Quick Recipes and Easy

Some Tips for Eating Out

We’re an apathetic society these days. Gone are the manners of ancient and the flair for the dramatic gesture. Part of this is the cynicism with which the current generation sees the world. Part of it is the deromanticizing of the meek female, powerful male stereotypes. They just don’t fit anymore, and they were never PC to start with. But, as manners slack so do our courtesies. Especially when ordering food.

One of the most common things we do as socialites is eat out. It’s as common as watching television, and most people don’t know how to do it properly. There’s an etiquette involved that the world is slowly forgetting that the food industry is loath to see go. I’m not a debutante dinner specialist, and I don’t know anything about manners in the traditional sense. But, I do know some very basic things that every decent human being should keep in mind before going out to eat.

1. Dressing – Don’t look like a complete bum when you go to somewhere halfway decent. The quick food restaurants are around for a reason. If you insist on wearing your pajamas out of the house, at least stay in your car. For any restaurant in which you sit down and speak to a waiter, wear nice crisp pants and an appropriate shirt (no Bikini Inspectors please). And yes, this is in effect for even the Olive Garden.

2. Ordering – You get a bit of leeway in ordering your food, but don’t take forever. Other tables are waiting, your friends are waiting, and the waiter is, well, waiting. Sit, relax, take off your coat, try the bread, try the wine, then look at the menu and have what you want figured out. The waiter shouldn’t have to question your table more than twice if you’re ready to order. The third time around might take a small longer.

3. The Waiter or Waitress – Don’t waste their time. Be polite, and don’t play stupid games with them. Do not question what random ingredients come in a dish you’re not going to order. Do not complain about things that do not matter, like water glasses or how salty your chips are at a Mexican restaurant. But, keep in mind he’s getting paid extra (by you as a tip) to see to your needs, so don’t be worried to question for his help.

4. Tipping – The most vital thing you do as a customer in the eyes of the waiter. It’s vital for a few excellent reasons. First off, they deserve the 15% regardless. Unless they called you names, ignored your table, or threw your food at you, they deserve the 15% because that’s how they pay their bills. Secondly, if you were a pain to them, make sure you tip extra. They give parts of that money to the cooks, the bussers, the bartender. Keep that in mind. And tip in cash. If you tip on the card, it goes through payroll and they’re taxed on the money. Cash tips are kept in pocket.

It’s not an art form exactly, perhaps a lost science – one that many choose to forget and don’t bother to relearn. Reckon of it as visiting another person’s home where you’re paying for a excellent meal. But, you’re still in their home and they deserve the respect of any homeowner by their guest. It’s mutual, not one sided.

I’m a self avowed unemployed writer, working on semi-constant basis to try and overcome the need to go and work a real job. I’ve written more than 200 articles and reviews and am constantly scouring the internet for any and all excuses and methods to make myself less dependent on corporate pay days. Visit my website at thechatfield.com TheChatfield.com

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