Dining out is meant to be a fun and pleasant experience. We show up, we sit down, we order, we eat, we pay, and we leave. But even though that may sound like a rather straightforward experience, there are actually a lot of unspoken rules that you really should be playing by, especially at a fancier establishment.
A restaurant worker’s job is a lot more difficult than it appears. Hosts don’t just wait for a table to open up and then seat people there; they follow a complex system to make sure that reservations are honored, servers share the workload equally, and everything keeps moving seamlessly. The servers aren’t your servants; they’re constantly juggling many tasks and standing for hours on end, all the while making sure that everyone gets what he or she orders, and maintaining a smiling face. The bussers’ and runners’ sole job isn’t to bring you ketchup; they need to make sure that the right food goes to the right person, water glasses are filled, and dirty plates are cleared. Managers have to oversee everything and everyone, keeping the staff in check and making sure that everyone is happy. And that's just the front-of-house!
There’s a lot that needs to happen in order to allow restaurant service to run smoothly, and even though guests are obviously paying customers, there’s no excuse for them to act like jerks. It would seem like common sense to simply be nice, but for a lot of people, impatience and self-centeredness take over the moment they enter a restaurant. There’s obviously an issue when it takes an hour to receive your food — and in certain situations it’s OK to mention issues to a manager — but don’t assume that the root of the problem is the server, and don’t take it out on him or her.
Some things that you should never do in a nice restaurant are fairly obvious, but others probably don’t come naturally to some people. So the next time you dine out, keep these 20 restaurant no-nos in mind.