Remember your Restaurant Etiquette
Good manners never go out of style!
Going out to dinner with friends or family makes for an evening of good fun and excellent food. However, some things may put a damper on your night, especially when it doesn’t go according to plan or if other diners complain about you. Here are a few things to consider when dining out in a large group to guarantee a relaxing evening of enjoyment and eating.
Be clear when making a booking
It is always necessary to make a reservation when dining in large groups. You have to remember that the restaurant is probably extremely busy, and other people will want to eat out on the same night as you. To avoid last minute shuffles and awkwardness, be specific about your booking. If you want a table close to the window, or outside, please specify it. Don’t walk in as a large group and expect the restaurant to rearrange every other table to suit you.
In line with the point mentioned above. Arrive on time. You can get away with being fashionably late (10 minutes), but no longer. As much as you want to deny it, a restaurant runs a tight ship – be fair and respectful to the employees, especially when it comes to timing – you are not the only person at the restaurant.
Put your cell phone away!
This trend is driving most people up the wall, yet, most people don’t follow through. Yes, we know that a world without Instagram filters and sharing the photo of your carefully designed plate of food is unimaginable, but it is not impossible. There’s nothing wrong with taking a couple of snaps for the memory bank but if your phone is glued to your hand sending #I’mBored out to your social following, there is a problem. Your fellow diners also won’t mind if you are expecting an important call, or perhaps an emergency notification from the babysitter. Just practice some logic here.
It is important that you follow procedure when ordering food in large groups. This will ensure your order is correct and on time. The waiter will ask for your drink, starter, main and dessert order in separate visits. So ordering your drink with your main meal first time around and then asking for a starter a little bit later is only going to confuse the situation and results in you being angry because your food hasn’t arrived on time.
The “can I start eating rule”
It has been practiced for centuries to wait for everyone’s meal to be served at the table before you begin eating. However, this rule has become a bit lenient over the years. For the most part, there will always be that one saviour at the table who says, “no don’t worry! Go ahead and eat!” But if no one is on that mental telepathy level, then it is a good rule to start eating when at least 50% of the people at the table have been served because chances are, the other plates aren’t too far away.
While you’re probably having the best time with your family and friends, you’ve probably forgotten about the other diners around you. Noise levels spike, food may just fly out of peoples’ mouths and drink spillage is occurring at regular intervals. We’re not saying that you have to sit there like quiet mice, but just practice a little bit of decorum with this one.
Consider these points the next time you dine out in a large group, rest assured you’ll have a frustration-free, entertaining dinner.
Need any other tips? Why not phone the restaurant directly to check if there are any do’s or don’ts!