When you’re eating in the comfort of your home, anything goes! Although, from time to time, you’ll want to eat out with a special someone, family or friends. Whenever you go out to eat, you can’t exactly do what you’d do at home, which means restaurant etiquette applies.
Some restaurant etiquette may seem obvious, such as don’t chew with your mouth open or play with your food, while others are less obvious. To clear up confusion about what you should and shouldn’t do at a restaurant, the following are the restaurant etiquette in fancy dining places:
Etiquette 1: Don’t Show Up at the Restaurant Right Before Closing Time
Just because the website says that they’re open until 9pm doesn’t mean you can show up at 9pm. Restaurant staff are people too, they have lives outside of work, obligations and hobbies just like you!
You don’t want to be the restaurant guest that forces the restaurant staff to have to work late. Keep in mind that they also have to stay behind to clean and wash all the equipment in the restaurant too. Be sure that you look up the hours of the restaurant you want to go to and arrive at a reasonable time.
Etiquette 2: Abide By the “Please Wait to be Seated” Sign
When you walk into a restaurant, you may be so hungry that you want to sit down and order right away. It can be challenging to fight the urge, but it is only courteous to do so!
On top of following this sign, your whole party should be present before asking the hostess to be seated. Many restaurant staff hate it when people sit themselves down or have incomplete parties, try not to ruin their shift!
Etiquette 3: Dress Appropriately for the Restaurant
How you dress can go either way at a restaurant. You can either be too dressed up at a divey restaurant or undressed at a fancy restaurant. Regardless, both scenarios are inappropriate.
Fortunately, with the world wide web, finding out how you should dress is a quick Google search away. If you’re going with someone, you will definitely impress them by looking just right for the restaurant’s vibe!
Etiquette 4: Don’t Call Out to Your Server
It is definitely uncomfortable when you’re enjoying a peaceful meal and your neighbour shouts out to their server… talk about awkward! Instead, make eye contact with your server, they’ll know to come over. Worst case scenario, raise your hand slightly to grab their attention, which is considered the acceptable restaurant etiquette.
Etiquette 5: Napkins Go On Your Lap
There probably aren’t many people who use a napkin on their lap in the comfort of their home, but at a restaurant it is polite to do so. When the food comes to your table, put the napkin on your lap right away. If you need to leave the table for whatever reason, put the napkin on the chair.
Not using a napkin at restaurants is one of the biggest etiquette mistakes people make. Don’t make the same mistake others do!
Etiquette 6: Don’t Leave Your Phone on the Table
You’re not at home eating a casual meal, take your phone, keys and other personal belongings off the table. Not only is this a proper way to dine out, it is courteous to whoever you’re dining with. There’s nothing worse than going out to enjoy a meal with someone only to find that they can’t break away from their phone!
Of course, sometimes people need to send an urgent text or take an important call, it happens! If you need to do so, excuse yourself from the table to handle the text or call. It is incredibly rude to text or talk on the phone with others around you trying to enjoy a meal.
Etiquette 7: Wait Until Everyone Has Been Served Before You Begin Eating
It can be torture to wait for others to have their food when yours is sitting in front of you with delicious wafting smells! Although, it is only polite to do so, imagine watching everyone eat while you wait, so rude!
The only exception to the rule is when someone sends their food back due to improper cooking or incorrect food order. In this case, let others know they can keep eating or ask if it is okay for you to begin eating.
Etiquette 8: Respect Your Server and Other Restaurant Staff
As the old saying goes, treat others as you’d like to be treated! Your server is not your slave, they are merely a person trying to do their best at their job.
Try to understand when something doesn’t go as you want it to, such as a lengthy wait for your food or a dropped piece of cutlery. Servers are human too! Also, understand that if there is an issue with your food or drinks, this is not the server’s fault, it is the kitchen’s fault.
Etiquette 9: Leave Within 15 Minutes of Finishing Your Meal
After your tasty meal, you may not want the night to end right away and that is perfectly okay! However, don’t continue the night where you ate, particularly if it is a popular spot to eat. Restaurants rely on a healthy turnover to make money, don’t be the one to debilitate their cash flow!