First Date Etiquette 101: Restaurant Dining

Why can’t it be just like the 2nd or 3rd date the first time around? First dates are so awkward. There so many unknowns. Will she like him? Will he like her? First dates are so scary that some may want to miss out on it altogether.

All these random thought spur up inside every first dater’s mind. And you know what? That’s all normal. Some may even regard it as all part of excitement and fun of the first date experience. But worry not. There are some basic guides that anyone can follow to avoid the chances of a disastrous first encounter.

Choice of Restaurant

It all starts with the choice of restaurant. Remember that it’s not about the food. It’s about two people having the chance to get to know each other.

It must be a sit down dinner for two. A restaurant with extra slow service is not a bad idea as it will give you time to talk. The servings need not be big. You can’t eat and talk at the same time anyway. Reserve those bountiful dinners at Hometown Buffet when you are already comfortable with each other and have the license to show your great love for food.

It must be a restaurant with just very minimal background music so you can talk without shouting and hear without the blank what-look on your face. Reserve those fun times at Hooters when you are already an item and dining with friends.


Even in today’s modern society, it is still expected for the gentleman to be at the restaurant a few minutes before the scheduled date whereas the lady needs only to be on time.

Do it like you see it in the movies. The gentleman arrives early and requests for a romantic spot. The lady arrives a little later and looks for the gentleman wearing the agreed coded color and style. The gentleman sees the lady first and stands up to be noticed. The restaurant receptionist guides the lady to their table. The gentleman pulls back the lady’s seat. Then, the gentleman goes back to his side to start the pleasantries. Perfect! How can so many romantic movies be wrong?


If it’s a classy restaurant, the waiter would normally have two sets of menus. The waiter will have a menu without prices which he will hand to the lady first. Then, the waiter will have another menu with prices for the gentleman.

To help the lady decide and put a little flavor to that moment of silence, the gentleman may ask the waiter for the specialties. After that, it won’t be hard to decide. Everything would only be a choice between beef, pork, fish or chicken.

If the lady decides to order the most expensive dish, the gentleman, at all cost, should avoid that shocked look on the face with that sudden pupil enlargement. And, the gentleman should avoid ordering the cheapest on the list.

The worst thing that can happen is if the gentleman will make an excuse that he has already eaten and will just order soup. The gentleman could order the same item or something of the same price level.


The gentleman should let the lady take the first bite before he starts digging in. And, he should try to keep pace.

If silence starts to creep in, the gentleman can ask the lady on how’s the food. This requires perfect timing though. The gentleman should never throw the question while the lady’s mouth is full. The gentleman can ask this question when the lady has already swallowed her food. In response, the lady will have to pause to answer the question and may even throw back the question to the gentleman and wait for the answer before she continues eating.

While the soup and salad may be set on a fine dining menu, there should be separate menu for desserts. The gentleman can ask the lady if she’s ready for dessert when she has obviously consumed everything on her plate or have paused for a considerable amount of time with some leftovers on her plate. If such a thing happens, the gentleman should never stare at the leftover as if he wants to finish it. Even if it is truly a waste, the gentleman should never let the lady feel that way, at least, not on the first date.

After dessert, there’s still coffee or tea. That gives both gentleman and lady to talk some more. Coffee and tea are the best two excuses to stay longer. Nobody’ is expected to drink these hot items bottoms up.


If it’s a classy restaurant, the waiter will hand over the bill to the gentleman. The gentleman should stay calm no matter how much it costs. He should refrain from scrutinizing the bill for too long.

If the lady insists on going Dutch treat, the gentleman should allow the lady to pay her half.

That ends the dining portion of the perfect romantic movie first date. You will notice that the terms “gentleman” and “lady” were always used for our daters. That’s how everyone should be on their first dates: Gentlemen and Ladies.

What happens for the rest of the night? Now, that’s another question.

Category: Healthy Food

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