Dinner etiquette is a great way to show respect for not only yourself, but for other patrons, and the establishment that you are eating in. Displaying table manners is a sure sign that you are a person who is courteous and values customs. There are several ways to use dinner etiquette, and we’ve compiled a few things to consider before dining out. Once you’ve read over these tips, practice your dinner etiquette at Bistro 750, the premier Mediterranean restaurant in Chicago.

Before Dining

Before arriving at a restaurant, you’ll want to make reservations. Especially if the restaurant is popular and usually very busy. Our tip for this is to reserve your table a few weeks or days in advance. If you must cancel your reservation, then do so as far in advance as possible to be courteous to the restaurant, staff, and other guests. When running late, be sure to notify the establishment if you know it will be more than 15 minutes. This is also important to note because many restaurants charge a fee for late arrivals or no-shows.

During The Meal

After you’ve made the reservation and arrive at the restaurant, here’s where most of the actual etiquette comes in. In fact, here are a couple of dining etiquette DO’s and DON’Ts to remember when dining out.

DO:

  • Wear appropriate attire.
  • Place your napkin on your lap.
  • Wait until everyone in your party is served to begin eating.
  • Pass the food from left to right.
  • Eat a little of everything on your plate.
  • Make light conversation.
  • Pace your eating so that you do not finish before others are halfway through their meals.
  • Hold your wine glass by the stem.

DON’T:

  • Talk with food in your mouth.
  • Use your cell phone.
  • Slouch or display other bad posture and body language.
  • Yell across the restaurant to wait staff.
  • Reach across the table.
  • Make loud burping noises.
  • Blow on your food to cool it down.
  • Use a toothpick at the table.

After Dining

Once you’ve finished your meal, set your utensils on your plate in a 4:20 position to indicate that you’re done eating. Furthermore, as a courteous restaurant patron, you may think you’re being helpful to your server when you begin stacking your plates or push them aside, but this is actually a task you should not be doing. Leave them where they are, and the wait staff will be there to get them shortly. Additionally, when dining with a party of six or more, expect that everyone will split the bill. However, in larger parties, be sure to ask for a separate check beforehand. And finally, tip your wait staff accordingly and thank them for their service.

For your next dinner restaurant outing in Wrigleyville, practice these etiquette tips for an exceptional dining experience.