We all love to eat out. Whether you’re going out with family or friends, hitting up the sushi bar or going to your favorite place for the best burger in NYC, getting together to eat some food and share some laughter is a timeless affair. However, are your table manners up to snuff? Check out these 8 etiquette tips that govern how you should behave while eating out.
We’re not all perfect, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to follow basic etiquette. It’s easier than you think– read on to find out more.
1. Show up on time.
If you’re meeting your party at the location, be sure to be early or at least on time. Arriving five minutes early is the polite thing to do and will keep everyone from having to wait on you to order. If you’re going to be late, call ahead to let them know.
2. Order the same courses as the party.
If everyone is getting an advance appetizer or salad, go ahead and order one for yourself. However, if it looks like you’re going to be the lone guest with an advance dish, go with the group and order a main entree. It is good etiquette to pass up that side salad if everyone will be forced to watch you nibble on it while they wait for their food.
3. Make it a no-phone zone.
Pulling out your phone while out to eat is done, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good etiquette. Keep your phone away while at the table– if you must consult it, sneak off to the bathroom and discreetly check.
4. Ask someone to try their food.
The polite thing to do if you’re eyeing someone’s appetizer or food is to ask if they would be willing to let you try some or share. If they say no, respect their wishes. Reaching over to grab some food without asking is simply impolite.
5. Start eating when the group does.
You don’t want to be that person who is stuffing their face while everyone watches! Wait until everyone has received their food and then begin eating. It’s good etiquette!
6. Have good manners and behave well.
When dining out, be your best self. Thank the server, be polite to your guests, and just generally be on your best behavior. When speaking, keep things light and friendly. The same goes for eating and drinking– it’s polite to eat and drink in moderation. Don’t overdo it, particularly when it comes to alcohol. Keep things to one drink and one entree and don’t forget to let people finish speaking before saying something. And as always, chew with your mouth closed!
7. Always say please and thank you.
Whether you’re asking for someone to pass the salt or the server for more rolls, don’t forget to say please and thank you. Act like your mother’s sitting at the table judging you, and you don’t get seconds if you neglect to speak the magic words (this may not work for everyone).
8. Offer to pick up the check.
Warning– only attempt if you really mean it! That being said, offering to pick up the check is the polite thing to do. If dining out with a small party, offering to pay for everyone is good manners. They may decline or insist on picking it up or splitting the check evenly. Whatever happens, offering to get the check is great etiquette.