How to Behave in a Restaurant
In most areas of life, there are rules; some written, some unwritten, that exist for the sake of the many, even though they may conflict with the needs or desires of the few. Eating in a restaurant is one of those places.
When you go to a restaurant, you rarely if ever see any signs that tell you which kinds of behavior are acceptable, and which are not. It is assumed you will learn those rules from your parents as you are growing up. If you are one of the unfortunate few to not have learned how to properly behave in a restaurant, then the guidelines below, should help.
The first rule of order in any restaurant is that you must keep your voice down. And if you have children with you, then they should as well. People expect a quiet dining experience when they go out and pay for a meal, and they won’t find that if you are talking or laughing too loudly. Keeping your voice down is but one part of the overall rule, which is that you must do whatever is necessary to avoid disturbing other people who are also eating at the restaurant.
The next thing is, when you first arrive, ascertain whether you are in a place where you are supposed to seat yourself, or wait for someone to come get you. If you’re supposed to wait, do so, otherwise you’ll cause a problem for the wait staff. If it’s okay to seat yourself, pick any table you want, unless you need to order from a counter first.
When ordering, always be polite to the wait staff; they are there to serve you, not take your abuse. If you are angry then it might be best if you came another night. Try not to take up too much time deciding what you want to eat, as others might be waiting to eat as well, and you’re indecision will cause them to have to wait longer.
Once you’ve made up your mind, wait for the wait staff to come visit you again, then place your order. As you’re doing so, try not to make the meal preparation any more difficult than need be; other people need to eat as well, and any extra time the kitchen staff has to put into your meal, takes away from time they can spend on others. Also, be sure to thank the wait staff for waiting on you; it’s the polite thing to do.
While waiting for your meal to arrive, it’s fine to talk with whoever you are with, but it not okay to talk to other guests at the restaurant unless you happen to know them already. People expect to be left alone when they go out to eat.
When the wait staff brings your food to you, thank them again for their efforts, and be sure to wait until everyone has their meal sitting on the table in front of them before digging in. Again, it’s the polite thing to do.
When you’re eating, don’t chew with your mouth open, or talk with food in your mouth. Also try not to make any other noises as well, as it is very distracting to other guests.
When you’ve finished with your meal, thank the wait staff once again, then quietly pay and leave.
It’s not that hard; the way to behave in a restaurant is to be as quiet and polite as possible; enjoy your meal, then get out.
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