The Etiquette of Dining Out: What You Need to Know

Dining out can be a social occasion, but it's important to know the etiquette. In this blog, we'll share some tips on dining etiquette, helping you navigate the restaurant scene with confidence and grace.

Ah, dining out. It can be one of life's greatest pleasures, especially in Ireland where the food scene is booming. But with great pleasure comes great responsibility – namely, knowing how to behave in a restaurant. Don't worry though, we're here to help. In this blog, we'll share some tips on dining etiquette that will have you dining like a pro in no time.

Dress to Impress (or at least to fit in)

First things first, let's talk about attire. Dressing for a restaurant can vary depending on the establishment, but generally, it's better to err on the side of dressing up a bit. That means no sweatpants or tracksuits, folks. If you're not sure what the dress code is, it's always a good idea to call ahead and ask. And if you're going to a fancy place, don't be afraid to dress up a bit – it's all part of the experience.

Make a Reservation

If you're planning on dining out, it's always a good idea to make a reservation. This is especially true for popular spots or for groups of people. There's nothing worse than showing up and being told there's no room at the inn. Plus, making a reservation shows that you're considerate and organised – two qualities that are always appreciated.

Be On Time

Speaking of being considerate, it's important to be on time for your reservation. Restaurants are busy places, and if you're late, you could be throwing off their entire schedule. If you're running late, it's always a good idea to call ahead and let them know. And if you do end up being late, don't be surprised if your table isn't available when you arrive – they may have given it to someone else.

Wait to Be Seated

When you arrive at the restaurant, don't just charge in and find a table. Wait to be seated by the host or hostess. They'll show you to your table and give you menus. If you're with a group, it's a good idea to let the host know how many people are in your party so they can find a table that's big enough.

Be Polite to the Wait Staff

The wait staff are there to make your dining experience as enjoyable as possible, so it's important to be polite and respectful to them. When they approach your table, make eye contact and smile. If you need something, say "please" and "thank you". And if there's a problem with your meal, don't take it out on them – let them know politely and they'll do their best to fix it.

Know Your Cutlery

One of the most intimidating things about dining out can be the cutlery. There are so many forks and knives and spoons – which ones do you use? The general rule is to start from the outside and work your way in. So, the fork on the far left is for your salad, the next fork is for your main course, and so on. And if you're not sure which one to use, just watch what the other diners are doing.

Pace Yourself

It's important to pace yourself when dining out, especially if you're in a group. Don't order everything at once – start with appetisers and work your way up to the main course. And don't eat too quickly – savour each bite and enjoy the conversation. Plus, if you're dining with friends, you don't want to be the first one finished – that's just rude.

Mind Your Manners

Finally, let's talk about manners. It's important to mind your Ps and Qs when dining out. That means no elbows on the table,no slurping, and no talking with your mouth full. Keep your phone on silent and out of sight, and avoid taking calls or texting during your meal. If you need to use the restroom, excuse yourself from the table and say "please" and "thank you" to the wait staff when they bring your food or drinks. And when it comes time to pay, be sure to thank the person who treated you, or offer to split the bill if you're dining with friends.

In conclusion, dining out can be a wonderful experience, but it's important to remember your manners and be considerate of others. Dress appropriately, make a reservation, be on time, wait to be seated, be polite to the wait staff, know your cutlery, pace yourself, and mind your manners. By following these simple tips, you'll be dining like a pro in no time, impressing your friends and family with your dining etiquette. So go ahead, book that reservation, and enjoy your meal – you've earned it!