Dining Etiquette – Entertaining Guests at a Restaurant

When entertaining guests at a restaurant, it is the responsibility of the host or hostess to make his or her guests feel comfortable. This is especially important when the guests are visiting a restaurant for the first time.

A few helpful tips to help your guests enjoy their dining experience to the fullest:

1. Always give the best seat at the table to your guest. This is usually the seat with the best view.

2. You may offer suggestions to your guests about the menu. For example, “This restaurant is known for its fabulous lamb chops” or “I’ve heard the pear salad is delicious”.

3. If the menu is in a smorgasbord style, you may offer a brief explanation about the menu. For example, an Italian restaurant may offer a variety of pastas with a choice of sauce and a variety of meat choices. You may offer an example of what you have ordered and enjoyed and how the meals are prepared to order. It is helpful to include the portion size of the menu items if known. I know I cannot finish an appetizer, salad, and entree if the portions are too large.

4. You may want to ask your guest what they plan to order before the server arrives to take the order. This allows you to match your selections with theirs. If they are having an appetizer, you may choose to order one as well.

5. If your guest plans to place an obscure order, you may want to make sure they understand what they will receive. For example, “I’ve made the error of ordering too many meats with my pasta in the past. I’ve learned they will give you the full portion size of each meat rather than giving you small samples of each selection. Is that what you were planning on?”

6. Make sure the server knows who to give the check to in advance. Better yet, if you have an account with the restaurant, have it charged to your account.

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