When I was little, I used to hear a lot of comments from my mother. Don’t put your elbows on top of the table or don’t make sounds when you chew your food. I heard less and less of these reminders as I grew older. It was probably because my mom knew that I already knew what was proper and what was not.

Eating at a restaurant may be a simple thing to do. You go in, order from the menu, wait for the food, eat, pay the bill and get out. But sometimes, we forget simple etiquette when eating in a restaurant. I’m making this article as a refresher course for myself, but I hope that people also benefit from this article.
Table Setting

Here are some tips and reminders for all of us when dining in a restaurant.

a. When making reservations in a restaurant, please do specify the exact time, the number of people in your party (party means your group or the people that you are going with), and if you’d wish to be seated in the smoking or non-smoking area.

b. Please do arrive at least 15 minutes before the time of your reservation. If you’re arriving late, please do call the restaurant and tell them in advance.

c. Upon choosing your seat, grab the table napkin and place it on your lap.

d. If you need to go to the restroom, kindly fold your napkin and place it on top of the table on either side of the plate. Don’t leave it on your seat. I’m actually guilty of this.

e. When food is served, remember to wait until all guests have been served and the ‘host’ of the party starts eating before eating. If the host says go ahead (and insists), then that’s when you can start.

f. I always get confused on what glass is mine so here’s a tip: any glass to the right is yours, and any bread plate to the left is yours.

g. Usually, when there is a lot of silverware on the table, start with the one that is farthest from your plate.

h. Try and be courteous even to your servers. I have seen a lot of people who forget this basic rule.

i. If something untoward happens (like a fly on your soup or burnt dishes), stay calm and ask for your dish to be changed. You don’t need to shout right away!

j. Parents, please ask your kids to be in their best behavior while eating in a restaurant. Some of the customers in the restaurant may not appreciate having kids running around.

k. Tips in the Philippines are usually at Php 20-whatever amount depending on the level of service. If you dine in a simple restaurant, a tip of Php 20-50 is enough. When dining in a fancy restaurant, a tip of Php 100 minimum is already good.

l. Try to not to text or call anyone. If you really have to, excuse yourself from the table and take the call.

These are just some of the tips that I thought of. Do you have anything that you would like to add or ask?

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About The Author

Ginger is the General Manager of ManilaWorkshops.com. She is also the co-founder of a tech start-up company called Turn Up Trumps, Inc. She is a business coach and has her own program called Love the Leap. She has been a blogger since 2005, writing for MommyGinger.com, ManilaFitness.com and ManilaReviews.com. She graduated MA in Communications Major in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific. She worked as an account executive for a couple of ad agencies. She also managed a food franchise store. Her longest corporate stint was as a product manager for a known bank in the Philippines.

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