Monday, July 12, 2010

Smarter Ways to Dine Out

How to eat at the best restaurants in town and not feel victimized, intimidated and gouged.

Choose your place. If famous people eat there, the place is not perhaps worth going to.

Fully committed. If you don't intend to use your reservation, give it up. You may not be realizing it, but restaurants actually keep your information when you book, and you'll end up on a blacklist.

First impression lasts. If a waitress treats you like a whale shit, walk away. Good diners are democratic. If a table isn't ready, they will greet you warmly and apologize and might reward you for a free drink! ;).

Love your waiter. This is one of the golden rules in dining out :). Appreciate and acknowledge your waiter's efforts. He would be your trusted ally.

The Meal Plan. If the place is a seafood house, order seafood. If you have special dietary intakes, let them know. Don't design your own menu, though. If you do this, most restaurants will tolerate you but they won't like you.
Sharing food is okay but don't ask the kitchen to split orders. Just ask extra plates and split it yourself.

No whining about wine. Ask for appropriate suggestions when ordering wine. If you're having a multi course tasting menu, ask about pairing wines by the glass. This will let you try a few wines without committing to wines you don't like.

One last tip. Thank your servers. If your meal was good, minimum gratuity is 20%. If you're planning to come back as a regular customer, 30% tip is a lasting impression. You'll be more likely remembered.