As a nation, we are growing more casual by the day. Gone are uniforms and strict office attire. In our jeans and t-shirts, slogans and cargo pants.
It can be easy to forget that there is a difference between being casual and being improper. The two are not related. There are rules and elements of politeness that transcend attire.
There is no one place where such rules of etiquette and good behavior are more required than in a restaurant. Sure, the fancier the restaurant the better you need to dress, and for some reason behavior and dress do seem to pull one another up through the rankings. However, these rules of restaurant etiquette can and should be applied to any establishment you frequent.
1. Dress Appropriately
Proper dinner etiquette means dressing appropriately. This doesn’t mean you need to wear a shirt and tie in order to go pick up a big mac, but it does mean dressing to suit the environment.
It’s not difficult to find out what the dress code is for a restaurant. You can check online, read reviews or go old-school and make a call to check.
2. Proper Dinner Etiquette Says Not to Eat Before All Have Been Served
Good restaurant etiquette says to not start eating until all of your guests have received their meal.
Not only is this a case of good manners, but it is also so that you don’t have people already finished eating while others have yet to even receive their plates.
Whether you are out on a date, celebrating with friends or getting some grub while watching the game on a big screen, this rule remains applicable.
3. No Shouting at the Serving Staff
While it may be a cinematic cliche, please understand that it is considered poor form and food etiquette to click your fingers or shout down the wait staff.
Keep your calling of Garcon to the drama club. When in a restaurant it is much simpler to either wait for the staff to attend your table, or to make eye contact with a member of staff and discretely ask for some assistance.
4. Course Order Is Important
Much like not waiting before everybody has been served, another important item of proper etiquette for eating is to ensure that everybody is eating the same course at the same time.
Even if a member of your group chooses to skip a course, they should not jump a course ahead. Not only is this confusing for the serving staff, it is considered generally improper.
5. Proper Dining Etiquette for Eating Out Means Keeping the Table Clear
One of the rules of restaurant seating etiquette that has become even more important in recent years is understanding the role of the table. It is a place for food and drink. It is not a place for mobile phones, bags or any other paraphernalia that distracts from the meal and the people you are sharing it with.
Good Restaurant Etiquette Costs Nothing But is Invaluable
A good meal with good friends is a wonderful thing to experience. Understanding even basic restaurant etiquette is just one way to make the evening even more memorable.
Good manners cost nothing but their impact can be far-reaching.
If you want to learn more about the restaurant life, then check out some of our other helpful posts to learn the best recipes, restaurants, and eateries near you.