Dining Etiquette 101: Unveiling the Unspoken Rules of Upscale Restaurants

When it comes to dining at upscale restaurants, there are certain unspoken rules that can enhance your experience and ensure you make a good impression. These rules, often referred to as dining etiquette, can seem daunting at first, but with a little knowledge and practice, they can become second nature. In this article, we will unveil some of these unspoken rules to help you navigate your next upscale dining experience with confidence and grace.

Understanding the Table Setting

One of the first things you’ll notice at an upscale restaurant is the elaborate table setting. Each piece of cutlery, glassware, and plate has a specific purpose and knowing how to use them can make your dining experience more enjoyable.

  • The forks are placed to the left of the plate. The one furthest from the plate is for the salad, the one next to it is for the main course, and if there is a third one, it is for the dessert.

  • The knives and spoons are placed to the right of the plate. The knife closest to the plate is for the main course, while the spoon next to it is for soup.

  • The glasses are arranged in a diagonal or square pattern. The water glass is usually the largest and is placed closest to the diner, followed by the red wine glass, white wine glass, and champagne flute.

Ordering and Eating

When it comes to ordering and eating at an upscale restaurant, there are a few etiquette rules to keep in mind.

  • Wait for everyone in your party to arrive before ordering.

  • Use your cutlery from the outside in as the courses progress.

  • When you’re not eating, place your cutlery on your plate in an inverted V shape. When you’re finished, place your cutlery side by side on the plate.

  • Never use your fingers to push food onto your fork. Instead, use a piece of bread or your knife.

Interacting with Staff

Interacting with the staff at an upscale restaurant is also an important part of dining etiquette.

  • Be polite and respectful to the staff. Remember, they are there to enhance your dining experience, not to serve as your personal servants.

  • If you need to get the attention of a server, make eye contact and raise your hand slightly. Never snap your fingers or shout.

  • Tip appropriately. In most upscale restaurants, a tip of 15-20% of the total bill is customary.

By understanding and following these unspoken rules of dining etiquette, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience at any upscale restaurant.