The restaurant industry is roaring all around the world and it doesn’t matter which country you go to, an evening out is most likely to be the main source of entertainment most people like to enjoy. There’s something about not having to cook the food or do the washing up and sampling some delicious food combinations that makes an evening meal at a restaurant an overwhelmingly attractive prospect.
Even during the recession restaurants have found ways of keeping the customers coming back time and time again. Some places have added more variety to their menu to cater for guests of every budget, some have included the option of a takeaway and some have included other things to add value to the evening, but mostly there is no substitute for good food and so businesses continue to thrive.
But how much do you actually know about the etiquette of dining out? Here are a few dos and don’ts for when you eat at your favourite restaurant.
Do Book Ahead When Travelling In A Large Party –
Even if it is a Monday night and you know the restaurant you are heading too is unlikely to be fully booked, it’s always best to ring ahead if your party consists of a large number of guests. If anything this will make your dining experience much more enjoyable as you won’t have to wait to be seated and the chef will be prepared for your arrival.
Some places will even ask for a pre-order in these situations which will speed things up even more for you and your guests. You won’t have to wait around to order and your food won’t be held up by other tables.
Don’t Send The Back Wine Unless It’s Corked –
Contrary to what a lot of people believe; when the waiter or sommelier asks you to try the wine, you are not tasting to see if you like it. Instead you are seeing whether the wine has been corked or not. This is another point of confusion though as corked doesn’t necessarily mean that there is cork in your wine.
Obviously this is not something that you will want to happen either but ‘corked’ actually means that the wine hasn’t been sealed properly or that it has been sealed with a contaminated cork. You’ll be able to tell if this is the case as it will give off an aroma of wet cardboard or sometimes mouldy bread.
Do Send Your Food Back If It Isn’t Cooked –
There are many reasons for which a waiter may grumble at the fact that you have sent your food back but the action of it being undercooked shouldn’t be one. Don’t be afraid to mention this as most good restaurants, such as this, will be quite happy to rectify the situation rather than risk you becoming ill as a result.
Politely point out what is wrong with the dish and urge that it is re-cooked to your liking. A great restaurant will do everything they can to address the issue and make sure that your night is not spoilt because of it. Do not demand that you receive a free meal or a percentage off the bill unless there really is an obvious reason to do so.
Don’t Penalise Your Waiter For Bad Food –
For most people, the decision as to whether to tip or not at the end of a meal will be made depending on how good the food is. However, this may not be the fairest way to rate your evening. Obviously if you had to send your food back or you waited a long time to receive it then you aren’t going to want to tip loads but it’s important to remember that this has nothing to do with your server. They were not the one cooking the food and so if the service was pleasant and attentive then this should still be rewarded.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Chris Mayhew has a big love of food and has worked in the industry in the past. He would recommend Giuseppe’s Place in London’s Borough Market area to anyone looking for a great night out with excellent food.