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Restaurant Etiquette Tips For Dining Out

No matter if it’s for family celebration or business meeting, proper restaurant etiquette should always be upheld. Check out these expert tips on dining etiquette to ensure a successful dining experience!

When your dining companions arrive, stand up to greet them formally – in most Western cultures this means shaking hands or giving a formal greeting.

1. Arrive on Time

Arriving early when dining out is essential. Not only will this show respect to your host, but it will ensure you receive quality service. If you anticipate arriving late, call ahead so they can hold onto your table until you arrive – if necessary they may hold it temporarily until you arrive!

Once seated, it is customary to wait for all members of your party to join before starting to eat. This allows the server to more effectively service everyone at the table at once; additionally, waiting until your food has arrived can save time as well as unnecessary wastefulness!

As well as proper table manners, dressing appropriately for each event is also key. When out with friends for casual dinners or business meals, jeans and tennis shoes may suffice, while when dressed formally it would be wiser not to wear shorts and tank tops.

Once your meal arrives, take care to fold your napkin neatly with its corner facing towards your lap. Most restaurants may do this automatically for you; otherwise it should remain on your lap until it is time for departure. If taking calls or sending text messages is necessary, leave the table discreetly and do it discretely; when coughing be sure to cover your mouth with your napkin so as to reduce germ transmission; before returning from restroom visits be sure to wash hands first before rejoining table conversation.

2. Be Polite to Your Server

At restaurants, your server is responsible for you and all other guests at the table. Show your gratitude and respect by being courteous towards them at all times; treating them with the utmost politeness shows appreciation of them and respect. Being rude toward or shouting at servers regardless of whether you feel their service was subpar is unacceptable behavior.

Your waiter/waitress should never physically touch you; however, polite and discreet ways of drawing their attention could include offering an inconspicuous hand gesture like pointing one finger in their direction or raising one eyebrow. Be careful when doing this as any unnecessary gestures such as snapping fingers or waving can disrupt other tables’ dining experiences and cause unnecessary embarrassment for all involved.

Avoid talking with your hands in your lap or holding up your phone while eating; this can be seen as rude. Keep drink and food plates on the table; leave space around them so your server can easily access them.

Pachter advises that when dining as part of a larger party, it’s helpful for your server to know ahead of time whether or not separate checks will be issued; this allows them to stay organized with each diner’s order and reduces confusion when the time comes to pay.

Your rights as a diner to return food or drinks if they’re not up to par are within your reach, provided the restaurant misrepresented it somehow; such as serving curry with peanuts when its menu specifically stated no nuts. In such an instance, speak to a manager immediately. Finally, leave generous tips for your server.

3. Be Respectful of Your Seat

As you dine at an exclusive restaurant or an informal diner, it is crucial that you remain respectful of your seat. Not only does this show consideration for others; but it’s simply polite behavior.

As part of formal dining experiences, it’s essential that both hands and arms remain off of the table while eating. Your elbows should rest on the edge of the chair while your hands should only come as far down onto your bowl or plate as is needed for you to enjoy eating comfortably. Furthermore, leaning back in your chair is considered rude unless eating alone.

Though it can be tempting to lean back in your chair in order to relax a bit, this can actually harm both your posture and other guests present. Leaning back could cause you to slump over, as well as potentially annoying those behind you. If tempted, be sure to push in when finished eating so as not to disturb others in their seating arrangements.

Be mindful that guests do not clink their Champagne glasses – this may seem minor, but this action can actually be very rude and should never occur during meal time. Instead, guests should sip from one area on their glass as much as possible for optimal sipping experience.

As part of good dining etiquette, it is also essential that diners always tip 20% when dining out. While this might seem controversial, many restaurant staff members earn significantly below minimum wage and depend on tips as an important source of income; cutting into their income due to an oversight would not be fair or generous.

4. Take Your Time Eating

Though some dining etiquette rules from years past have become obsolete, certain practices never fall out of style. Eating slowly is always recommended to avoid overeating which can lead to weight gain or other health complications; also eating slowly allows you to truly savor each bite and taste every flavor!

Proper utensil use is also an integral component of successful eating. Instead of grasping your fork with both hands, use it upright with thumb against its interior head instead. This enables you to more easily control food that might otherwise fall. In addition, make sure only using it for eating purposes rather than gesturing or making other hand gestures and place any additional hands you don’t use in your lap or elbow off table when not being used for eating.

Before dining with any guest, always be sure to ask them about any dietary restrictions or preferences they might have in advance so you can ensure the restaurant offers something on their menu that satisfies them. Also follow their lead regarding eating pace; guests often need time to choose how fast or slow they want their meal served!

At meals shared among friends or colleagues, it’s also beneficial to put your phone on silent or vibrate and avoid checking it throughout even if you love playing poker online on sites mentioned on outdoors. While an urgent call or text may require checking at certain points during a meal, mindlessly scrolling TikTok or social media isn’t considered polite or appropriate behavior – by keeping it switched off while eating together you demonstrate that you are engaged and focused in conversation.

5. Don’t Leave the Table Mid-Meal

Doing something as dramatic as leaving mid-meal sends an unpleasant signal to both your server and fellow diners that you are unhappy with the meal or service provided; in particular, leaving shows your dissatisfaction with portions served of food.

Leave also gives another customer an opportunity to occupy your table, which could become particularly significant during a pandemic when restaurants may operate with reduced capacity than usual.

If you need to go get another drink or speak with friends, first ask permission before leaving your seat – remembering to thank and say goodbye to the waiter first!

One of the most frequent restaurant dining etiquette mistakes people make is using their cellphone or smartphone during dining with others, which may be considered rude. Therefore, it’s best to keep it out of sight until after your meal has concluded and you are ready to head home.

Your attempt at helping out an overworked server may include stacking plates when you’re finished eating; however, this is an incorrect assumption. Servers have systems in place for clearing away dishes, utensils and glassware from tables after customers have finished eating and stacking your plate only hinders that process.

Coughing or sneezing into your napkin while dining out can spread germs to other diners, potentially making them sick as well. Instead, if necessary say “Pardon me” before wiping your nose with tissue before returning to your seat.