Huge Mistakes Everyone Makes At Fancy Restaurants

Huge Mistakes Everyone Makes At Fancy Restaurants


A fancy restaurant is probably in your near
future if you’ve got big dinner plans for an anniversary coming up or you just want
to have a night out somewhere without paper napkins. But even if you think you know what you’re
doing, there are mistakes you’re probably making at these upscale establishments. “Wrong glass, sir.” If you want to go to your favorite diner,
order a pork chop, and bathe it in ketchup, that’s your prerogative. For that matter, it’s your prerogative to
eat the food you want any way you want to. But let’s be clear: If you go to an upscale
restaurant, order a gourmet dish, and then ask for a run-of-the-mill condiment, you’re
going to earn the ire of the chef. In 2017, The Independent picked the brains
of top chefs to determine some of their biggest diner-related pet peeves. Not surprisingly, taking liberties with condiments
or other seasonings turned out to be a repeat offender. According to Helena Puolakka, the executive
chef at London’s Nordic-French restaurant Aster, diners should never ask for Tabasco
in a fine dining restaurant. Puolakka insists it’s, quote, “blasphemy.” “[Speaking French] and also some [more French],
and [even more French].” “Mm.” Richard Bainbridge, chef and proprietor of
British restaurant Benedicts, also had a proverbial bone to pick with patrons not trusting chefs
to properly season and sauce their food, saying, “The worst thing a diner can do is put salt
and pepper on their food before they have even tried it. Seasoning is individual to palate but they
could at least give it a go first.” Bottom line? If a dish’s seasoning just isn’t hitting the
spot for some reason, let the chef know so they can meet your expectations and their
own. Figuring out what to do with the fancy linen
napkin at a fine dining restaurant can be surprisingly perplexing. Napkin etiquette is totally a thing, and you’re
probably defying at least one or two tenets of it. “You’re eating a hand towel.” Etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore explained
the basics to Forbes in 2013, “The basic rule: put it in your lap and don’t
leave it on the table. A large napkin is folded in half with the
fold facing the waistline, while a smaller napkin is opened completely. In upscale restaurants, a server may drape
the napkin on your lap.” If you need to excuse yourself for any reason
during the meal, Whitmore says there’s another napkin rule you must follow. “If you leave the table during a meal, place
your napkin, loosely folded, on the seat of your chair.” Just about everyone has probably accidentally
slipped their elbows onto the dinner table at some point. Still, just because we all do it doesn’t mean
it’s considered entirely acceptable. Maralee McKee “America’s modern manners and
etiquette expert” says on her Manners Mentor blog that putting your elbows on the table
is, as your mother likely taught you, frowned upon in a fine dining environment. She added, “Plus, when your elbows are off the table,
you’re sitting up straighter. Research has shown again and again that the
taller you sit (or stand), the more people pay attention to you and place additional
authority and value into what you’re saying.” There are other practical reasons to keep
those elbows by your side, too. If you’re leaning so far into a conversation
that your elbows are on the table, it’ll make it that much more likely that you’ll knock
something over, another serious no-no in a fine dining setting. When you’re hungry and a server sets down
heaven in a bowl in front of you, it’s totally understandable if you get a little overzealous
in eating it. But one thing you should definitely avoid? Slurping. The Etiquette Scholar blog explains proper
soup-eating technique, advising, “Hold the soup spoon by resting the end of
the handle on your middle finger, with your thumb on top. Dip the spoon sideways into the soup at the
near edge of the bowl, then skim from the front of the bowl to the back. Sip from the side of the spoon, avoid improper
table manners and do not slurp.” Proper soup-eating etiquette doesn’t end when
the soup does. When the last drop is gone which you finished
using your spoon, not by lifting the bowl to your mouth, make sure you don’t set your
spoon down on the table. It should instead be placed inside of your
now-empty bowl. Oh, those pesky rules of silverware! Are they really that important? Well, they are when you’re at a fine dining
establishment. Fancy restaurants do go through all the trouble
of setting out the whole array of utensils, after all. If you’ve never really been confident in your
ability to navigate a formal place setting, have no fear all you need to do is remember
a few key components. The easiest rule to remember, according to
What’s Cooking America, is this: “Use the silverware farthest from your plate
first. Starting with the knife, fork, or spoon that
is farthest from your plate, work your way in, using one utensil for each course.” Basically, that means your salad fork will
be the one on your outermost left, with the dinner fork next to it. On the outermost right is your soup spoon,
preceded by your teaspoon and then, closest to the plate, your dinner knife. It might not seem like a huge deal to cancel
reservations. Sometimes life happens and skipping out is
unavoidable. Still, you should always give the restaurant
a heads up in the event something prevents you from keeping your allotted dining time. Scott Jampol, OpenTable’s Senior Vice President
of Marketing, had this to say in 2017 as part of a PSA urging diners to book responsibly. “Many people simply don’t realize the impact
that no-shows and late cancellations have on the restaurant industry.” Michael Voltaggio, a celebrity chef and restaurateur,
partnered with OpenTable on the initiative, explaining why being a no-show is such a no-no: “It might seem harmless to bail on a reservation
but if you can’t make it, letting us know ahead of time makes a world of difference. If we’re constantly working to address no-shows
on a daily basis, our business suffers. That’s why we’re asking diners to book responsibly.” What diners take for granted is all of the
work that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for patrons at a restaurant, not to mention
the financial impact that comes from restaurants being left unable to fill an empty table at
the last minute. Stuff comes up, and chefs get it. As Michael Davis from Sprout LA told OpenTable,
diners should, quote, “not be afraid to cancel [their] reservation[s] we appreciate a cancellation
more than a no-show.” If you make the small effort to call ahead
and cancel, the restaurant will know that they can then let other diners use that table. It’s just good manners. Although there is some flexibility here depending
on the restaurant you’re dining at, if a restaurant states the dress code is formal, it’s disrespectful
for guests not to follow it. John Winterman, managing partner at New York
City’s Batârd, told Town & Country, “I break it down into self-respect and respect
for others…If someone comes in making an effort and looking fabulous and glamorous
and they know they’re in for a premium experience at a premium price, you give them a fabulous
table in the middle of the room. And people react to that, when they see a
crowd that’s well-dressed and beautiful and sparkling.” “I thought this was a high-end restaurant. Why am I the only one wearing a tux?” “Oh, sorry, I should have told you. Rich people are done with fancy clothes.” And while there are certainly fine dining
restaurants that have evolved to accommodate a more business casual crowd, Winterman in
a separate interview with Forbes pointed out that that doesn’t mean that dress codes are
going away entirely. “There are examples in almost every major
city of establishments that adhere to at least some dress code tradition requiring [dress]
pants, for example, or banning baseball caps…New Orleans, Dallas, Savannah all have venerable
institutions that demand proper attire. Tradition often carries respect.” If you’re at a boisterous family-style buffet
where you can’t communicate without hollering out, go for it. But if you’re at a fancy restaurant, there’s
a more suitable way to summon your server. Hint: It definitely does not involve yelling
across the room. Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder and president
of The Etiquette School of New York, told BestLife in 2018, “You should use eye contact or put up your
index finger of your right hand, ever so slightly…The person hosting the meal is the one responsible
for getting the attention of the waiter so that they can order. If his clients or anyone he’s entertaining
isn’t happy with their food, he’s responsible for getting the wait to come over and change
it.” In general, you should strive to keep the
volume of your voice at a lower decibel level when in a fine dining situation. Or, as lifestyle expert Maura Sweeney told
BestLife, “Don’t rattle the carefully created, understated
atmosphere of quiet cultivated by the proprietors.” Who doesn’t love it when fresh bread is brought
to the table before a meal? This feels especially true at upscale restaurants,
where the bread is often artisanal; think a thick, slightly chewy crust covering a light,
airy, warm center. It’s no surprise that most people cut off
a big chunk of bread, generously butter it, and then store the piece on their bread plates
between bites. “You’re naughty! And then I take my naughty pet, and I go…” Per etiquette expert Molly Watson though,
that’s not proper bread etiquette. She told Serious Eats in 2014 the admittedly
“fussy” way you should do it. “Tear off a bite-size piece of bread. Hold the piece with your fingers (not in the
palm of your hand and not on the plate), use your knife to butter it, and eat it. Repeat with the remaining bread as you like.” Some diners go out of their way to be helpful
or polite to servers, but sometimes, it backfires. An example? Pre-bussing your own table. According to Suzanne Perry, co-owner of Datz
Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida, you’d do better to leave your table as it is. Perry told Food & Wine, “Handing a server a stack of plates, layered
with food and silverware that isn’t balanced and plopping a wad of napkins on top is a
little insulting and messier than it really needs to be.” Besides, you may not realize it, but servers
have a system that enables them to be more efficient in keeping tables clear. As one one Redditor explained, “I might want to stack three entrée plates
on my arm and then put other small plates and silverware on top of that. If everyone stacks things, I can only bus
two people’s plates. If I stack, I can get many more.” Paying the bill at a fancy restaurant should
be a non-event. One way to do this is to give your card to
the maître d’ at the start of the meal and inform them you’ll sign the check on the way
out. There are other ways to handle the bill discreetly. Jonathan Cook, a Quora commenter with over
a decade of experience as a fine dining server, suggests one alternative. “Rather than the ‘pretend to go to the bathroom
and hand your card to the waiter approach,’ I recommend calling ahead of time and putting
your credit card on file with the restaurant.” It’s a classy move that keeps the focus on
the food, wine, and fun and keeps awkward money talk to a minimum. Bon appetit! Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
food topics are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

100 Comments

  1. Yeah, give your credit card to a total stranger for the duration of your meal or "have it on file" in their computer system. Sure. Everyone knows that "skimming" is just an urban myth… Seriously?

  2. 🐂💩 If I'm going to drop big bucks at any establishment then I can eat my food as I see fit. If a chef or staff doesn't like it tough 💩. I'm not there to serve YOU. YOU are there to serve me. I can take my business anywhere.

  3. Unless you are buying the dinner or giving it to me for free then don't tell me what to do. Fully appreciate and respect the cancellation thing though.

  4. Life is WAY to short. As long as you chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with your mouth full and keep your feet off the table, who cares about the rest. Besides, you're not paying me, I'm paying you.

  5. We don't go to Fancy Restaurants! You get more and better food at the local home cookin cafe. Let those Rich Folk keep them in business.

  6. I understand proper etiquette, but, seriously who makes some of these rules? I am not buttering my bread one bite at a time. Who decided that that was more polite than buttering a whole piece at once??

  7. Can anyone walk me through 9:40? So I call them, make the reservation and give them my CC number? Wouldnt they need my securecode whatever PIN enter thing anyways and therefore the amount of consumation?

  8. Nah, finna hit that shit up with some blow out knees jeans, white jean jacket, sneakers while putting my elbows on the table while using my phone avoiding eye contact while making my order. Don’t give a fuck🤪

  9. I NEVER LEAVE A NAPKIN I. THE CHAIR…IF THEY DONT KNOW WHERE I WENT WITH OUT THE GROUP THEY ARE MORONS AND COULDNT COOK A FUCKING BURGER

  10. Bitch I love fuckin ketchup on everything, I don’t need to taste it first to know I want ketchup on it. I want ketchup. I’m a slut for ketchup. Imma put my ketchup on it whether it offends the chef or not. It’s not the meal that’s bad, it’s just that I love ketchup.

  11. slurping makes the food much more tasty..I would still slurp my soup or noodles at a fine dining place…i'm paying you good money so i will eat the way i like best ha ha

  12. The prevalence of philistines that take a twisted form of pleasure and pride in touting their ignorance amd unwillingness to improve themselves is very telling.

  13. I don't waste money on the so called upscale restaurants, experience is that they are overrated bullshit! Little portions
    Tasteless food for a price that the average person spends on a weeks groceries! If you go out to eat a steakhouse or seafood restaurants are much better, you get a proper meal at reasonable prices,imagine that! No posh upper class bullshit,and you don't have to go out for burger two hours later because your hungry again !!!

  14. If you can pay for your food and as long as you behave just like a normal citizen, just eat.

    talking about etiquette when the restaurant staff is watching while you are eating.

  15. I'm not placing the napkin that I use to wipe my mouth, on the seat where everyone farts & who knows what else…

  16. I hate all restaurants, the more you pay, the smaller the food is. Is your stomach really satisfied with that? Get a cookbook & save your money! Restaurants are an joke.

  17. I never understood “fine dining” or fancy restaurants. Who gives af what utensil or glass I use. Just eat the fucking food.

  18. Anthony Bourdain wrote a comic book based on the premise that people who slush good sushi in wasabi and soy sauce should be beheaded on the spot.

    I can't say I disagree at all. Would you go to the Louvre and draw boobs on the 'Mona Lisa'?

  19. I used to lose my shit at my father when I made him dinner, because habit was that he just grabbed the salt and pepper before he had even tried the food.

  20. Manners and Etiquettes are social constructs, as an example for our friends from the left side of the political spectrum. Gender is NOT. Hope you've enjoyed that lesson !

  21. I've never seen a Soup Spoon in any restaurant that you can actually use to eat with.
    I don't know what it is about having weird shaped spoons that are impossible to eat with, but it's just a thing.
    The Curvature is all weird and you can't close your lips on it, or they're too big to fit in your mouth, or just a strange shape.
    I hate getting soup and then having a spoon that won't fit in your mouth, or that will just spill all over you.
    What the fuck is the deal with making it impossible to use a spoon?

  22. Calling the waiter over is rude? So is being ignored by the waiter/waitress so you have to call them. Sitting there for 3/4 or your meal dying of thirst because they won't give you anything to drink.

    Bussing your own table and stacking the plates. Why would you have to do that in a high end establishment where you're literally paying for the service and the experience. If they were doing their jobs, how do you end up with 4 dishes under your chin and no room on your table?

    I think a lot of these rules need to go both ways. the staff at the restaurants need to do their part if they are expecting huge sums of money for their dining experience. Why would you need to work your own table if your paying $100 a plate? that's ridiculous, but it happens all the time.

    I hate going to places where the wait staff, usually some Butch Lesbian or overly flamboyant Gay guy, highschool dropout, looks down at you and judge your every move, or your shoes, your choice of a belt, or your wife or date, etc… it's the most uncomfortable and unpleasant experience.

  23. Well , when the restaurant pays the bills on the customers behalf then they can decide what’s appropriate and what’s not

  24. I would also say don't book a table, sit at the bar and take your seat and order your meal at the last minute. I don't know if this is an American thing but it's seen as disrespectful . You wont get the service you want, trust me

  25. all these etiquette shit can fuck right off watch mojo voice lady. I will eat my food how i want with my elbows on the table because i am a short motherfucker and tables are too high. If i want to put hot sauce or ketchup on my steak its my choice. napkins stay under your plate use your arm to clean your face, you dont know how old that napkin is or how often it is washed

  26. The one thing I don't want to be stressed out doing is to eat. If I have to follow all those fucked up rules just to eat i'm good , i'll eat home.

  27. Fancy mfs: Make 1000 bullshit rules
    Me: Nah 🤡 if I wanna pay extra money to go to your place I'll do whatever tf I want as long as it's legal

  28. These comments are finding so many ways to just say fuck your rules I'll do what I want😂😂😂 and it got me dying

  29. Annoying voice and … whoever tells me what I can't have my food the way I like it can enjoy my foot up their arse.

  30. In the year 2030, we just go to restaurants, take a pic of the plate and then leave so you don't offend anyone. We let everyone else know we have been somewhere fancy.

  31. They had to make this video for Trump Voters. Sadly they forgot to add don't be a racist jerk to your waiter and the rest of the staff.

  32. I've never been to a fancy restaurant lol…nor do I own anything "fancy" to wear. Also that seems like too much work when you're just going there to enjoy a nice meal and glass of wine…I mean really.

  33. No way would I call ahead and leave my cc info with the restaurant. Those jokers at dives AND FANCY restaurants take liberties with the tipping, and not just a couple of bucks. Those servers KNOW that you will not debate and embarrass yourself once all is said and done. I have worked in food service. I've seen lots. NOOOO waaaaayyyy.

  34. Mhmmmmm …but do I want to place my napkin on a chair where peoples asses are then use it to wipe my hands and mouth?

  35. It´s insane to me how much people care how other people eat their food. People actually need to mind their own business more. If i go to a restaurant, the last thing i care about is if Jonny Dipshit over there is, Oh Heavens, having his arms on the table. Enjoy your damn food and get out of there. If someone is complete ruining the atmosphere with loud eating noises and shit like that of course he gets it but some of these things are so irrelevant. People are always joking about special Snowflakes here and there but no one wants to talk about the people that seem to lose their mind when they see a stranger not put a fucking Napkin on their lap before eating?

  36. Ahh cool. I can pay a month's salary for a single meal AND get judged by a bunch of people with nothing better to do because I ate bread wrong and had the audacity to use the dessert fork to eat my entree? Sweet.

  37. Look at the jews. We all know how they eat. Do you think that they care about those rules? Unless you cant afford to those high-class restaurants 3 times a days or 20 times a week, you will have to care about those rules.

  38. If you didn't know all these things, then don't go to an upscale restaurant. If you don't care about using these simple manners and don't care to use them, that's up to you too. Nothing new here

  39. Slurping a no-no in western countries. But not in some Asian countries…Japan comes to mind. Slurp away in Japan. I believe it is considered a compliment to the chef.

  40. I'm not wealthy or fancy, but I have learned some dining etiquette over the years. At several work functions I've said to a few less clued-in colleagues "Deploy your napkin. Unless you want the waiter's hand in your lap, of course." That always seems to do the trick.

  41. pre-bussing is only bad when you do not know how to do it properly. as a long time pre-busser, you should always know that the bigger plates come first, then come the smaller ones, and finally, the bowls and utensils. it isnt even all that hard to properly stack some plates… just imagine yourself trying to haul it, and you will naturally stack it better. so i would say it isnt necessarily bad, but only when done properly; if done improperly, then yes, it can be time consuming and very annoying.

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