The Downfall of Restaurant Etiquette

“The way you treat your food on your plate is a reflection of the way you treat people in your life. Learning how to dine teaches you not just how to eat but how to treat people.”
Rajiv Talreja

I’m not entirely sure what exactly has caused people to be so inconsiderate when they eat out these days. Maybe it’s some sense of self-entitlement, how people were raised, or the way our generation has culturally been developing itself… But recently, I’ve noticed some things that are so outrageously rude that it’s fair to point them out.

  1. ) If you’re with your family or friends and there is a mutual agreement between you all to use phones, then go at it. But I see parents, teenagers, kids, and everyone in between using them at terrible moments. Is your server trying to talk to you? Put down the phone. Are your kids causing a raucous? Put down the phone. Is someone at your table left out because they’re not using the phone? Put down the phone. Really, unless it’s an emergency, cell phones should not be used at all in formal settings.

2.) At least in the United States, tips are not always automatically given to servers when you sit down to eat. This means that if you leave nothing, they make nothing from serving you and having to split tips at the end of the night with the other employees results in less money for everyone involved. It’s understandable that bad service should not be rewarded, but offering up some pocket change in exchange for serving you when you could be at home making your own food is not too much to ask for. If you don’t know how to tip, it’s not difficult to learn how. Here’s a video about it from the vlogbrothers:

3.) Some children are very well behaved when families go out to eat (and never even touch a phone- imagine that), but there are others that quite literally raise hell throughout restaurants. Don’t just sit there and smile awkwardly, apologizing for your kid’s behavior. If your kid is throwing a tantrum, take them outside and calm them down out there before you return to your table. Don’t let your kids run around the building haphazardly as that’s dangerous for them, the employees, and the other patrons. People go out typically to enjoy their night out, to relax and get away from the things that are stressing them at home. They don’t want to babysit for you while you’re ignoring your children’s behavior.

4.) I’ve seen more people wear things like pajamas to restaurants in recent years than I would like to admit. It’s not like you have to wear a super fancy dress or tuxedo to a casual restaurant, but at least don’t wear what you wore to bed.

5.) People have really lost all inability to be patient these days. If a mistake is made, try not to lose your cool. If it’s taking a super long time to get your food or your drink has too much ice in it, try being nice first. At the end of the day, no one is going out of their way to make your experience a bad one and we’re all human. Try to put yourself in their shoes whenever possible.

6.) Use your common sense. If the line looks long and you don’t want to wait, instead of complaining to the manager go somewhere else with a shorter wait time. Read the menu before you sit down if you or someone in your party is a picky eater so that you aren’t in a bad mood with the food choice from the get go. If your server looks like they are busy or having a rough day, try to be understanding.

7.) If a restaurant closes at 9:00, do not walk in at 8:58 expecting the best service in the world. Closing means that the kitchen is done for the night and once the servers have finished their tables, they are able to go home. Walking in right as they are closing postpones that for at least another hour or two while you’re eating or drinking.

8.) Don’t yell or be obnoxiously loud. It’s a very simple thing to do that alcohol especially gets in the way of. Nobody around your table wants to hear about how your great aunt ruined Christmas and nobody in the restaurant wants to deal with your boisterous attitude. They’re spending time and money outside of the house to spend time with each other, not to spend it hunched over to hear each other talk.

9.) Chew with your mouth closed, put your silverware in the proper place, and keep your napkin in your lap. If your parents never taught you this, then here’s a video instructional on the basics:

Eating out is something that should be enjoyable for everyone involved. Try not to be the person that makes it a drag.

-Miss Obvious