There is an etiquette to dining out. It is undeniable. Yes, it may vary from culture to culture, but everywhere there are certain unwritten rules for restaurants. I’m here to write a few of them down.
- Gauge the atmosphere before you top up your glass. This is so important. Nothing ruins a quiet evening out with friends like the guy who’s had a few too many spilling his drink down your shirt. The host has booked this venue because they want to create a certain kind of atmosphere. So stick to it.
- Check the menu online beforehand. This is key to all those fussy eaters and veggies (like me) out there. If you make sure there is something you would like to eat on the menu, you will avoid all that uncomfortable squirming in front of a menu that says ‘I’m your worst nightmare!’ If you can’t find anything online, why not call up the restaurant to see if they can accommodate your needs.
- Check with the host before inviting your other half. This is a tricky rule to get right. If you suggest bringing your partner to someone else’s event, always be fully prepared to be turned down. There may not be enough space for them, or, if no other partners are going, they will feel awkward. As will everyone else who wanted to talk to you about them.
- Address the staff yourself! This is one that really gets my goat. No matter who you are, you can order your own food. Don’t let your man speak for you because it’s apparently ‘chivalrous’. It’s not. You are a grownup too.
- Don’t get defensive about your dosh. If you and your mates have decided to go Dutch, split the bill and get over it. Of course, if you have ordered the steak and they all ate salad, you’ll need to cough up, but don’t get in a flurry about a couple of pence. It’s so not worth the argument.