Eating out requires certain behavior and rules that are socially accepted and won’t embarrass you or people who are in your company. There are certain table etiquettes you should know about and they are very easy to learn.
Here are few tips on how to behave while eating out.
If you are dining in a nice restaurant, you should pay attention to what you will wear. You should avoid jeans, sneakers, T-shirts and other clothes that will say you have no manners. It really depends on how casual the restaurant you are visiting is and whether it is a business meeting or something less formal. Make sure that your clothes aren’t too much revealing. Women should go for a dress or a suit with shoes and not sandals. Men should wear a suit or a jacket with a tie.
When reservations are required
It is always good to make reservations in a restaurant you want to dine in. If reservations are required, make sure you do your homework. If you are not sure, call or visit their website and make reservation. Also, don’t be late. Just because you reserved a table doesn’t mean you can be fifteen minutes late and get the table. It’s not how things work. Perhaps you will have to wait additional 20 minutes to get your table. And that is fine.
Leave your children at home
If you are going to a formal restaurant then you should hire a babysitter and leave your kids at home. People in a restaurant are looking for a pleasant experience and since children are unpredictable and sometimes hyperactive, it’s best to leave them home. But if the restaurant offers special seating for families and children, you can take them with you. However, it is important to teach your children basic and fundamental etiquette and manners as soon as they start to comprehend that certain behaviors are not accepted. But, as soon as you see the first signs of bad and rude behavior, make sure you find a way to make them more comfortable so that people around you can enjoy their peace and quiet. If nothing helps, consider leaving.
How to use utensils
It can be very embarrassing if you do not know which fork to use in a restaurant during a formal dinner. Perhaps you haven’t had an opportunity to learn but it is quite simple to learn these skills. They are tools with proper purpose so learn how to use them. The basic rule is to start with the utensils that are the furthest from the plate and keep going towards the middle. Start with the salad fork to your left and finish with the dinner fork right beside the plate. On your right side, there are spoons and knives. The same rule is applied here; knife, fork and spoon closest to the plate are for the main course. You will also have dessert tableware. It really depends on the type of the restaurant. Overall, learning how to use basic utensils is simple. Additionally, as soon as you sit down, use the napkin and place it on your lap.
Don’t use your cell phone
Using you phone while you dine in a restaurant is very rude. As soon as you walk in, make sure you turn it off because everything can wait until you are finished with your meal. It is also rude to your companions. Other people do not have to listen to your personal or business conversation as they try to enjoy their dinner. If you really have to answer, go outside and take the call. And if you really have to text back, make sure to put it in your pocket as soon as you do. Do not put your cellphone on the table. Speaking about the items that shouldn’t be on the table; do not put your keys or your wallet on the table. And your elbows, they shouldn’t be on the table too.
Polite communication with the staff
This etiquette seems so obvious but it is the least respected one. You should always be polite to your waiter. Never forget to use “thank you” and “please” and always look them in the eye while talking to them. And if there is a problem with your food, don’t make a scene and raise you voice. Be polite and nicely report the issue. They are humans as well and it’s probably not their mistake if something’s on your plate that shouldn’t be there. They are only serving your food, not making it. Report the problem quietly without a hassle. And if the problem still remains, ask to talk to a manager. They are nice to you so do your part and be nice too.
Eating you food
When it comes to actual eating, don’t rush it. Take your time and slowly chew the food. It is healthy, remember? Use small bites and never start with a new bite until you are completely finished with the previous one. Not only it is unhealthy to have too much food to swallow, but it is also rude and unattractive to see bulging cheeks in public. Additionally, always keep your mouth closed as you chew your food. And never speak while you still have food in your mouth, no matter how important it is to share your thoughts. Another etiquette you should follow is that you never floss your teeth in public and never use toothpick if your food is stuck in your teeth.
Tipping the staff
After you finish your meal and prepare to leave, you need to pay and tip. There is no rule to tipping but people usually leave about a 20 percent tip. If your waiter was extremely polite and nice, you can leave a bigger tip. If, on the other hand, you sensed they were not enthusiastic while serving you, a 15 percent tip should be enough. A payment holder should be on the edge of the table along with your credit card or cash when paying your check.
Restaurant etiquette is easy to learn and very much needed when having a dinner out. Some of them are common sense but we all need to be reminded on them from time to time.