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The 35 things you should never, ever do at a restaurant

How many are you guilty of?

The 35 things you should never, ever do at a restaurant
Tom Victor
25 August 2017

Eating out can be an absolute minefield.

Do you get the soup or the salad? The fish or the chicken? The pasta or the pizza? Where does it end?!

No, wait, it’s really easy. You just show up, sit at your table, order your food, eat your meal and pay your bill when you’ve finished.

Seriously, how can you get ‘going out for dinner’ wrong? A lot of ways, apparently.

Hospitality software company Fourth has documented the top 35 restaurant faux pas, and it feels to us like some are a lot more inexcusable than others.

Not leaving a tip? Fine, there’s a good chance you’re a dick, Mr Pink or both. But asking if something is gluten or dairy free?

Guess it’s better to stay silent and have a reaction to food you can’t eat, rather than committing a faux pas. Apparently.

The list seems to be half common sense and half ‘haha you commoners don’t know proper fine dining etiquette’ but hey, what do we know?

I mean we only found out this week that ‘napkin’ is posh and ‘serviette’ is working class, so don’t listen to us.

Anyway, here’s the list.

If you’ve done all 35 of these then you’re probably a bad person, but if you’ve never done a single one that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear.

1. Clicking your fingers for the waiter’s attention – yeah, fair enough here, stop being a dick

2. Talking with your mouth full – bad in private, let alone in public

3. Being too loud and raucous – bit vague, innit?

4. Wiping hands on the tablecloth – I mean yeah, fine, but there are bigger issues at hand

5. Blowing your nose in a napkin – it could just be an innocent mistake

6. Letting children come and go as they please from the table – ban children altogether, surely

7. Licking a knife – this just sounds like a euphemism. Not sure what for

8. Letting children listen to videos on a phone – see #6

9. Texting at the table – what about texting your French mate to find out what one of those fancy menu items is?

10. Answering / making a phone call – why not go one further. Don’t even speak to the other people at your table

11. Letting your children play with cutlery and condiments – again, see #6

12. Touching up make-up at the table – there are worse crimes, surely

13. Asking for a toothpick and removing food from your teeth at the table – better to hide under the table and pretend it’s a fort and remove the food there

14. Placing your phone on the table next to you – fair enough, are the two seconds from pocket to table really going to make that much of a difference

15. Not leaving a tip – yeah, we’ve been over this

16. Blowing on hot food too loudly – or at all, really

17. Taking a picture of your meal – hey, that Klout score won’t maintain itself

18. Not sharing a ‘sharing platter’ and eating more than your fair share – ban sharing full stop

19. Asking for ketchup / mayo in a fine dining restaurant – that’s Mr President to you

20. Flirting with the waiter / waitress – they’re at work, that’s not cool

21. Tucking your napkin in your collar – people do this?

22. Holding a knife like a pencil – I see you’ve played knifey-pencilly before

23. Scooping out the ice from your drink with your fingers – not just rude but stupid

24. Holding a knife and fork in the wrong hands – ban left-handed people from restaurants, I reckon. It’s probably for the best

25. Paying your EXACT share when splitting the bill – refusing to pay £50 when you’ve just had a starter: fine. Haggling between £28.60 and £29: come on

26. Going outside to smoke – not our fault they banned smoking inside

27. Pouring white wine in a glass that was being used for red – how else are you meant to get the stain out?

28. Downing a drink as soon as it arrives – especially if it’s a black coffee

29. Using the wrong cutlery for the course – a fork’s a fork, surely?

30. Making a signing gesture for the bill – make a chip and pin gesture, idiot

31. Moving around chairs and tables to accommodate your party – yeah, don’t do this

32. Ordering a fussy meal (no chips, no dressing etc.) – how dare people have personal preferences

33. Mispronouncing the name of a dish – haha, get a load of this tool, they’re called McNuggets not Nuggets

34. Asking for a knife and fork because you can’t use chopsticks – why not just dip your whole face into the bowl like a pig with a trough

35. Asking if a meal is vegan, dairy free, gluten free etc – just have your allergic reaction and get on with your life. Jesus, why are people so picky?