11/20/2012 10:39:00 AM

Restaurant Etiquette Guide: 9 Holiday-Dining Don'ts

Sure, the holiday season is full of good spirits and joy, but it's also full of crowded restaurants, overworked restaurant staffers and so much jingle-jangle music that you might be ready to lose it at the sound of another sleigh bell. This is traditionally the busiest time of year for many bars and restaurants, and we polled our staff and readers on some things that you should NOT do while out on the town from now until New Year's Day. Click through the slide show to see some rules of holiday-dining etiquette, and let us know what other busy-season strictures should be added to the list. Violators beware: Santa's watching.

12 comments :

  1. Just learned new things out of this post and I like it and this is so interesting too.

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  2. Mulcahy's article is the most ridiculous if not insulting thing i have ever read on your website.
    To whom is he directing this article? Kindergarten children. Is the level of knowledge you assume your readers have? This guy should be flipping burgers at McDonalds. Juke Boxes!!! Don't talk polirics!!! Don't be upset if the restaurant is closed!! Where did you get this guy??

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    1. Fully concur with this post.

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    2. I agree that these are annoying and disappointing. I conclude that a main reason is that they reflect the restaurants' point of view; I think that even the owners and staff will agree that it is the customers' convenience and satisfaction that are the important thing. If you want a couple of don'ts from this customer, don't keep incessantly asking how everything is/was: if I like something or dislike something,I will say so. And don't snatch dishes away while people are still eating. And don't ask if I am working on my meal.

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  3. I am appalled that Mr. Mulcahy found it necessary to instruct his readers regarding the common sense and common curtesy that every diner should follow regardless of whether or not it is holiday season. Shame on those of you who behaved so discourteously on so many occasions that others asked him to mention/write about them. In future, please do not waste Elmaven's or my time with such nonsense.

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  4. Regarding bringing your own sweets, some restaurants will allow it if you ask in advance. One time, we had my mom's birthday in a restaurant and wanted to bring our own cake. They were fine with it and charged a small "plating fee" -- and the servers got the leftover cake! So everyone was happy.

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  5. If you owned a restaurant or ever worked in the service industry you would see that this article is on point as these are very common occurences along with much worse bahavior. Trust me. A lot of people do not, genuinely know, how to behave in public

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  6. To the two commenters above who were offended by a reminder of appropriate holiday behavior: you're already misbehaving. People who are offended by polite lessons in etiquette are generally people who don't practice good etiquette. If you're already a polite person, being told to be understanding of the extenuating circumstances in play during the holidays won't bother you. If you're bothered, it probably means you should read this article several times, then read out a couple times more.

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  7. At Gazpacho Restaurant, the dessert comes complimentary with every meal - a warm fresh sopapilla served with local honey drizzled over it. We don't mind if someone wants to haul in their own birthday cake, just make sure you offer your server a slice! I guess we're just a bit more laid back here in Durango, Colorado.

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  8. Mr. Mulcahy is right on (so are those commenting that those who resent reading about good behaviour are those least likely to practice it).

    BUT he's dead wrong about the first. If I've come to have a meal with good friends and cookies are among the presents, of course I'm going to break them out after dinner, and, yes, I'm going to obey James' following rule and clean up the detritus. If the owner's upset because I didn't shoot up his bill, well I wonder why s/he's in the business of hospitality and isn't celebrating his patron's enjoyment.

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  9. The point made is that. as does New York restaurant week, the holidays bring in overwhelming crowds of patrons who, because they don't regularly eat at these establishments, are likely to change the mood of the diners at the hours the eat as well as of the employees at the hours they eat, hence should at least be made aware of the protocol before they venture out. As a reviewer, I once had to stop inviting a companion, while chcking out unfamilair spots, who would not only fight with the staff about everything, from getting up and down from multiple tables before deciding to crudely blocking the aisles for periods of time while the establishment was bustling. While actually dining, she would fight for, regardless of the establishment, free sides or salad, free dessert or coffee, special deals at which higher priced menu items would be provided at the cost of lower priced items, then argue over the final bill,demand addiitonal condiments or sauces to magially show up while trying a course, and leave carrying a doggie bag including many items for which she didn't even pay, after fighting over the final bill.

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  10. If you are looking for a place to host a private party, Lucca in the North End has 3 private rooms and their Back Bay location has a spectacular room that seats 40 people.

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