Well. This community has very few members but I'm still having fun. Anyway.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, I'm going to try and use "do" statements rather than "don't" ones, but inevitably some of the latter ones will crop up anyway.How to (Appropriately) Dine at a Restaurant1. Be considerate of the host/ess
, especially if it's a busy rush. I've been a hostess. If the place is especially small, it's likely that the host/ess is seating people, cashing people out, cleaning menus, bussing tables, and maybe even helping the servers run food (if they're short-staffed that day). Trust me - if you have a little patience with him/her, you're likely to get a better table or at the least a little less frazzled service. I realise that there is a limit to how much you should tolerate, but a little patience on your part will make all the difference.2. For God's sake, be relatively quiet.
I do not mean that you have to be hush-hush or silent, but be courteous with your volume. If people across the room can hear every detail of your daughter's last episode with diarrhea, you're being too loud.3. Don't say you're ready to order when you aren't.
The waiter isn't trying to pressure you into buying food, which is unfortunately what most people feel is happening when the waitperson asks, "are you ready to order?" They are trying to give you better service (as opposed to letting you wait for 30 minutes), and if you're not ready, tell them so! They don't care. They'll come back. It is ruder to make him/her stand there for seven minutes while you ummmmmmmmm
all over your menu because you're not really ready.4. Be aware when your food is brought to your table.
The problem, as explained by wanderlusty
, is that, "WITHOUT FAIL, people do not respond to their entree's name being said until it is said a SECOND TIME. Sometimes even a third or maybe fourth. They are looking at you blankly." You can avoid this by remembering what you ordered and indicating that the dish is yours when its name is recited by the waitperson by paying attention and saying, "mine!" or raising a hand, etc., when your dish is called.5. Expect good service.
You deserve to be treated well! If you want a refill on your soda/water/coffee, you shouldn't have to flag down a waiter to get it (unless you GULPED down your first serving). That being said, you should not be an ass and demand things of the waitress back and forth. She is not your mother. She cannot remember which side dressing you wanted or that you don't want olives with your burrito if you don't say so. If you're organised and know what you would like (see step 3) and s/he's a half-decent waiter, you'll get what you ordered.
For that matter, if the food is crappy, don't take it out on the waiter. S/He didn't make the food. Ask to speak to chef if you want to confront someone, or the manager, but never the waiter. IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT.6. Tip well.
I'm not going to go into this. For more debate on tipping, though mostly related to coffee, see this post
. I have no energy to write about this here.
C'mon. Tip well. I, personally, always tip about 20%. If the service is okay-ish, I tip 15%. If it's truly shitty-shitty-shitty, I might tip 10%. People say that this is excessive; I call it karma. ;)
Did I leave anything off? This is possible; it's still early.
It is unbelieveable to me how many people are just total assholes at restaruants and who treat the staff like crap. Don't be these people. Follow these five easy steps and you'll be liked more by everyone :P