Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Hi and welcome back to school. Here are some general information for you that if you know it already, congratulations. You got an A or 10 or my appreciation for it.
If you don’t know it... don’t you worry, here is a judge free zone where all open minded people are welcome because they know that no matter the age, race, sex or social profile, constant learning is what makes them better in life. Are you one of them?
Enjoy and let’s get all informed.
Today, let’s get it clear with some basic hospitality rules. More exactly going to a restaurant. A classic one, any place that serves you food while you’re sitting at a table. Simple no? Here are 5 basic rules which followed, ensures you to have a smoother and enjoyable restaurant experience... and for everyone else around you too.
What is the first thing you do (should do) as soon as you stepped in the restaurant? You wait. Usually, someone (a hostess) will take you right away to your table. If not, no one dies if you just wait by the entrance until you're acknowledged. The worse you can do is after no minute by entering the restaurant door, you start walking around like a headless chicken, looking for 'A' table (usually, the biggest) and even taking a sit on it, just to be kicked off later on, as it can easily be one of someone's else booked table. No no.. just wait. Thank you.
Recap: What is the first thing you do(should do) as soon as you stepped in the restaurant? You wait.
2. Focus on that menu
The moment you were seated and the menu is presented, your next to go move is to watch that menu. Of course you can still steal a kiss from your partner in the meantime, crack a joke with your boss, blow your nose or anything else absolutely necessary but go back to it. That's why is given to you.. and minutes later, taken from you. Use it. Oh, and not just look at it, read it. Please.
3. Order in order
After couple of minutes (more exactly 1 and a half) someone will come to you to get first your drinks order. (Did you looked at the drinks menu?) The idea is to make your mind about what you'd like to order, if needed ask what seems ambigue, but be ready to say what you want ideally in the following order: drinks, starters, mains, desserts. More drinks in between whenever the waiter will interrupt you just to ask if everything is ok. That will also be the moment of any other requests regarding food, toilet (after you looked around already for a toilet signage) so then you can enjoy your meal peacefully and in order. Don't forget to order for yourself...only. Seriously. Unless is absolutely necessary (others can't speak), you order just for you. You're allowed to mention if anything is for sharing, but that's it. Finish your order and let the others order whatever their taste buds want. Might seem as a kindergarten process but it's just polite and removes any other misunderstandings or confusion in that overall table environment. Not even mentioning about the waiter's confusion and irritation.
4. Pay the Service Charge
In the end of your bill a small fee will be added to the total. That is the service charge and even if fragmently it goes in the waiter's wage, has nothing to do with the waiter's tips. Keep them always separately in mind and pochet because even if service charge isn't mandatory to pay, you should do so, out of courtesy and because you didn't prepare, plated your meal and drinks. More services were included into that whole experience for you to have while you just relaxed and enjoyed your time, drinks and food. If the waiter made that whole experience even nicer, or you're just nicer and generous, then you can leave a tip (cash or on card transaction) to the waiter, bartender, chef, hostess, etc.
Exception of the rule and not paying the service charge is absolutely acceptable and reasonable when you didn't have a pleasant experience in that place and moment. Either it's food, treatment, environment.. something below the standard expectations has happened. Then make sure you give your feedback as a reason of why you're not happy with (not paying) the service charge. Your feedback should be taken forward by the waiter/manager and apologies ensured to you if you're absolutely reasonable about that. However, if extra food, services had been provided to you in the meantime as compensation of an unpleasant situation you've experienced, then considerate on paying the service charge at the end of it.
If you split the bill with your friends, you calculate your part (not the waiter) and add part of that service charge too. Don't pretend you forgot about it and just leave it to the last person to pay it. No no. And as a side note, a general, equal rounded split is the most kind and polite.
P.S. No matter if you're in a Michelin Starred restaurant or just your local one, don't complain too much. Keep your standards on a realistic level of expectations reflecting that place and don't forget you can always leave an online review without too much drama.
5. Be sociable and enjoy your social time
Lastly but important for you to remember is that you are in a public space and being nice or at least civil and sociable with everyone there is a key element of having a smooth, enjoyable experience. Keep your speaking volume and eccentric body language at reasonable levels. No one wants to be disturbed by others in a restaurant and don't leave your table as if can be questioned either some kids had been sitting there or just some pink/black animals that live in farms or wildness. Just can't recall the word/name of those animals at the moment. :)
If you knew all of these, or if didn't but you got up to here... well, i' am proud of you. Really.
Did you know?
Now you know.
See you next,