The Forgotten Courtesies of Dining Out

    You enter a restaurant, kindly greet the host, smile at the server, and tip well. You did your due, didn’t you? Everybody smiled, it was a friendly and fun transaction, you ate some delicious food and the night was a joy. What’s there to complain about?

    You may have missed a thing or two. There are some small, subtle details about being mannerly in an eating establishment, details that we all can unfortunately overlook, and given the stressful job of a server, it’s best we make our best attempts to lighten their load and make everything as easy as possible for them. Here are some courtesies to remember during your nights dining out.

    Tip based on the whole bill, despite gift cards or discounts. You may be eating shortly after Christmas, having received a nice gift card for the restaurant you’re attending. You could be enrolled in a sort of rewards program, and for your loyalty to the restaurant, you’ve earned a percentage off of your meal. Remember to consider the entire bill of the meal when you are tipping; if you got $40 worth of food, but you had a $20 gift card and are only paying $20 out of pocket, you still tip based on the $40 worth of food. Think of it like this: you are rewarding the server for a job well done of getting you $40 worth of food, so you tip based on the job, not based on what you personally paid. 

    Don't text and order. There are multiple reasons for this. For one, it’s simply rude to be on your phone while you are talking to somebody. Unfortunately in this day and age, everybody likes to be on their phones while talking to people, but it is still unmannerly nonetheless. The more time you spend looking at your phone and delaying the ordering process, the harder you make it for the server. He or she is looking to get everybody’s order down and entirely correct, while trying to properly serve multiple other tables as well. Taking up their time so you can check your Twitter while ordering makes it even more rude than it normally would be. Of course, with ChowDown, being on your phone while ordering will actually become a part of the ordering process, but this still doesn't mean it's okay to talk on the phone and scroll through your Twitter feed while trying to talk to the server.

    Make it easy for your server or the busboy to clean your table. It’s not a difficult task to stack up your empty plates and put them at the end of the table. I’m sure you don’t enjoy having somebody reach over your food, trying to clear away the empty plates to make more room for you. Just take a few seconds out of your meal to get them all together and make everybody’s lives a little bit easier. 

    Thank your server and leave a nice review. As somebody who has worked retail for years, I can tell you first hand that positive and negative reviews have a huge impact. I’ve heard about good and bad reviews many times over the years, and when somebody’s name is mentioned, it weighs even heavier. At Best Buy, we’ve had entire store meetings dedicated to discussing improvements based on negative surveys. If you have a good experience at a restaurant, take the time to thank them for their good service, and mention the name of the server who helped you. He or she deserves the recognition, and chances are, they were as nice to other people as they were with you. If you take the time to leave a nice note, you could make their day.

    Little details can go a long way, and if you notice with all of these tips, none of them take a lot of effort to do. Just by doing your part and being courteous, you can make that restaurant experience even better for yourself and for your server. Thanks for reading, and I hope you take heed of this advice! Be sure to follow our page to get updates about all of our latest posts.