How to Behave in a Restaurant: A Guide for Beginners

There’s something special about eating in a restaurant. It’s a place where we go to treat ourselves and forget about the stresses of everyday life for an hour or two. However, if you don’t pay attention to the small details, your experience could be ruined by other guests. Avoid potential mishaps by following these rules of behavior in a restaurant. These simple behaviors will make your dining experience more enjoyable and pleasant. Whether you are going out to eat with friends, family, or your partner, it is essential that you behave appropriately when making reservations and once you arrive at the establishment. If you want to avoid awkward moments and leave a good impression on the people around you, follow these simple tips on how to behave in a restaurant.

Be on time

Dining out is a social experience, and if you’re late, it disrupts the flow of the evening. Nobody likes to sit and wait for a table, especially when they are hungry. If your table is for 7pm, for example, and you’re late, the wait staff will be annoyed, and your tablemates will be starving. Make sure you get there on time. If you arrive early, you can help take the edge off your tablemates’ wait by ordering drinks, appetizers, and asking them about their day. If you’re late, make sure to apologize to the wait staff and tablemates. Explain what happened and offer to make it up to them.

Don’t talk on your cell phone at the table

Unless you are alone, put your phone away and focus on your tablemates. Don’t answer your phone or respond to emails or texts while you are at the table. If you are with friends, family members, or a date, put the phone away and enjoy the time together. Distracted people are boring. When you talk on the phone at the table, it makes your tablemates feel uncomfortable because they do not know who you are talking to. If you are with business colleagues, then make sure to turn off your phone. At times, eating out is about leaving work behind. It is important to engage with your tablemates and be present in the moment because the memories you create at the table will last a lifetime.

Don’t be a burden to your server

Be nice to your server. They want to give you the best service, but you can make their lives difficult by being rude or impatient. Do not be demanding or impatient and ask for everything on the menu. Try to be nice and tip generously if you receive good service. If you are with a large group, let the server know before they take your order so they can plan their time appropriately. Otherwise, they might not be able to provide you with the level of service you deserve.

Ask for what you want

If you want a certain table, a certain seat, or if you want to change the place, do not be afraid to ask. If you go to a fancy restaurant, you might have to wait for a table, but don’t be afraid to ask for a different table. You might be surprised how easily the host will accommodate your request. If there is a problem that is bothering you at the table, let someone know. If there is too much noise, bad lighting, or if you are uncomfortable, don’t stay quiet. If somebody is bothering you, talk to a manager. You don’t have to put up with bad behavior or discomfort.

Tip appropriately

Always tip appropriately, even if the service was subpar. If the service is excellent, tip 20% or more. If service was poor, don’t tip at all. While you don’t have to tip exactly what someone charges for your meal, you should tip 15-20% at least. If you are dining alone, many restaurants will charge you a fee for eating alone, so make sure to ask. If you have any special requests, make sure to let the server know when he or she comes to take your order. They will move your order to the front of the line, so you get your food faster.