Manners Related to Appearance
Dress to enjoy your meal, avoiding excessively exposing attire, or clothes that make sitting uncomfortable.
When calling to make a reservation, ask whether the restaurant has a dress code. Even if the restaurant doesn't have a dress code, T-shirts, jeans, shorts and flip-flops are a no-no. Men should wear a suit, or jacket and slacks. Women will have no problems if they're wearing a suit or dress.
Manners Related to Noise
Even if dining areas are separated, diners can hear what those around them are saying. Be careful. A restaurant's ambience is part of its product. Be careful not to speak too loudly and spoil the ambience.
In principle, you shouldn't make phone calls while eating. Set your phone to silent mode and if you absolutely must make a phone call, go outside the restaurant to do it.
Manners Related to Odors
Women should show restraint with cosmetics and perfumes. And don't smoke while dining out.
Manners Related to Timing and Space
- Avoid making reservation calls when restaurants aren't operating at their peak of their busy times, such as during lunch or dinner.
- Tell restaurants if you have allergies or foods you don't like. Don't forget to confirm whether it's OK to bring kids to a restaurant.
- On the day of your reservation, let the restaurant know by phone if you're going to arrive 10 minutes or more either side of your reservation time, or as soon as possible if there's a change in the number of people to dine. (For details, refer to the restaurant's cancellation policies.)
- Cancellations without notice are strictly forbidden. The restaurant has prepared a scrumptious meal for you. If, for some unavoidable reason, you are unable to fulfill your reservation, call the restaurant as soon as possible. (For details, refer to the restaurant's cancellation policies.)
- Go to the bathroom, make phone calls, etc., before you start dining. If you're wandering around the restaurant, it spoils the dining experience for other customers.
- Eat everything you're served. When leaving something you don't like, it's best to explain the reason for not eating it.
- Pay your bill before the restaurant's closing time.
Table Manners Requiring Care
- When making a toast, it's actually not proper manners to make a noise when touching glasses.
- Use the inside of the napkin when wiping your hands or mouth. When you leave following your meal, there's no need to fold the napkin neatly. (The meaning behind this is to express the feeling that the meal was so good it took your mind off remembering to fold the napkin.)
- If you drop your cutlery, don't pick it up yourself, but allow a restaurant staff member to collect it.
Taking Photos of Food
Many simply use their mobile phones or smart phones to take a photo of their meal, but concern should be shown for other diners at these times. It's also best to let somebody from the restaurant know you're going to take a photo.
Always confirm in advance if children are allowed in the restaurant. Even in restaurants that allow children, that doesn't mean they are allowed to be rowdy. If children are causing a disturbance that spoils the ambience, take them out of the restaurant for a short time.
When Ordering Beverages Such as Wines
If you are not familiar with the type of wine you'd like, you should not try to be. Getting a Wine List and asking a restaurant employee for the best wine for your budget is the smartest move you could make. Alcohol should only ever be something that makes dining enjoyable. Avoid over-imbibing.
- Supervisor:Noriko Ando, Magic Life
- Planner/Service Business Consultant
Noriko Ando is a consultant to the service industry, basing her work on the Emotional Communication Method she devised herself. In addition to event production and planning, she is involved in human resource training and has turned out over 1,500 students up until now. She has built up an established reputation on manner theory drawn from acquired knowledge of a wide variety of ceremonial functions and international experience and her work record encompasses many companies and mediums.