Dining etiquette tips everyone will appreciate!
At Ovation, we have a deep and abiding love for all things related to- food! In celebration, we've declared this week Restaurant Week on the Ovation Blog. Here are some thoughts to get the (meat)ball rolling (Sorry, we couldn't resist!):
There is an old adage that says, “If you want to see a person’s real character, see how they treat the waiter.” It holds true time and time again. People who dole out their kindness and respect based solely upon where they perceive another person falls on the spectrum of "status" give you a window into their true selves- insincere and ego driven are words that may come to mind. On the contrary, people who treat the waitstaff with kindness, civility, and respect show you that they are leaders who hold these qualities in high regard. Always be a leader (we know you are!) by remembering a few things that will make you a star customer:
1) As with anything else, ALWAYS say “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome”: It sounds elementary, but in a restaurant setting it’s often forgotten. Just because they call it the service industry doesn’t mean the people involved are your personal servants. It means they are performing a service FOR you, and you should acknowledge that verbally.
2) Eye contact!: Again, we say it often, but it’s worth repeating. How many people do you know that can’t be bothered to even LOOK at the waitperson when their food arrives? Or who stare at their Blackberry during an entire meal? Or who can’t bear to stop talking and look at the waiter? It only takes a moment to pause what you are doing, make eye contact, and then say “thanks”, make a request, or ask for something. (While we’re at it, your barista at Starbucks? Why not try this with them, too?)
3) Realize that a little patience goes a long way: Even though the waitress is the point person at your table, the delay in the food, the confusion in your order, or the strange taste of your dish is most often not her fault. Your patience and civility will get any issue resolved faster and more effectively than being the diner who throws a fit. Be honest- you still have the right to speak up if something is wrong. But approach an unpleasant situation with calm and civility, and if necessary ask to speak to a manager.
4) Tipping: This is always a touchy subject. Here’s how we see it. By now it is no secret that most waitstaff are paid a very small amount in shift pay- tips pay make up the difference. So, contrary to popular belief, tips aren’t a nice addition to their salary- they ARE their salary. Yes, you have the right to tip according to how you feel the service was, but next time you’re out, ask yourself this question: “Did anything happen during this meal that warrants this person not receiving a paycheck at all?” Then imagine what it would be like if you were docked every time you made a small mistake. Then tip accordingly.