don’t tell the kids not to do something and then do it yourself
  • Practice “please” and “thank-you”
  • Sit upright at the table
  • Have everyone eat together

Don’t have your children running around, fighting, bothering other diners, or tugging on the waiter’s apron or hair.

Before going to the restaurant, urge your children to be on their best behaviour. If your child is yelling and screaming, he is no doubt embarrassing you, but he is also disturbing other diners, and making life difficult for the staff.

Paying the Bill

When you are ready, ask for the check. The waiter generally will not ask you if you want your bill because this is considered rude. It is not the waiter’s job to rush you out of the restaurant.

Tip 15 percent or more. According to an Oprah.com interview, waiters are paid as little as $2.15 per hour in some states, and must live off their tips. Waiters must share their tips with the bus staff, bartenders, hosts, and food runners. Waiters keep between 70 and 80 percent of their tips.

Let the waiter know that you have paid. This can be done discretely if you let the money or credit card peek through the bill. This will indicate to the waiter that you are ready to leave. It would be impolite for the waiter to keep checking to see if you have paid your bill.

Final Tips

Here are some final tips on what not to do when dining out:

  • Bite nails
  • Snap finger at waiter
  • Ask waitress if she is pregnant
  • Chew with mouth open
  • Talk with mouth full
  • Use foul language and curse words

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