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Restaurant Etiquette
Date April 27, 2010
Author creative

Restaurant Etiquette

Restaurant Etiquette


My increased visits to restaurants lately have inspired me to write this piece on etiquette.  There are certain things you should, and shouldn’t do while dining out.  Here are a few to examples:

Take the hat off.  It’s always been considered to be disrespectful and rude to wear a hat while having a meal.  Be it in someone’s home, or at a public restaurant, lose the hat.

Turn the ringer on your cell phone off.  More importantly, don’t talk on your cell phone while you’re eating.  It still baffles me that people do this.  When was it considered acceptable behavior to talk aloud on your phone while dining?  No texting either.

Never say, “gimme,” or “I’ll take,” to your server, instead try, “may I please have…?”

If you drop a utensil on the floor, it’s ok to leave it there.

Learn how to use a fork and knife.  I’m still surprised at the abundance of diners out there who hold forks in their fists.  There’s still time to learn!

If you’ve just come from a run, or some other type of physical exercise, please take a shower BEFORE you come out to eat.  Use lots of soap.

If you have a ½ off coupon, make sure to tip on what the bill would have been BEFORE it was adjusted.

Remember not to drink out of MY water glass.  Eat to your left and drink to your right.  Your bread plate is on the upper-left hand of side of the plate, and all of your drinking glasses (including wine) are on your right.

If you get up to use the restroom, or when you’re done eating, leave your napkin on the seat, NOT the table.

Keep your elbows off the table.

Be kind and respectful to your server, their job is just as important as yours.

If you have small children please make sure to keep an eye on them.  Teaching your kids to behave from an early age will benefit us all in the future.

Never snap your fingers if you’re trying to get your server’s attention; simply make eye contact, or wave your hand.

When you’ve finished your meal, place your fork and knife on the plate.  This is a universal signal that you are done, and your dishes can be cleared.

Never blow your nose at the table.  Seriously.

If you have a baby or small child, and they make a huge mess, try to tidy up a bit before you leave, and if you can’t, add on an extra 10% to the tip.

Pay attention to your dinner mates while they’re talking.  If there’s a game on the large screen, you can afford to ignore it for 30 minutes.

Thank your server when you leave.

Don’t bring drinks or food into the restaurant.

Don’t stack your plates, this doesn’t help the server.

Dress appropriately.  Don’t wear jeans with holes in the rear, tank tops, or go barefoot.  Have some sense!

If you have any additional suggestions, please leave them for me to post!

Chef Chuck Kerber

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8 Responses to Restaurant Etiquette

  1. Chris Nicholson Miller says:

    Great article as always! One thing that came to mind was subject matter at the table. I REALLY love how you said it’s okay to leave the fork there. I hate it when people pick anything off of the floor and put it on the table, or even handle it while dining. :o)

  2. Chef Chuck says:

    Thanks Chris 🙂

    Chef Chuck

  3. Camera says:

    Finally! If only everyone would read this. I, also, don’t understand why parents allow their children to walk around or UNDER tables in restaurants, make lots of noise or a huge mess. Servers are trying to work and other diners are trying to enjoy a meal that they are paying for. And when do parents intend to start teaching manners? When bad habits are established?
    A couple of other pet peeves I have include diners squeezing lemons without covering it with the opposite hand (many an eye has suffered the consequences), or when people butter their entire piece of bread at once and eat from it. It is just good manners to tear off bite sized pieces to butter and enjoy.
    Thanks so much for the article. I’m having it printed on T-shirts! lol

  4. Brad says:

    Guilty of wearing hat. Guilty of stacking plates. I waved my hand at a server in Greece and I didn’t know it was like flipping him the bird.

  5. Colleen says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes!!! Thank you for posting this. It should be require reading for all diners! I could go on and on, but I won’t. 🙂

    Be pleasant. Maybe you could manage one smile – you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself while dining out, right?
    Make eye contact with me (your server); don’t talk to the menu
    Please allow me to put the plate down in front of you; don’t take it from me mid-air. The plate could be hot or you could spill hot soup on you (or your dining partner).
    Use the correct fork (the small on is for appetizers and/or salads)

    I’ve had ONE person add to the tip for a messy child. It was generous, and I was most appreciative because it was a huge mess!

  6. Angel says:

    I agree except the plate stacking. Most appreciate it and if they are left there in the way after being put where they can be cleared I will stack. That is for my dining pleasure. I am a good tipper though as I waitressed long enough to know how tough it can be if done properly.

    Would like to add, big one for me, chew w/your mouth closed. PLEASE!!! We were always admonished as kids to do this and I know why. It is rude and annoying to see and hear. Smacking food is not a pleasurable thing for those around you.

    My uncle who dealt a lot w/entertainers and traveled a lot always told me to not just put your silverware on the plate but to turn it upside down (i.e. tongs to the plate) to state you were finished. That is probably too detailed but thought I would mention.

    No tank tops, is another great one you mentioned along w/the not coming in sweaty.

    Heavy perfume is another one. Some of us have allegies and other problems that make it hard to breathe w/a lot of scent in the air.

  7. Deb says:

    I love this article. The only thing you might want to add is chew with your mouth closed and for heaven sake, don’t talk with your mouth full. While you are talking your food flies on others plates and then they can’t enjoy their meal. You ruined it.

  8. I’m glad you explained restaurant etiquette and what to avoid doing when eating out! In my opinion, we must be aware of how we could give a bad impression by our eating manners! Personally, I think we should invest more time in acknowledging our table etiquette and working on it, so I’ll be sure to start by following your tips! I appreciate your advice on how to eat out without embarrassing ourselves!

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