Dining Out Guide

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By Cindy Edwards

When I was a child, eating in a restaurant was a treat reserved for weekends or special events.  Today, more and more people eat out on a regular basis. Regardless of whether you dine out frequently or rarely, a restaurant is the perfect place to practice your best manners.

1. Be kind to your waiter.  Use “please” and “thank you” to acknowledge your server’s help. Do not be demanding to your server and do not ask any personal questions.  Remember, by showing respect, you also gain it.

2. Control the noise level at your table; there are others dining around you.

3. Try not to stare around the restaurant:  Your attention should be focused on those at your table and their conversations. 

4. When entering and leaving a restaurant, do not “visit” too long with acquaintances at surrounding tables.  They are trying to enjoy their dinners, and a long interruption can be annoying.

5. Know the dress code of the dining establishment and follow it.

6. Wait until the waiter serves everyone at your table before beginning to eat. Should there be an unusual delay in food service, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to suggest that other diners begin so that their meals do not get cold.

7. It is totally unacceptable to use a toothpick at the table or in public. Please solve this problem in private.

8. If you leave the table, excuse yourself. An explanation is not necessary.

9. Good posture at the table is a must: Sit up straight and keep your elbows off the table.

10. Once you pick up a piece of silverware, place it on your
plate. Never put it back on the table.

11. Do not move a plate out of the way or hand it to the server
when you have finished. It is the waiter’s job to remove the dishes.

Remember, good manners are just common sense. Whether you are at home or out, practicing everyday courtesies will make every dining experience positive and enriching. If you follow basic dining etiquette at home, you and your family will be totally prepared for any restaurant experience.

Again, thanks for reading.

Properly yours,
Cindy

Cindy Edwards embodies everything pretty, perky and proper about the South. She's a wife, mother, volunteer and freelance writer. Cindy volunteers enough hours to exhaust most by serving on the Board of Trustees for the Telfair Museums, the Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors and the University of Georgia Honors Advisory Board. She has also served on the Boards of the March of Dimes and Young Life Savannah. Cindy has been married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Joe Edwards III, for 25 years and is the proud mother of two sons: Joe IV, a senior at the University of Georgia, and Jack, a freshman at Ole Miss. No matter how busy, Cindy always makes time for a competitive game of bridge.
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Reader Comments:

54321

SHould be posted in every restaurant! And a copy handed to patrons who fail, upon their leaving - especially those with children who do not set a good example!

By Jayne on October 09, 2012

54321

i like your recipes

By kierra burch on October 01, 2012

54321

Cindy, Do you have any advice on dining out with clients or for interviews. What do you order that is easy to eat and what do you do when someone asks you a question and your mouth is full. I often find that I am at a loss to converse and try to eat at the same time. Thanks. Louise

By Louise Lauretti on September 14, 2012

54321

Love the article! Great information I cannot wait to share this. It should be posted in every menu!

By Lenora on September 01, 2012

54321

I love your article on dining manners! The simple list of table manners is easy to read and should be posted on every family's refrigerator for a quick reference guide! Thank you so much for always giving me such great information.

By Taylor on August 31, 2012

54321

What an incredible job you did on your "Dining Out Guide!" I love the fact that you simply listed proper etiquette rules in a manner in which everyone can understand and follow! Way to go! Keep up your excellent work! Thank you, thank you!!!

By Marci on August 31, 2012

54321

CINDY EDWARDS: THANK YOU FOR THE RESTAURANT MANNERS "RULES OF THE ROAD" GUIDE. IT HAS BEEN COPIED AND SAVED IN MY FAVORITES ON MY PC! WHEN AN EVENT OR OCCASION OCCURS, I HAVE MY "RULES" READY TO GO! AWESOME WRITING AND GREAT IDEAS FOR THE CHILDREN, TOO, DINING AT "ANY" TABLE!! TAKE CARE. MARIA SCHARALDI MOTO.MARIA@YAHOO.COM

By MARIA on August 22, 2012

54321

Great article on dining. We travel a lot and that will be every helpful to us. Keep the articles coming.

By Anonymous on August 21, 2012

54321

Your article on dining out was very informative. All of your articles are very timely and interesting. Keep up the good work.

By Anonymous on August 21, 2012

54321

This blog is an excellent review of table manners. Praticing good table manners at home will definitely make dining in a restautant more enjoyable. Thanks cindy for another great blog.

By Ann on August 21, 2012

54321

Just came across your blog. LOVED IT!!! Coming from a city with great restaurant choices, loved the info. I passed it along to my daughter, a freshman in college to share with her sorority sisters. Young people need to be reminded of what "good manners" look like. Thanks! Susan Pope, Durham NC

By Susan Pope on August 21, 2012

54321

Cindy, WOW! ALL of these guidlines for eating out are awesome. Each one is so important. I too remember as a child, eating out was for a very special occasion. How times have changed... thanks for your great article! Great pics of you 2 too!:) Susan

By Susan on August 18, 2012

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm