Dining Etiquette 101

Dining Etiquette 101 should be a class taught in school, because most people suck at it.

If you’ve ever worked at a “sit-down restaurant,” be it casual, formal or fine dining, then you should be able to relate to the specific instances I am about to describe. And if you are indeed the person who is doing these idiotic things when going out to eat, then please STOP! Dining etiquette should be a class taught in high school because I’d venture to say about 40% of all diners don't know basic restaurant etiquette.

1) Do not order water, and then ask for a bushel of lemons and unlimited packets of Raw Sugar so you can make your own lemonade. It screams CHEAP-ASS!

2) If you see I am speaking to another table of guests, do not throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care! Wait till I am done and gracefully ask for my presence.

3) If I’m not your server, don’t ask me for anything! Sorry--not sorry.

4) If you have to ask me for something because you just can’t wait, and I reply, “Who is your server?” Do not say, “I don’t know.” It just makes you look like a selfish clown that couldn’t even bother to remember a one or two syllable name for 60 minutes or so.

5) When you’ve finished your meal and have paid the bill, don’t sit at the table for the next 20, 30 or 90 minutes! You’re taking up a table in the server’s section! Look, just because you’ve tipped doesn’t mean you can sit all night and make the server lose money.

6) Give the server attitude and see what happens. No we won’t spit in your food, that’s an urban legend, but we sure as hell will make sure your order gets pushed to the back of the board-taking FOREVER!

7) In the event the restaurant is super busy - let’s say because it’s a SATURDAY NIGHT, relax. Your food is going to take time because only “amateur” diners go out on the weekend; hence the kitchen gets backed up. So please do not get mad at your server. It isn’t their fault you ordered a well-done T-bone steak 35 minutes ago. Look for someone dressed business casually. They’re a manager, and only they can coddle you with freebies till your over-cooked steak arrives.

Dining out should be a relaxing time where you can kick back and enjoy great food with equally great company. And the dining professional guiding you through this experience deserves your respect, not your attitude. Now don’t forget to leave 20% gratuity!