2 quick ways to be good restaurant company

October 9, 2015

Going out for a meal and looking to make a good impression? Here are two quick tips for creating a comfortable dining experience that will help ensure a great night out.

2 quick ways to be good restaurant company

1. Make dinner conversation interesting

If conversation makes the meal, avoid making a common mistake when you're dining with another person or several others.

  • Somewhere along the line it became common wisdom that the key to being a good dinner partner is to keep the conversation focussed on the person you're with and then "be a good listener." So now, who knows how many restaurant meals consist of one diner having to answer 75 questions before she or he has buttered the first roll.
  • Yes, you do have to listen. But if all you do is ask questions, your partner might clam up and his or her attitude could become, "what's it to ya?"
  • Instead of grilling the person across the table from you, bring something to the party yourself. Good conversation strikes a balance between giving and receiving.
  • Naturally you want to show you're interested in your dinner partner, but you want to be interesting too.

2. Don’t nitpick; relax and enjoy

Anyone who works the floor of a restaurant knows something you don't, but should: it's not the food that determines whether a customer has a good time, and it's not the service. The biggest factor is the attitude of the customer himself.

  • Sure, a high-priced entrée that disappoints or a snooty waiter can ruin your evening. But more often than not, waiters say in private, disgruntled customers walk into the restaurant poised for battle and ready to have a bad time. They usually find it.
  • So here's a tip for your dining pleasure: Relax and have a good time. Don't make a big deal out of small things. If there's a piece of cork floating in your wine, you can raise a stink, alienate the serving staff and poison the atmosphere for the rest of the evening. Or you can just take the piece of cork out. The wine's still fine.
  • Leave the nitpicking to the professional restaurant reviewers. They get paid for finding problems. You, on the other hand, are paying. So decide to have a good time.
  • No restaurant's perfect, and it doesn't have to be for you to enjoy it.

Consider these tips and you can create a pleasant atmosphere that will be memorable for all the right reasons!

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