Eating in a fancy restaurant isn't as complicated as you think, so here is a quick intro to fine dining etiquette. With these few tips under your belt, you can dine with the best company and enjoy a relaxing meal.
- Dress well for fine dining restaurants. A shirt and tie is usually expected fine dining etiquette for men—leave those flip flops at home! Call ahead and ask the management what their expectations are to save yourself embarrassment.
When you're seated, you may notice the tableware—there may be extra forks and spoons. Select silverware from the outside in. The larger fork to the left is for the entree and the smaller is a salad fork. A dessert spoon and fork may be above the plate. Be sure to place your napkin in your lap—never tuck the napkin into your shirt!
- Don't eat with your hands if at all possible. Fine dining etiquette means keeping your elbows off the table, biting small portions and not talking with your mouth full (that's universal dining etiquette!). Sit straight and compose yourself confidently and with grace. Refrain from talking overly loud or acting obnoxious—no one is impressed with that sort of behavior. Avoid controversial dinner topics like politics and religion. If you think something may be inappropriate, it probably is!
- Bring enough cash with you to cover your bill in case of credit card mishaps. No one wants to have the server return to say there was a problem with the credit card! Fine dining etiquette dictates a 15% to 20% tip for service.
Keep these fine dining etiquette tips in mind and enjoy a great experience!