9 March 2017

The customer is NOT always right

Especially if they can’t behave properly: here is a guide on how to behave properly in a restaurant!

Monday I published an article “The key to a restaurant’s success”, and now I’ll try and judge things from the other side of the table and think with the eyes of who patiently respects the rules of bon-ton but often has to put up with a little too much.

When I was little more than a teenager, I often worked part-time in a restaurant or two, and I can assure you that it’s not an easy job, because people are often unkind and bad mannered.

Even when I talk to the owners, I noticed that the arrogant and rude client is always in fashion.

The concept of “I pay and so I can do what I want” is a black hole you don’t want to go near…

There are few simple rules, like respecting other people’s work, but mostly good manners.

So if the owners and workers on a restaurant must try their best to make you feel a VIP by offering a once in a lifetime experience, it’s also true that we need to know how to behave.

You might take for granted a few things, but I think you should read this little guide.

I’ll try to be brief and summarize it all in few simple suggestions:

  • Book for the right number of people, never book for 4 and show up in 10, or never book for 10 and show up in 4.
  • If you book a table but can’t make the reservation, remember to always call to cancel
  • If you’re organizing a party and would like something special, call beforehand to let them know that you want to bring a large cake, or baloons and trumpets, instead of just showing up with it all.
  • Listen carefully when the menu is explained, without having them repeat it 10 times
  • Don’t stay long after closing hours, or at least don’t keep the table occupied for two more hours after having payed the bill
  • If you’re offered an after-dinner drink, it’s best to have just a glass and not finish the entire bottle
  • Asking for a variation in every dish; it can happen once but the entire menu can’t be custom made for you
  • Address the waiter with good manners, without making jokes or constant faces, if it’s a good-looking woman any comment is forbidden
  • Call to the waiter in a kind way
  • Any allergies or intolerances should be explained when you book the table, not when you’re ordering
  • Don’t play with food
  • Don’t screech, laugh like a hyena or keep goggling at your neighbour’s food.
  • Don’t leave the table in a terrible mess
  • Pass your plate (it’s not in proper etiquette I know); when you’re in a busy restaurant, tucked into a corner the waiter can’t get to, it would be nice to pass your empty plate (with the cutlery on top)
  • If you must pick a fight, wait to be at home, the restaurant is not the right place!
  • If there is something you are not happy with tell the staff straight away, they’ll try to help you out or they’ll do their best to fix things: don’t wait to get home and write about it on Trip Advisor, it’s not elegant!
  • If our children are with us, let’s try not to set them on a made screaming rampage through the whole restaurant, it’s not a playground
  • Your phone should be used in the right measure, the ringtone should be turned off and if you really need to take a call you should step outside
  • Try not to be too strict when splitting the bill to the cent
  • A small tip is always nice; it’s not only for when you’re abroad…
  • But especially: watching Masterchef or similar programs does not make us JUDGES, FOOD AND WINE EXPERTS OR EXPERT CRITICS


We are clients, but this does not give us the right to behave however we wish, good manners should come from both sides!

Let’s not forget, we’re people and we should “Do to all men as we wish they should do unto us.”

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