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Going out to eat? It’s more than just food; it’s about being with others. But, we all need to mind our manners. From how we treat the staff to how we act with other diners, our behavior matters. Check out these common mistakes to make sure you’re not “that” person at the restaurant.
Not Respecting Reservation Times
Showing up excessively early or late for your reservation can throw off the restaurant’s scheduling and service. If you can’t make it on time, it’s courteous to call ahead and let them know.
Sending Food Back Repeatedly
While it’s okay to send a dish back if there’s a genuine issue, repeatedly doing so for minor reasons or after eating a significant portion can be seen as trying to get a free meal and is frowned upon.
Loud and Boisterous Conversations
While dining out is a social experience, it’s essential to be mindful of the volume. Engaging in loud conversations or laughter can disturb other patrons trying to enjoy their meal in a peaceful environment.
Ignoring Your Server
Your server is there to ensure you have a pleasant dining experience. Continuously ignoring them when they approach your table or not making eye contact is not only rude but can also delay your service.
Complaining About Everything
While it’s okay to point out genuine issues with your meal or service, nitpicking every little detail or constantly complaining can be exhausting for the staff and can disrupt the ambiance for other diners.
Modifying Dishes Excessively
While it’s okay to ask for minor changes due to dietary restrictions or allergies, excessively modifying a dish can be frustrating for the kitchen and might not yield the best culinary results.
Allowing Children to Run Amok
Kids can be unpredictable, but allowing them to run around, scream, or disturb other diners is a significant faux pas. It’s essential to teach children restaurant etiquette from a young age.
Using Phones Loudly
Taking a call at the table or having your phone’s volume turned up so everyone can hear your notifications is disruptive. If you must take a call, step outside or keep it brief and quiet.
Overstaying Your Welcome
While it’s lovely to catch up with friends or family over a meal, be mindful of the restaurant’s busy times. If people are waiting and you’ve finished your meal, it’s courteous to free up the table.
Not Tipping Appropriately
Tipping is a way to show appreciation for good service. Regularly undertipping or not tipping at all, especially when the service was satisfactory, can be seen as disrespectful.
Snapping Fingers for Attention
Your server is not on-demand. Snapping fingers or making loud, impatient gestures to get their attention is considered very rude and can make their job more challenging.
Bringing Outside Food or Drinks
Unless it’s a special arrangement (like a cake for a birthday), bringing outside food or drinks into a restaurant is a faux pas. It’s disrespectful to the establishment and the chef.
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Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.