10 Restaurant Etiquette Rules for Dining and wining
Tami Lancut Leibovitz
Taking the photo before you eat is a must, any self-proclaimed foodie and miniature food critic will tell you that! But outside the rules of our modern eating habits, what are the rules to follow that will guarantee you with a proper etiquette status while eating out with a guest and/or a client:
- Dress to impress: Hey, were not talking full tuxedo here! but were also not trying to see your toes in the middle of dinner. Find your go-to outfit that will make you look sharp while not being overdressed or uncomfortable.
- Put your things away: Keys? Cellphone? Sunglasses? Put it in your bag, purse, case, car – anywhere! Just not on the table, it’s a distraction. It’s not necessary and it’s not sanitary. It can also come off as rude and too personal in a business setting.
- Let the guest be a guest: Meaning, the host and the person that invited and initiated the event should pay – preferably handing the credit card to the waiter before the meal even starts or pay discreetly before the end of the meal. Also, as a courtesy it’s best to let the other person order first and let the other person know ahead about parking options, tolls, or anything he’ll need to know ahead of arrival.
- Delicious Shots: Your Instagram is filled with your best food photos? Awesome! But, keep those foodie photo captures for times with friends and family, avoid it in a client/business meeting.
- Use your napkin: That’s why it’s there! Put on your lap when it’s time to eat and sit on the chair if you get up to use the toilet. At the end of the meal you can place it on the left of the plate. Let the guest do it first so he won’t feel rushed.
- Addressing the waiter: Don’t raise your voice ever when speaking to a waiter, even if they’re far away and you need their attention. Mark with your eyes or hand. If the service is extremely slow or problematic, get up and ask the host to send a waiter your way but never yell or call the waiter across the room.
- Don’t be shy: Being polite and following etiquette rules doesn’t mean you don’t get to have what you wish. If the food isn’t cooked properly or there’s a problem with the food, return it politely to the kitchen. Don’t eat something that don’t taste right but also try not to be pesky in a business meeting. A good solution for a business setting is to order a dish that you tried before and you know you’ll like.
- Match your guest: If he’s considering first courses, better order one. Also, order dessert so the guest won’t feel like he’s eating alone or can’t order a dessert because you don’t. If your guests declare first that they don’t want a certain course or option – than you can give it up as well.
- Utensils Code: Enjoyed your entrée? Great! Now place your knife and fork together at the 10:20 position on the plate to signal the wait staff. Of course, wait for your guest to do it first so you don’t pressure them out to eat faster.
- Wine options: If you’re not a wine expert, don’t pretend you are, you’ll look ridiculous – ask for a great advice instead from the sommelier. Also, don’t say aloud how much you wish to spend on the wine, just mark with your fingers gently on the menu and the waiter will know to point you out to your price range.
Don’t forget to have a great time, nothing makes a guest feel better than a genuine smile on the face of the guest!