Proper Etiquette in the Restaurant
There are certain rules known as etiquette when going out for a dinner. Whether you are dining at an expensive restaurant or just going out for a casual dinner you’ll want to pay attention to your etiquette in the restaurant.
You may have heard some of the basic rules while growing up. No elbows on the table, use the right utensil for the right dish and of course, don't belch at the table.
There are a few rules that are more in depth. Unless you dine out a lot for business meetings or special occasions you may be unaware of the other dining rules.
Confusion with Etiquette
When delving into restaurant etiquette rules change for different age groups, genders, and social settings.
Kids are expected to act in a different way than adults. Consider knowing names at the dinner party you’re invited to, especially if it’s a business meeting.
Basic rules should be common sense to most, but there’s always that one person who just doesn’t observe proper etiquette. This can ruin the night for everyone.
Below are the different rules and scenarios that are crucial for the right restaurant etiquette.
· Basic Table Manners
There are a few things everyone is expected to know. Be sure to keep your elbows off the table, place your napkin in your lap to avoid spills and messes, and of course you don’t want to start talking with your mouth full of food.
If you’re unable to reach for a certain condiment or side dish, ask the person next to you to pass it over instead of reaching your arms across everyone’s food.
You should always wait to be seated. Remember not to call your waitress. Be patient and wait for him or her to come back to the table. A generous tip is always a plus and is expected.
Etiquette in the restaurant includes arriving on time for any sort of occasion. Whether it be formal or casual you don’t want to show up late. It’s simply rude.
· Formal Dining Rules
Knowing the correct utensils to use at a formal dinner is very important. You’d be surprised what people notice about someone else’s dining etiquette.
Take the time to decipher the difference between a salad fork and a soup spoon. Some utensils are only used for meat, and some are used for the sides. A quick google search will prepare you so that you look like a professional.
Of course, you may forget what utensil goes where, so just peak over at the host or the person next to you to see what they’re doing.
Before you start eating wait for everyone to be seated. Make sure your phone is on silent and completely off the table. Give others at the table your full attention.
· The Right Attire
If you’re showing up for a casual dinner feel free to wear what you want, as long as it’s tasteful and not too revealing.
For a business dinner, you'll want to wow your boss. Maybe there's a promotion in your future. Wear something more sophisticated. This goes for formal restaurant dining as well.
· Everyone Orders the Same Amount of Food
Beginning and finishing your meals at the same time should always be the goal. If you get appetizers so should everyone else.
When ordering dessert make sure to ask if everyone wants dessert. Sitting at the table while others are still eating is not a good use of time.
· Leave After Finishing the Meal
Instead of staying at the restaurant table to chat and catch up, go to a different venue. Staying at the table longer than necessary blocks the spot for other customers.
Be kind and leave within 15 minutes of finishing the meal.
Rules May Vary
Be aware of your surroundings and know that etiquette in the restaurant may change from place to place. In general, you’ll definitely want to follow the basic rules.
Formal dining and casual dining differ so you may have some discrepancies when choosing which etiquette to follow.
Knowing the people, you’ll be around is helpful too. If you're with friends or family you don't have to be uptight, but if this is a dinner to impress your boss or company partners, take extra precautions.
The main thing to remember is to always be respectful to staff and the people you’re eating with.