While anyone can pretty much do anything at home, eating out will require a set of decorum. One need not be a prim and proper James Bond but, one has to be conscious in the concept of “Eating and Letting Others Eat”. Be considerate!
Here are a few No-No’s when dinning in a restaurant.
1. Smelling the food
It is natural for a person to savor his food by smelling it but never bow your head too close to your food to the point of almost kissing it. And never, under any circumstance, try to smell what your companion has ordered.
When you set your face too close to your food or your companion’s food, there is really no telling what you may have accidentally added to the recipe. You may have added relish when there should be none of it. That will be totally unappealing.
2. Licking your Fingers
Most people are not fond of wrapping chicken or sandwiches with table napkins while they eat them. Linking some of the sauce on the tips of your fingers may be excusable but, never lick the ones that already flowed towards your elbows. Some people may look sexy when they do this especially when they make eye contact but, it doesn’t work for everybody.
3. Talking while Munching
Talking will you are masticating your food will send some of its bits and pieces flying all over the place. This unselfish act of sending parts of your food directly to your companion’s plate or face is disgusting.
If you want to share your food, share it before putting it in your mouth.
4. Slurping your Soup
Slurping your soup should not be all that bad because it hurts no one. But, it may overshadow the piped-in music or the live serenade of a string quintet. It may be too loud that it disrupts everybody else’s conversation.
Wait for your soup to cool down a bit before taking your first sip. Trying to cool it down and sip it at the same time will create so much disgusting noise.
5. Playing with your Hair
Stretching and pulling your hair in a dining place will worry a lot of people. Hair is so light and can easily be blown by the air conditioning. A strand may end up on your companion’s plate or fly off to another table and decide to rest on other person’s food.
It doesn’t matter if you shampooed or not, nobody wants your hair on their food.
6. Raising your Voice
Americans are little more lenient on restaurant foul ups because almost everyone had their own experience in the kitchen.
Even if you are right in demanding satisfactory service, never let yourself reach the point where you have to yell and play that role of the “inconsiderate Customer”.
7. Picking your Nose
Picking your nose will create problems. If you are successful, where are you going to place your trophy? Are you going to wipe it on the table cloth? Or, are you going to eat it like that kid in the “Caddy Shack” movie.
8. Removing your Shoes
Your feet may need a break from all that walking but, everybody around is trying to eat. Whether your feet smell or not, seeing your toes wiggling and stretching will not be the most entertaining feature in the diner. Put your shoes back on please!
9. Criticizing the Food
Everyone in the restaurant is trying their best to please all customers, especially the chef. If the meal is not to your liking, your best option is to never dine there again.
When you have nothing good to say about one’s cooking, just keep your mouth shut. Or, say something about it when you get home. Bad comments will affect one’s cooking and it is best that you don’t ruin the chef’s mood and everybody else’s.
10. Picking your Teeth with your Fingers
Always use toothpicks and cover your excavations with a table napkin. Using your fingers to dig and scoop out left overs in between your molars will break the fine dining ambience for everyone who sees you doing it.
And when you are successful in getting those things between your teeth don’t spit it on your plate as it may bounce off to your companion’s plate or to the other table. Gently spit it on the table napkin.
Everyone should always watch their manners whenever they choose to dine with other people. There are people who can take all these things mentioned and probably more. But, there are those who are sensitive. The key guideline is to be always considerate.
Though this article may have created a notion that dining out is always formal and strict, it’s not. Dining at the Old Spaghetti Factory and Tony Roma’s is always fun and relaxing. Apart from the good food and service, the fun part is being with other customers who are considerate in making it the most pleasurable dining experience for everyone else.