The less formal Rules of How to Dine Out and Not Completely Embarrass Yourself VERSION puts the focus on avoiding simple mistakes from being seated to paying the bill.
Going out to eat can be a lot of fun — you don’t have to cook, you don’t have to clean up and you can eat foods that are not likely to be cooked at home. But eating out is a social experience, so your likely going to interact with other people. So, if you like to eat with your shirt and shoes off, with your plate on your stomach, well, maybe it’s best you order in.
If you do eat out, there are four types of people in the restaurant that you will likely encounter.
1. Servers: They take your order and serve your food.
2. Busboy: They set your place, clear, fill your water glass.
3. Restaurant Manager: Interact with customers, keeping front of the house and back of the house operations flowing properly.
4. Customers: The fine folks seated around you that are enjoying spending time with their friends and family. Even though they typically talk too loudly and will probable order the last Special of the Day that you wanted.
Its important to be nice to all three of them!
Being Seated: If your not happy with where your to be seated, kindly ask for another table. Don’t walk away from the hostess and seat yourself anywhere you wish.
Food Substitutions: Substituting soup for salad or vise versa is acceptable, but this is not. “Sub bread for beef, then sub beef for pizza and instead of cheese on the pizza, I want chicken wings on the pizza.” “Now read it all back to me — and don’t screw it up buddy!”
***Two Dishes to Pay Closer Attention to:
Eating Pasta: press your stringy pasta against the lip on the inside of your plate and twirl. Do not let stringy pasta hang from your fork while putting in your mouth.
Supping Soups: Crushing a reasonable amount of crackers into your Clam Chowder is acceptable, crushing Croutons is not.***
Paying and Leaving: You can’t do one or the other, you must do both. You can’t eat and leave without paying and you can’t pay and not leave. *Don’t forget to leave a nice tip for your waiter.*
If you follow these few rules, your likely to be able to go out to dinner and not run the risk of going to jail.
If you can nit follow these rules and you want to order in and eat burritos off your stomach while watching t.v., remember to show some etiquette and answer the door with your shirt and pantson — and give a good tip.