At this point, we've spilled the beans on what your sommelier, your server, your bartender, your pastry chef, and your hostess really don't you want to do. And while those service industry professionals are entitled to rant and rave about the day-to-day dilemma that is serving food and beverage to the general public, there's another group that deserves to put in their two cents: us.
We are the general public. The patrons who put up with your public shenanigans, at the bar, in the booth, and sitting just across from you. So here they are, the 10 things other restaurant patrons would like you to stop doing.
Don't get us wrong. Babies are adorable. Who else is cute enough to rock a bald patch on the head, a formula gut, and applesauce on the face? But when it comes to caring for your baby in the public arena, we draw the line just after breastfeeding and well before changing their diaper. We understand that babies can't help shitting where they eat, but you can certainly make the common sense decision to not change said shit at the table.
Don't spit that out.
Bad taste in your mouth? Piece of steak too fatty? We understand that eating out can sometimes feel like playing Russian Roulette with your taste buds, but if you find yourself in one of the finer dinning establishments try to refrain from spitting that food out at the table, especially if it's into a cloth napkin. Do what everyone else does when a piece of food or a particular dinner guest leaves a bad taste in their mouth: politely excuse yourself and head to the bathroom.
The fork goes in your mouth and nowhere else.
Every utensil has its intended purpose. Knives are for cutting. Spoons are for scooping. And forks are for guiding unruly pieces of food into your mouth. That's it. Sure the fork could technically be used for other things: combing your hair, scratching your back, getting small pieces of good lodge out of nails and teeth... But please, please, refrain from doing this. The horrified guests at your table will thank you.
It's rude enough that your own party has to put up with your texting, checking your email, and playing games on your smartphone at the table. But you when you begin having very loud, and thus very public, conversations on said phone, the rest of the restaurant begins to plot your ejection from this establishment.
You can pick your friends, you can pick a rose....
Just don't pick anything else. In the realm of eating this especially applies to your teeth. Of course no one feels comfortable continuing a date with a sliver of spinach or a kernel of corn lodged in their pearly whites but trust us, your date will be even more turned off if your try to remove it manually at the table. Take a page from Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman and carry a piece of floss in your pocket or purse, then remove it in the bathroom.
Don't blow it.
Suffering from allergies? Just coming off a cold? We get it. If you're not really contagious there's no reason to quarantine yourself. However, there's also no reason to blow your face trumpet at the table for all to hear. It's a mood killer, an appetite killer, and it really kills the chance of impressing anyone at the table with you dinner etiquette. Remember, bathrooms aren't just for hand washing and urinating. They're for relieving your body of any unwanted substances you'd rather not display at the able.
Stop raising hairs.
Long hair, don't care. Scratch that, we do care. We care when it gets on the table, in our food, on the floors, and all the other magical places that hair can float to. Grooming is an act best reserved for bedrooms, bathrooms -- really anywhere but the kitchen and the dinning room. Don't pull out a bush half way between courses to tame those silky locks at the table. If it's bothering you so much put it back in a hair tie or throw in a headband. Just don't make it rain mane while we're trying to eat.
We've seen people maintaing their manicures at dinning establishments more than we care to count: from filing them down, to touching up paint, and worst of all, clipping them. Is your day so busy that you couldn't possibly find another time to do that? Is your date so boring that you must resort to trimming your cuticles mid-meal? Whatever the case, the patrons around you are convinced your everyday activities could use some re-prioritizing.
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While the case of bringing your dog out to dinner is up for debate, we think most people can agree that lines need to be drawn in the animal kingdom. A well-behaved pug on the patio? Socially acceptable. A parrot on the shoulder? Not so much, Long John Silver. Generally, if you own anything in the category of rodent, reptile, or bird, it's best to leave those much-loved critters at home. That is, unless you enjoy dinning amongst a sea of strangers' stink eyes.
No shirt, no shoes, no service.
Sadly this rule gets bent heavily in the hotel environment. While some guests are there to kick back, relax, and not put on pants, other patrons of that 5 star restaurant are just there to enjoy a classy meal out on the town; in other words, no swim trunks or bikini bottoms. Sure, you're on vacation but just remember, at the end of the day when you're putting bare feet up on the restaurant table, this is not your new home. Cut it out.