Food & Nutrition

10 Dining Mistakes We Make When We’re Trying to Be Polite

Ordering in a language you really don’t know

Couple ordering dinner in a luxury restaurantMinerva Studio/Shutterstock

Your server would prefer you to order your meal as it’s listed on the menu. If you’re at a fancy Italian restaurant, they can certainly help you through the pronunciation of pasta fagioli al forno (and we can help you find the perfect recipe). However, if you see spaghetti and meatballs on the menu, don’t ask your waiter for spaghetti e polpette (the Italian translation). This will only make your order confusing.

Not “bothering” the staff

Waiter pouring mineral water from the glass bottle into a glass, food concept.barmalini/Shutterstock

If you want some water or coffee, or your soup is cold, definitely let your server know. Better a polite request than a growing resentment and a small tip. Most servers really want to make sure your meal is wonderful, but they can’t read our minds. Check out the foods you should never order at a restaurant

“Helping” with a tray

Waitress serving burgers to cheerful customers in restaurantwavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

When your server comes to the table with a tray full of drinks or food, it can look like quite the balancing act. While it’s tempting to want to relieve your waitress from some of the weight, please don’t! Servers are pros at balancing even the most precarious load, and if you try and “help” by grabbing that bread basket or glass, you might throw the whole tray off kilter. You can help, though, by moving your glasses, phone or other belongings out of the way when your server puts down your plate.

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