Food & Nutrition

15 Things Polite People Don’t Do in Restaurants

You’re not actually being that helpful when you reach for the mound of plates the server is holding.

What diners shouldn’t do

dinner table

Dining out at a restaurant is often a special occasion and a way to “treat yourself,” but that doesn’t mean you can act however you want—far from it. Along with the table etiquette mistakes you need to stop making, here are some all-too-common behaviors that etiquette experts, as well as restaurant workers and patrons, agree actually have no place in restaurants.

Disturbing other diners

restaurant overviewMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

No, a restaurant is not a library; of course it’s acceptable to laugh and talk, and plenty of more casual restaurants can even be on the noisy side. But you and your party are not the only ones in the establishment. If you’re all but yelling or being rowdy, you’re not being respectful of other diners. Another behavior that restaurant workers and patrons alike say is all too common is when parents let their children run around the restaurant and bother other diners. There are playgrounds, museums, and backyards for that.

Restaurant patron Antoinette Kuritz remembers one time in particular when she was dining at a La Jolla, California restaurant. “A family of about eight or ten people arrived and were seated at a table in the middle of the room,” she says. “The adults proceeded to converse loudly as the children ran through the room playing tag.” She told that management was alerted, but did nothing. “Once home, I called the restaurant and told them how good the food was, how great the service was, and why I would neither frequent nor recommend their establishment again,” she remembers.

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