10 Restaurant Etiquette Rules Many People Forget to Follow
There was a time when going out to eat was a special occasion, something most people did very rarely. Today, it’s not like that anymore. But knowing some etiquette rules is still useful, as it’s a way of showing that you’re a well-behaved person who respects other people. Use this checklist to find out if you know what things people shouldn’t do in restaurants.
Sitting at the first table you see
It’s good manners to reserve a table in advance. If you come to a restaurant spontaneously, you should ask the manager if there are free seats. Otherwise, you might take someone else’s seat and have to leave when the person who reserved it comes.
Ordering way more food than your companion
Etiquette rules tell us to order about as many items as our companions do. It’s rude to still be eating when the person you’re with is already finished.
Starting to eat before your companion
You should only start eating when all the people at the table get their meals. It’s quite awkward to be eating when everyone else is watching you.
Rubbing your face and hands with your napkin
It’s important to remember that cloth napkins should be placed on the lap, and paper towels are for the hands and face. If there are no paper napkins, you can use a cloth one, but only for the lips and fingers.
Of course, you can’t rub your entire face or spit olive pits into the napkin. You can’t tuck the cloth into your collar or your belt, either. If you are going to the bathroom, put the cloth napkin on the table. If you’re finished eating, put the cloth napkin on the table, just left of the plate.
Not giving tips
Whether you leave a tip or not is your choice, but it’s preferable in most countries to do so. If you are satisfied with the staff and want to thank them, pay an extra 10%-15%. You can pay cash or use a special app. Some countries include the tip in the bill. However, in some Asian countries, like China or Japan, it’s rude to leave tips.
Throwing dirty napkins on the plate
Paper napkins should be used for cleaning the hands and mouth. Dirty napkins should be folded and put on the side of the plate, but never on the place itself, as it’s considered rude to the staff. If you drop a napkin on the floor, don’t pick it up yourself, but tell your server about it.
Taking the salt shaker or other objects from a different table
If you don’t have pepper, salt, or other things on your table, but you see them on a neighboring table, don’t take them yourself. Ask your server to help you.
Helping your guest and putting food on their plate
Of course, you can’t use your own silverware to take food from shared dishes. And you can’t use other people’s spoons if you want to help them reach a certain plate. Put the dish next to them and let them take as much food from it as they want.
Hunching over your drink with a straw
This etiquette rule will make the drinking process more aesthetically pleasing. According to this rule, you should move the food to the mouth, not the mouth to the plate. The same goes for drinking with a straw: lift the glass and move it to the mouth instead of hunching over the drink.
Moving the plate away when you’ve finished eating
Once you’ve finished eating, it’s not okay to move the plate away. Additionally, you shouldn’t move away from the table together with your chair, as it’s rude.
If you think that etiquette only applies to what kind of fork to eat a salad with, or how to open the door for a girl, then you will be very surprised to learn how deep and wide this concept is. There are even rules of visiting the restrooms, although, frankly, few people follow them. And all because in society it is not customary to discuss such topics.