The practice of using proper restaurant etiquette may seem like something that we all should know, however, there are many etiquette practices we can often forget or even worse … sadly ignore.
Dining out at a fine restaurant may not be typical for many people, it’s important that you brush up on your restaurant etiquette to ensure the dining experience is enjoyable for you, your guests, and the restaurant staff.
The following are a number helpful tips for proper fine dining restaurant etiquette:
Proper Manners: Maintaining good manners is essential when dining at a restaurant. For instance, when you are eating use proper eating practices. Do not put too much food in your mouth as you will end up chewing with your mouth open. Do not talk while you are eating or make annoying chewing sounds. Always use utensils and avoid picking up food with your hands.
Don’t dip bread in soups or other liquids. Don’t put your elbows on the table. When you are finished your meal, do not push the plate to the middle of the table for others to see while they are eating. Eat at the same rate as your guests. Once you have finished eating your meal, place your cutlery close together on your plate. This tells the staff that you are finished and they will remove the plate. As well, turn off your cell phone before sitting down to eat.
Dress Code: It is important to dress for the type of restaurant you will be attending. Fine dining restaurants normally have a strict dress code. If you are not sure about the type of restaurant, call ahead and ask.
Restaurant Staff: Do not treat restaurant staff like they are servants. Restaurant staff make minimum wage and they work very hard. If you are unhappy with your meal, don’t take your anger out on the staff. Be courteous and ask if they can take the meal back. Having a good relationship with the staff will make your dining experience much more pleasant. As well, it is important to leave a tip of at least 15%. Servers make most of their money from tips because their hourly wage is so low.
Communication: Courteous and clear communication is an important part of the dining experience. The restaurant staff cannot read your mind so it is important to clearly communicate your needs and any concerns. You should always be polite. Keep an eye on all of your guests to ensure that they have not been forgotten by the restaurant staff. If they are, call the server to your table. When communicating with guests, avoid sensitive topics. Engage in conversation with the guests equally.
Meal Payment: If you are expecting your guests to pay, make sure you have discreetly discussed this with them before going to the restaurant. If there is a host paying, don’t pick the most expensive meal and dont eat or drink too much. Don’t sit around for hours drinking and talking. You will just be taking the table away from paying customers which hurts the restaurant. If you are the person who is paying for the dinner, don’t tell your guests how much it cost.
Dining in a fine restaurant is a relaxing, fun, and an easy way to have a meal. It is important to remember that there are different etiquette rules to follow than when having dinner at home. A little common sense and practicing simple etiquette techniques will ensure a great dining experience.