How to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman

Umbert loves to go to the restaurant. He is a gourmet, and every month, he gives you his choices for the best places. You can check Umbert Weekends in Paris.

To behave correctly at the restaurant is not a protocol matter, but part of the Art-de-Vivre and new etiquette.

Umbert helps you about How to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman.

Benefits of this coaching :

  • Best methodology to become irresistible.
  • An innovative technique to unleash your charisma.
  • Learn the new etiquette & manners.
  • A better lifestyle.

« The gastronomy is an incredible source of happiness” Pierre Hermé, famous French pastry chef.

1) Arriving at the restaurant

If you have invited a woman, be sure to arrive before the time, if not contact her. You can also read my article How to be a winner on the first date.

When arriving with a lady, a man always goes first to the restaurant, and hold the door. Why? This is an old tradition: to protect the woman from looks, or fights that were common in hostels in the past. If there is a staircase: the man goes first, it is also an old tradition because the man should not see the legs of the woman, and when they go down to avoid a fall to the lady.

Enter and wait for the butler to place you.

If the butler leads a couple to the table, the woman goes first.

It is essential to wait until the hostess places you. However, you can politely ask to change if the table proposed does not suit you.

The man gently pulls the woman’s chair to invite her to sit down and extends her right hand to the table. The woman is still sitting in front of the room and on the bench if there is one.

When Umbert invites friends to the restaurant, he asks for a table and leads his guests there.

2) At the table

If the man arrives before and is already at the table, he must get up when the woman comes to greet her.

Never sit down first. The bench is always reserved for ladies. If there are two women, they will be side by side. If there are only chairs, think of pulling the woman’s chair, unless the butler does it.

When you sit down to the table, immediately put your towel on your legs, without waiting for the dish. The towel should not be tied around the neck, shirt or belt. It must stay on your knees, except to wipe your lips before drinking, so the glass is not dirty.

Turn off your phone! Personal items shouldn’t be on the table (sunglasses, phone, keys, etc.).

Do not put elbows on the table while eating.

To make your choice on the menu, do not look at the neighbors’ plate at another table. Do not choose dishes which are too expensive, to respect the other guest regarding the bill, or too modest, so you’ll seem cheap.

The host chooses the wines, after having asked everybody if his choice suits them.

When the waiter comes to you with a bottle of red wine, look at the label to check the order. Turn the red wine in your glass delicately before tasting and agreeing.

The men serve the drink to the ladies who accompany them unless the butler does it.

Glasses: the water glass is the largest on the left. The red wine glass is the middle one; the smallest white wine glass is on the right. Wipe your lips before drinking, so you do not stain the glass.

If you do not want to drink wine, do not put your hand on the glass to refuse, but say “no thank you” to the server.

The bread is not eaten before the first course is served, even if you are starving!

Before starting to taste the dishes, wait until everyone is served. Exception: if you are many at the table, and your neighbors ask you to start. However, for an appetizer or a cold dish, wait for everyone to be served.

If you made a mistake while ordering a dish, ask the server quickly if you can still change. If this is no longer possible, accept your error with a smile.

There are numerous dining utensils to know. Take it easy: start from the ones on the outside, and come back toward the center when a new dish arrives.

Always put small portions of food into your mouth, and eat slowly.

Start the conversation and look the others in their eyes to talk. This proves your sincerity and improves your charism.

Avoid your problems, drama, work, vulgarity or heaviness. Do not complain about everything (climate, cost of living, car breakdown, noisy neighbors, etc.…). Be open, balanced, attentive, confident, cheerful. Prefer funny anecdotes, travel, art or great experiences. Do not show off with your culture, especially if your guests are not intellectuals.

Umbert and his friends love to talk and laugh. They are often numerous at the restaurant. They know however that it is necessary to speak with a moderate tone not to disturb the other clients.

Fortunately, everyone knows, so there is no disorder, and nobody is shocked!

When they need more wine, and they always do, they call the staff, saying “sir” without speaking too loudly, and without making big gestures.

If you have to leave the table for a few minutes, excuse yourself, you don’t have to say why. Place the napkin on your chair (the USA only), or the left side of the plate (Europe).

If someone in the restaurant recognizes you and stop by for a short talk, stand up for a few minutes.

3) How to eat some dishes

The salad should not be cut with a knife. Take your fork to fold the large leaves.

The oysters are eaten with elegance. It is necessary to take the shell in the left hand, to unhook the flesh with the oyster fork, and to suck it with the water from the shell without making noise.

The omelet is cut and eaten only with the fork.

For soft fishes, use the fish cutlery. If the flesh is hard, use the cutlery especially the knife.

Fruit pies can be enjoyed with the dessert spoon. If a cake is made with puff pastry, you can use a dessert knife to keep it from breaking.

Chocolate cake can leave traces around the mouth. Remember to wipe your lips, especially before drinking so that you won’t stain the glass.

Check this article for all other dishes: Should you cut your steak with the oyster’s fork? How to eat some dishes properly.

4) Leaving the restaurant

In the end, the host asks for the bill, and pay it discreetly, or share with the other men. If there are errors, do not discuss them in front of the guests.

The tip should be around 15%, more if the service were terrific or if you get individual attention and gifts.

As you leave, slide between the tables facing the next table.

On your way out thank the staff and compliment the manager, saying that it was delicious and you will come back.

On leaving, do not talk on the sidewalk making noise; people sleep around.

If a woman has come by taxi, or with her car, accompany her. For the cab, open the side door on the sidewalk for the woman. If you take it too, go around to get on the street side.

If you take her home, wait until she has entered the building.

Call everybody the next day to thank for this fantastic dinner at the restaurant.

This is much advice on how to behave at the restaurant, and more will come.

Try to learn them step by step, so each time you go to the restaurant add one.

Don’t forget to check Umbert Weekends in Paris to find some cool spots.

What you should remember: it is imperative to respect the new etiquette and good manners at the restaurant. Your guests will judge your education and savoirvivre on this. Your reputation depends on it, and it is even more critical for business lunches.

How to become irresistible? Download now the free eBook available on this blog.

Enjoy the journey!

Umbert De Paris

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