St. George Restaurant Etiquette:
Dining out is more than just choosing a restaurant, ordering your food and then consuming it as quickly as possible. There are certain dos and don’ts that can make or break your dining experience. As experienced restaurant goers will tell you, proper restaurant etiquette is an art that can not only enhance the experience of your dinner, but greatly impress your date as well. Far too often we all have the unpleasant experience of being seated too near those individuals who operate on the premise that anything goes and that there are no rules. To help you avoid being one of those people, let us offer a little refresher in restaurant etiquette. Following these few simple guidelines will help you to make an impressive debut into the local culinary scene.
- Cell Phones: While dining out please remember that cell phones are not meant to be displayed as a table ornament; in fact they should not be seen at all. The more you insist upon whipping out your cell phone during dinner the more obvious it becomes that you are incapable of carrying on a conversation with the person seated just across from you. So please remember to turn off your electronic gadgets and stow them away because you are not impressing anybody by gabbing away, and in fact, it is very likely that you are ruining someone else’s dining experience.
- Patience: When the food comes, remember to wait for everyone at the table to be served before you start digging in.
- Family Dining: Dining out with the family can be a great experience, but remember to choose the proper location. Small children should not be taken to dimly lit, romantic bistros. And no matter where you are, you should not allow your children to run freely or act noisily in the restaurant; it is viewed as a sign of bad parenting. If you have a problem – just take your child outside for a minute till they are ready to calm down.
- Servers / Tips: Remember that just because your waiter is serving you, does not make them your servant. Be considerate and remember to say thank you. Tipping is part of the way you can express your satisfaction over the food and service you received. In the United States it is proper to tip 15% + as an expression of appreciation. A quick rule of thumb for calculating a tip is to roughly double the tax on the total bill.
- Dress Code: While the sign may simply read “no shirt, no shoes, no service” you should give more consideration to your appearance than just that. Try to dress for the occasion; an elegant and romantic evening requires more than just a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.
- Conversation: Talk softly, people who don’t know you are not interested in hearing about your latest cavity, diet or new pair of shoes. If you are with a large group please be considerate of others sitting around you and the volume of noise that you are generating.
A good dining experience is about more than just good food, please remember to use proper etiquette and be considerate of those you are with as well as those seated near you.