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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This tells you how to be civilized and considerate of your fellow diners when you got for a bite to eat or just show up with a large group.

Be polite. When you are seated at a table and your server comes to greet you, stop talking, get off the phone and respond. Think about how it feels for those waiting on you when you make them wait for a long time; you wouldn't do this to people at your work, so try not to do it in a restaurant. Be helpful when the server asks for your drink. Make it very clear what it is that you would like and if you need any changes, spell these out very clearly rather than hoping your server will read your mind. Be considerate if your server asks you if want something before the meal; this is often standard practice. Just say no if it doesn't interest you. Try to discern what is in your meal choice prior to asking questions. That way, you can avoid asking more obvious questions and just ask the questions that are specific to your concerns, such as any need for dietary changes or allergen avoidance. When you receive your meal the server will wait about 30 seconds for you to check it over and make sure it's ok or if you need anything else. Tell the waiter there and then if something concerns you, or if something is missing; that is what this opportunity is for.

Be gracious when the server checks in on you. The server should come back more then one time to see how your are doing, don't ignore them or be rude - a simple nod will do unless there is a problem. Always let the server take your plate when you're done; it's there job to remove the plate. If you need a fresh plate for anything, just ask for one. Although you probably don't want anything after the meal, don't wait if you do because the bill is likely in the process of being tallied up if you dally. The server will ask you if you want anything, and this is your opportunity to ask for dessert, extra drinks etc. Be savvy about payment. When it comes to credit cards or debit, remember they are the same payment method as far as the server is concerned. Don't ask the server to add the tip - that is your job and you should write this in clearly. With cash, an experienced server can tell if you need change or not if you are using a 50 on a 25 dollar meal. But if a server says "I will be right back with your change" but you don't want any, say so right there and then to save them having to make a return trip for naught, especially on a busy night.

If you have more then 10 people, call ahead at least an hour before you come in. It makes things easier for everyone. Get off your cell phone when you're trying to order. It is not only rude to do this around your fellow diners but it complicates the ordering process with your server and mistakes can easily occur. If it's not on the menu, be very, very polite when you ask for something not there. Most of the time, unrelated dishes won't be catered for but changes to existing dishes for dietary and allergy needs often can be done. It also helps to phone in advance to warn the restaurant of such changes if possible. The way you act to your server is the same way they are going act back to you. Be nice, take your time, and don't be rude servers handle your food. You get out of life what you put into it; eating out is pretty similar!


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