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Some restaurant etiquette is just common sense: Don’t speak when your mouth is full, don’t tell rude jokes during the meal, and always cover your mouth when you cough.
Others can be a bit more nuanced. Who pays after a business meal? Where do you put your napkin when you stand? And how exactly does one order the perfect bottle of wine?
Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick of The Etiquette School of New York and author of “The Art of the Meal: Simple Etiquette for Simply Everyone” shared some guidelines for dining at expensive restaurants.
“I still believe men should wear jackets to dinner, if not a suit,” Napier-Fitzpatrick said. “If a man is dining with clients — and especially clients from other countries which tend to be more formal — they should wear a jacket and a tie.”
“Women should be wearing a dress or suit, and shoes instead of sandals.”
It’s just common sense. It distracts not only your other dining companions, but also your waiter and the entire restaurant.
“The host, especially if it’s a woman, has to make it clear that he or she is the host,” Napier-Fitzpatrick told us.
“Say phrases like, ‘Will you please bring my guest…’ or ‘My guest would like to order first’ to ward off confusion.”
“A savvy host knows to give their credit card before they sit down, or even call the restaurant ahead of time,” Napier-Fitzpatrick explained. “I tell that especially to women who travel to other countries that are very male-dominated.”
“Also, the person who invites is the person who pays.”
“Tell the waiter what you like, what you’re having, and give them an idea of price by simply pointing to a wine in your price range,” Napier-Fitzpatrick advised. “The waiter will know to stick within that price point.”
“I also tell people not to pretend you’re a wine connoisseur, because then you’ll look silly. Just take a little taste of the wine when it arrives, and see how it is.”
“Nine times out of 10 it’s just fine.”
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