Because of our busy lives, it is not always easy to take the time to make dinner at home. For this reason, dining at a restaurant has become as common as going to the movies. It is fun to have our meals served to us with no clean up afterwards. However, there are certain etiquette protocols that one should follow when dining at a restaurant.
The following are a number of etiquette Do's and Don'ts when dining at a restaurant:
1. Seating: Choose a comfortable table location. Nice locations include next to a window or near an attractive view such as a lovely wall picture. Make sure you are not seated in a high traffic area as this will be a constant distraction
2. Don't treat the wait staff poorly. They are there to fulfill all of your dining needs. As well, this is how they are earning an income so being rude or obnoxious makes their job unpleasant and stressful. If your server makes a mistake with your order, or your food is not cooked properly, don't yell at the server. Be courteous and kind when sending food back.
3. Use good manners when you are eating. For instance, chew with your mouth closed and don''t put too much food in your mouth. Don't use bread for dipping in soups or soaking up sauces. Don't make loud noises when eating. Don't talk with a full mouth. Don't put your elbows on the table. Use utensils when eating. Eat at the same speed as your guests. Don't pick your teeth or lick your fingers at the table. Don't cut your food in pieces that are too big. You don't want to sit there chewing on a big chunk of meat, especially if you are on a date.
4. Keep your cell phone turned off. Talking on a cell phone is rude to your guests as well as the rest of the people dining.
5. Don't move your plate away when have finished your meal. Wait until the server returns to take it away. Your guests do not want to look at uneaten food.
6. Leave a tip of 15% of the total cost of the meal. Waiters and waitresses acquire most of their earnings from tips as there wages are not that high. They also often have to share tips with other staff such as bus staff.
7. When you are ready to pay, let the server know. They don't always know when diners are ready to pay. If you are on a budget, make sure you order food that you can afford. Remember taxes, tips, and beverages will all be included in the price. If you are the one paying for the meals, don't announce the cost to your guests.
8. Don't sit around for hours drinking coffee. This will make it one less table unavailable for other diners. The restaurant will end up losing money.
Dining in a restaurant is much different than dining at home. The way in which we conduct ourselves in a restaurant affects our experience. To make the public dining experience pleasant, it is important for all of us to carry out proper etiquette practices.
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