How up to date is your sense of etiquette when dining out? Whether you’re sitting down for some sushi, going to a swanky fusion place, or searching for the best burger in NYC, the rules of etiquette remain the same. Having good manners isn’t about being snooty. It’s more of a way of conducting yourself that will ensure that no one is made uncomfortable and you are being polite and doing your part to make sure that all pleasant have a nice experience eating out.
These tips can also be utilized in other areas of life besides dining out. Some are dining-specific, while others can be followed even when you’re not going out to eat. Read on and find out more!
Be early or on time.
Show respect to others that will be there by arriving early. Arrive early and have time to check your phone as you wait. It’s better than risking being late and if you account for commute and attempt to be early, even if there is traffic the chances are that you will still arrive a minute or two early. For eating out, be as early or prompt as you can be. Account for the event in your plans.
Do not order an appetizer if no one else is ordering an appetizer.
Ask if anyone in the group would like to sample an appetizer together and if everyone’s into the idea, you can order one or a few for the table to share. No one has to order an entire one to themselves and everyone can eat a little bite before the meal comes with no one being left out and you’ll be ready for your entrees. However, if no one wants an appetizer, just get a drink and choose your main course when everyone orders.
Be sure that your phone is silent and you aren’t using it.
If you need to check your phone and everyone knows that, it’s fine. But leave it in your pocket or jacket while dining and place it on silent. If you need to be alerted to a text, you can put it on vibrate. Overall, it’s best to have it on silent and avoid consulting it at all unless necessary or to show someone photos of your child, for example.
Never try someone’s food without asking them first!
The best thing to do is order what you’d like. If you are on a date, the rules may be slightly more flexible. But for dining out with friends, family, or business partners and other people we socialize or may be out with, the rule is hands off. Never, ever take someone’s food or drink or touch it without permission. In a formal setting or with certain people, only accept someone’s food if offered of their own accord. It’s their food, they ordered it, and you have your food that you ordered. Boundaries!
Eat when everyone is present.
Do not start eating before everyone is seated and present. When everyone has received their food, then begin your main course or shared appetizers.
Practice good manners when eating.
Chew with your mouth closed. Eat between speaking. Listen to others quite a bit. Use this as a way to showcase how seamlessly you can converse and eat in public with people. Pretend it’s a play where your character is impeccably schooled in the ways of etiquette and table manners. Let others speak and finish their thoughts. It’s only polite!