6. Keep your elbows off the table
Your mother told you this, and she was right. Why? Your elbows might crowd your tablemates, accidentally nudge a plate or glass, even cause the table to tip in your direction. In addition, you’ll sit up straighter if you’re not leaning in (which looks better than slouching and also aids digestion). Certain foods — like corn on the cob or spare ribs — might be easier to eat in the elbows-on position, so if you’re careful, that might be okay. Otherwise, remember mom.
7. Break (don’t cut) your bread
Some restaurants serve a loaf of warm bread on a cutting board with a bread knife, in which case slicing off a piece or two is perfectly correct. If there’s no cutting board or bread knife, though, how are you going to cut the bread? With your butter knife, on the tablecloth or butter plate (which you may end up breaking in the process)? Doesn’t really work. Just take a piece of bread from the breadbasket, tear off a bite-size piece, butter it if you wish, and eat it — then repeat as necessary.
8. Hold wine glasses by the stem
There are several reasons for this: It looks more elegant; you won’t warm up the wine with your body heat; and you won’t get unattractive grease stains on the glass. (Remember that your palms are naturally oily, even if you’ve wiped them clean.)
9. Be nice to the waitstaff
There are admittedly some lazy, incompetent, or just plain dimwitted servers out there, but there are also many, many more who are smart, skilled, and very hard-working. They’re not your servants — they’re people like you who have taken a job helping you to have a pleasant dining experience in order to make a living (see No. 18) and even sometimes just because they like the restaurant world and the people who frequent it. Be polite. Cut them some slack. Compliment them when warranted. In return, at least in most cases, they’ll make your meal more enjoyable — and maybe even give you special attention the next time you come in.
10. If something’s wrong, don’t make a scene
Dirty silverware? A worm on a lettuce leaf? The proverbial fly in your soup? Food not heated through, or vastly overcooked or undercooked? All very unpleasant — but loud exclamations or frantic gestures ruin everybody else’s dining experience. Just catch the server’s or manager’s eye and quietly and politely explain the problem.
Sponsored: Tips for Investing
A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.