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Dining Dilemmas: Dining Out 101

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LAist will tackle some issues regarding dining, etiquette, tipping, etc. The information is compiled from etiquette classes, books, newspaper articles, and experience. Any and all questions can go in the comments section.

If you ask someone to dinner, it is expected that you should make the reservations, choose the place, and pay for the meal. Any "dutch" paying arrangements are made before you get to the restaurant. Often times this rule is neglected when hanging out with friends, but it makes a good impression on a business lunch, date, or any formal occasion. However, the invitee should always be prepared to pay at least half. If you have no money, the best situation is to borrow money from friends at the table. Try and come up with a logical excuse for not having your money or card to avoid embarrassment. If that is not an option, go to the maitre d' or manager, tell them your plight, show your identification, phone number, and get a receipt for money owed. They might want to hold onto something as collateral, so send the money that day or the day after if possible.

If you are expecting a group of people at a restaurant, it is probably best to meet them at the table, especially if the entrance is too small. However, make sure you arrive before the scheduled time, so that no guests get there before you. If you are the one waiting for your host, it is considered rude to order from the bar, even if you pay for it on your own. If someone doesn't show up after 20 minutes, call that person to find out what happened. If there is no response, wait 10 more minutes and leave the restaurant. You should tip the table waiter for water, rolls, attention, and above the price of the drink you may have ordered. Keep in mind that although you did not order a lot, taking up the table, especially at a busier restaurant, loses the server a lot of potential money. Although some of this seems like common sense, they are rules often neglected and next week we will go into the actual dining and seating arrangements.

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