[an error occurred while processing this directive] Restaurant Etiquette: 3 Tips To Help You Mind Your Dining Manners - Steven and Chris

Restaurant Etiquette: 3 Tips To Help You Mind Your Dining Manners

Restaurant meals can be fraught with all kinds of etiquette quandaries: who should pay? How do you split the bill? Is it all right to snap smartphone photos at the table? Etiquette expert Louise Fox has three tips to help you mind your manners when you're out for dinner.

Smartphone on a dining table

1. If you invite, you should pay

Generally speaking, if you extended the invitation, you should also be the one paying. There are exceptions, of course: if you're a couple of old friends talking over old times, and you've agreed up front to split the cheque, then by all means do so. But in general: you make the plan, you pay. If you're the guest, ask the host what they would recommend on the menu. That'll give you the approximate price range your host finds acceptable.

2. Set up the split

If you're in a group, decide how the bill will be handled before you place your order. Determine if your group will be using credit cards, and whether you should get separate cheques (it's considerate to let your server know this beforehand). And always remember: if you end up having to put a bit extra in to cover someone else's dessert or drink, is a few dollars worth jeopardizing a friendship over?

3. Use common tech sense!

When it comes to gadgets at dinner, use your social intelligence: in some situations, selfies or photos may be acceptable and in others not. Ask yourself how this behaviour may affect other people, and whether this will be annoying or distracting to other guests. In a high-end restaurant, ask the server or maître d' whether photos are allowed. Some chefs don't like you taking pictures of your meal because food photography is an art in itself and your photo may not do the food justice.


Also on CBC