Going out to dine is a wonderful experience. You don’t need an occasion, just a frame of mind to be happy and eat out. Everyone likes to dress up well when going out to dine. However, do keep in mind your social manners and be mindful of the hospitality industry. They offer you food with respect and expect reciprocation from you.
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- Wodehouse’s pivotal character in his books, Bertram Wooster, is in this happy habit of dining out often. Clubs, restaurants and hotels; he is a perfect dinner. Many funny and humorous anecdotes are associated with this gentleman over his numerous dinners out.
When we walk into a dining place, it should be with a soft, gentle ‘Hello’ to the user. Wait till he leads you to a table, do not push. Be ready with your ‘thank you’ and ‘please’. Friendly nods will make a great difference in the way they treat you. Do not snap your fingers or make weird noises to attract the waiters. Treat them with respect. Just say – “Excuse me!”
When you waiter arrives, ask, ‘Can I please get some water?’ or ‘Could you please take our order?’ are the normal phrases you should use with a graceful smile.
When you ask for drinks, cocktails or mocktails, you should request, say ‘could you please help me with an apple juice?’ This is appreciated by the hotel fraternity. After you finish your starters, you could ask – What do you have in the main course? You may specify the kind of cuisine you prefer. Never be rude or arrogant. Avoid making noise while eating or speaking in a loud voice. Be pleasant, enjoy your meal. Someone else is cooking and serving you, even if you are paying for it. Good manners are always acceptable, keep them with you.
When you have finished dining, a request to remove the dishes is a good move. You may say – Could you please clear the table? Or could you get the finger bowl? Towards the end of your dinner, politely ask – May I please get the bill? You will be regarded as a valued customer and get deferential treatment next time. Thank them for the meal and service. Smile and have a nice word or conversation with them. If you liked the meal, appreciate them. You could say – “The food was delicious. We enjoyed the meal.”
It’s great fun to dine out, and it becomes a delightful experience if you use all the proper words with propriety.