How to be a gentleman when going out?
Let’s face it, the pandemic and the last few years seem to have made us lose some good habits. Here’s a reminder of how to be a gentleman when going out.
How to be a gentleman when going out – The Preparation and the soirée
The first thing that annoys bar and restaurant owners is not honouring your reservations (the so-called no-shows). If you can’t make it or you think you’re going to be late for some reason, call to let them know. If there are several of you, try to do this at least two to three days in advance.
On arrival (and throughout the evening for that matter)
Be polite and remove your hats and caps. The person at the reception (often the owner) often has long weeks and unfortunately little rest, and if you are not nice to this person, you are starting your experience badly. Then, put your phone away and close it (unless you are there to take pictures, but that’s another story), you are accompanied, the least you can do is to give your full attention to the people accompanying you. If you are in a bar, wait your turn to order, don’t cut the queue. You are not in such a hurry to drink.
At the table
If there are dishes or drinks that you are not certain about on the menu, don’t hesitate to ask (there is no shame in not knowing everything), especially if you have allergies. The same goes for wines, don’t try to be a connoisseur if you are not. Ask for some choices to accompany your meal. It’s perfect to go by the glass. You can then opt for different wines with your dishes instead of having the optimal pairings.
Be certain to use your utensils (we have an article on that right here), and if you’re not confident on how to eat a dish, ask the person who is serving you. Also, napkins are not a decorative accessory, you put them on your lap when you sit.
It’s a first date with the person in front of you, don’t hesitate to ask them about their food preferences, challenge each other on dishes you’re afraid not to like, share plates, you can then make discoveries and exchange. Don’t hesitate to say if you have any allergies (as mentioned above), this is crucial, it will avoid any confusion and no one will end up at the hospital.
In order not to disturb the person accompanying you, try to eat at the same speed. If you finish first, keep your plate. Unfortunately, many table service professionals have the bad habit of taking the plate while one person is still eating, which is a bit embarrassing for the other person who has to justify not eating quickly.
We were talking about alcohol earlier, you are not at a college fraternity party, take time between your drinks, drink water. By the way, whether at a bar or in a restaurant, always moderate your drinks by starting with lower alcohol content drinks at the beginning like a spritz and higher at the end like a whisky.
During the meal, try to anticipate what the rest of the evening will be like, this may help you define our next topic, especially if it is a first date.
How to be a gentleman when going out – The Departure
The end of the dinner
The bill. Thank God, this is always a complex and sometimes uncomfortable moment. It is always good manners to pay for the first drink or meal. Try to get along, because these days many ladies want to pay their share and sometimes feel insulted when we gentlemen decide to pay the bill.
Tipping generously is always a good idea and the person who served you will appreciate it.
Initially, feel free to put the coat on your guest, if it is a date or if it is your parents. On a professional level, this may be a little less appropriate.
Enjoy your night out:)