Restaurant Etiquette: How to Dine Out Like a Gentleman

Restaurant Etiquette 101:

Table Manners 101:

***Special Thanks to Manny's Steakhouse for allowing Gentleman's Gazette to use your space for this project! Check them out, here:
Thanks also to our server, Patrick Warden, for a superb dining experience.

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Today, we talk about restaurant etiquette or how to dine out like a gentleman without embarrassing yourself or committing any faux pas. Restaurant dining presents an interesting human dynamic similar to flying in an airplane, you're in a public space and you have to behave in a way so others around you are comfortable and you are, too. Also, dining in a restaurant represents a lot of a person's etiquette and social skills and because of that, it's very popular with employers to take potential employees or key leadership people out to a restaurant to see how they behave. So without further ado, let's walk through the essential restaurant etiquette that you can apply for business dinner, celebrations, events, or dates. Before you even step inside the restaurant, there are a few things to consider beforehand.

Rule number 1, make sure you can afford it so you don't stretch yourselves too thin, financially. Eating out isn't cheap, especially in a group situation, it can be sometimes awkward to split bills or come up with something so just going to a restaurant with a mindset of ordering water and the cheapest appetizers won't always work.

Also, if you've specific food preferences like gluten-free or if you're allergic to seafood or anything else, make sure the restaurant can accommodate that because having a long ordeal with the waiter isn't the best solution. Most importantly, make a reservation. It's the easiest way to skip a line. If the restaurant doesn't accept the reservation, it's maybe not the best place to go out for a business dinner or a date because it's completely embarrassing to wait with a business guest or a date and you have zero control about how long it's gonna take or not.

Now, in a restaurant, there are typically a few modifications. First of all, while at a private home, the silverware for the entire meal will be laid out on the table, that's not the case at a restaurant. Typically, servers bring you the appropriate silverware for your course, maybe the spoon for the soup or a steak knife for the meat. If there is a lot of silverware on the table, it means you start from the outside and work your way in. Also in the US, you will often find two forks and one knife; that means they'll bring you another knife for your main course or sometimes they want you to reuse your knife. Personally, I always like to have new utensil for every course so I don't mix any flavors. If you need more silverware, simply ask, they are always happy to accommodate you.

If you travel abroad, try to understand a tipping culture. In Germany, it's okay to round up and more is not expected. In Japan, it's downright rude and people won't accept your tip even if you offered it to them. Once you've paid, depart in a reasonable amount of time. In the US, typically, restaurants have multiple seatings a night so I would say 30 minutes after you paid is a good time to leave. If they're not busy and there are many open tables, you can stay as long as you want.
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