Four things NOT to do in a restaurant. Dining tips from DINE

Diining at Distinctive Inns of New EnglandWe must admit, our inspiration for this blog posting came from a segment on the TODAY Show where Matt Lauer shared pet peeves from wait staff about the most annoying customer behavior. Being in the business of taking care of guests, and in about half the cases of Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) properties, serving guests in restaurants, we had a few additional ideas to add. Perhaps a good subtitle for this blog posting would be Dining tips from DINE. Now almost all of those who visit the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England are perfectly behaved, we thought we’d share these tips for how NOT to behave in a restaurant, and our readers can then forward it to their friends who need to see this. Hopefully, next time you visit a DINE property for a romantic getaway or culinary vacation, everyone else in the dining room will have read this too!

According to the Today Show, these tips first appeared in the London Daily Mail chronicling Darron Cardosa, whose blog The Bitchy Waiter offers tales of rude customers and advice on how to avoid irritating your wait staff (who, it should be remembered, are handling things you’re going to consume). Many of his tips will resemble words straight from your mother’s lips, and perhaps straight from your lips to your own children.

  1. Use Your Manners.

A simple please and thank you will go a long way, no matter to whom you’re talking, but when it comes to wait staff (or innkeepers) a simple “please” and “thank you” goes a long way, not only verbally but in your gratuity too. Remember, the wait staff did not cook your food, so please don’t take your aversion to the well-done meat out on the wait staff.

  1. Just because it’s your birthday, don’t expect it to be free. And don’t ask us to sing Happy Birthday.

Yes, we’re thrilled that you decide to spend your birthday at one of the Distinctive Inns of New England. If you let us know ahead of time, we will have the candles waiting for the dessert which you order and pay for. But please don’t automatically expect that we’ll include something free. We may (if you say please!) but it’s presumptuous to simply expect it. And most of our dining rooms are designed for quiet, romantic dinners, so you can be assured that the wait staff will not come out clapping and singing happy birthday, even if you do say please!

  1. Leave the cell phone in the room!

How often have you seen it? The waiter stands by dutifully waiting for the order while the guest talks on their cell phone. Can you imagine the humiliation of the waiter, who has other guests waiting for service? Additionally, how annoying is it to the other diners to have to listen to your cell phone call, especially the person you’re with. Do this during breakfast service at any of the DINE inns, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the other guests ask you to put it away. You’re there to enjoy a quiet meal with your mate, so no texting or talking on the cell phone at the table!

  1. Special orders don’t upset us (if you tell us ahead!)

Breakfast at the Cliffside Inn, Newport, RIThe innkeepers at Distinctive Inns of New England all serve breakfast and about half of the inns serve dinners to guests. We always ask guests whether they have any food allergies or limitations during the reservation process, and are always happy to create breakfasts and dinners that accommodate food issues. Yet, all too often guests don’t share their food restrictions when the question is asked, and then wait until breakfast is served to tell the innkeepers that they are gluten free or following a strict no-nut diet. At that point, the innkeepers must not only struggle to create a second breakfast, but must bear the cost of that too. Please don’t wait until the menu or meal is presented to tell us about your food preferences and restrictions. We’re happy to accommodate them, but it sure helps to have 24 hours notice.

We know that each person reading this DINE blog want to be the perfect guest when they visit any of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England. Follow these tips and you’ll be not only happier in the dining room, but you’ll certainly receive a hug from your DINE innkeeper on the way out!