I do love food but I’m honest in saying that I’m a total and utter newbie at fine dining because it isn’t my type of thing. Really, I’m the type of person who prefers to uphold frugality and homeliness when dining out. The no judgement gym philosophy – you’re there to do the task and not to look hot.
With this newly acknowledged rookie fine dining status of mine, I want to share with those who, like me, are the opposite of posh and the newly acquired big spenders, the general etiquette that comes with your first shi-shi dining experience (and also may a deity have mercy on your credit card debt you big spender!).
You’ll thank me after you’ve gone the whole night without embarrassing yourself in front of all the rich people who dine at these places on a regular and have that ‘one moment’ etched in your memory for the rest of your life.
- Wear a nice shirt and trousers or dress and appropriate shoes
- Confidently ask to be seated for your reservation time
- Walk slowly through the restaurant if you cannot see – this is what I did because of the serious lack of lighting or abundance of atmosphere in the restaurant I visited, depending on how you saw it
- Let the server seat you
- Wait patiently for the servers to place the napkin over your lap, take your order, fill your water and clean away plates
- Hold polite and pleasant small chatter with the servers about your questions or requirements for the dish, if any – because if you don’t fake laugh it off, asking for all those things is annoying
- Ask the servers to take pictures for commemoration because they’re glad to take them
- Wear thongs or sandals and dirty clothing
- Rock up late and decide to barge your way through the restaurant to look for your dining companions
- Awkwardly try to seat yourself by scooting the chair forward with your arms and bum
- Raise your hand or yell to get the attention of a server
- Interrupt the server if they are busy serving another table
- Eat with your hands unless it is required by the food (like bread or some seafood)
- Pretend it’s a photo shoot, foodporn or Instagram opportunity and use your flash photography to disturb other diners in the romantic ambience
Good luck on your first fine dining experience! You might just need it haha.
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