When making plans with friends, dining out is always at the top of our list. There's nothing better than being waited on at the end of a long day and sitting back with a delicious meal you didn't have to make (and a yummy cocktail to boot). However, if you've ever worked in the service industry, you'll know that a restaurant is not always an idyllic scene of relaxation behind the scenes. If you want to stay on your server's good side, there are a few unwritten restaurant rules you should know about, as outlined by Matt Lynch and Wil Fulton for Thrillist.
The dedicated pair has taken the time to list out all the dining faux pas that drive restauranteurs crazy (you're probably guilty of at least one). Between trying to find room to seat guests during a rush and balancing hot plates while impatient diners ask for the check, restaurant employees have a tough job, and there's so much they wish their customers knew. Are you following these dining etiquette tips? Read on to find out.
1. If you make a reservation, show up on time, or call ahead to let the host know you'll be late or won't make it.
2. If you're on a date, don't sit on the same side of the booth (and limit the PDA).
3. It's tempting to bring kids along to a dinner out, but if they're unable to sit through a meal without throwing a tantrum, consider calling a sitter.
4. Be wary of splitting the check between everyone at a large party (that's what Venmo was made for).
5. Instead of sending food back because you didn't understand what you were ordering, ask questions ahead of time if you're unsure of an ingredient.
6. If the kitchen makes a mistake on your order, try not to take it out on your server.
7. If the restaurant is packed, make an effort not to linger after you've paid the check.
8. Give a generous tip even if the food is inexpensive (your server had to wait on you just the same).
9. Be mindful of what time a restaurant closes. Showing up right before closing time and expecting to be served a full meal will not be well-received.