The Rusty American Guide For Getting Back to Being a Royal A-hole in Restaurants
Across the country, restaurants are reopening. It’s been months since we’ve enjoyed a hearty, professionally prepared meal in public, and we’re hungry for the socializing aspect of dining out as much as we are for the sustenance. As we flock back to our favorite haunts, however, we might need a reminder on how to behave. Most of our recent meals have been cooked in the microwave and eaten standing over the kitchen sink, after all. That’s why we’re here for you with the Rusty American Guide for being an A-hole at a restaurant. Review our tips, then make your reservation. Dining out is back, baby!
Cover Photo: anyaberkut (Getty Images)
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Arrive late for your reservation.
Reservation times aren't set in stone; they're just suggestions. Besides, everyone knows you should arrive fashionably late, especially if the restaurant is a trendy "see and be seen" kind of place. The table is yours, so they have to hold it for you. After all, you're doing them a favor by dining there.
Insist on changing tables after you’ve been seated.
You know the advice, "Never accept the first offer"? Well, we think you should never accept the first table offered. Restaurants are going to seat you where it's convenient for them, but if after settling in you realize you got a lame placement, make sure to call the host over and insist on getting that super private booth in the back typically reserved for celebrities. You don't care if there's no server working that section; it's only another minute or two for someone to walk over there and serve you.
Drink water only.
The markup on beverages in restaurants is insane. If you can't BYOB, the next best thing is to drink only water -- and not the bottled or fancy fizzy kind, either. It's not like you can't ask the server to spruce it up with lemon wedges or cucumber -- all for free of charge. You'll be spending plenty on this meal, so you have to save where you can.
Alter the menu items beyond recognition.
You need your meal to be tweaked to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free -- not because you have any legit allergies, but because you've seen amazing results on this restrictive diet. Besides, you want it how you want it, and don't restaurants aim to please? If the food is freshly prepared, why can't you get it your way?
Take excessive photos of your order to post on Instagram.
It's all about the 'gram these days, so make sure you get at least a dozen glamour shots of your grub before you eat it. If your food gets cold in the process, well, summon the server and ask for a reheat -- or better yet, a whole new dish. If they balk, inform them you're an influencer and your review of the restaurant could make or break their business.
Chew with your mouth full.
That "Do you like sea food? See food!" joke never gets old.
Complain profusely about the food.
And when you do, make sure you speak loudly enough so the surrounding tables can hear you. The customer is always right...right?
Send your food back if it isn't impeccable.
Dining out isn't cheap, so if something you've ordered isn't up to snuff, it's totally within your rights to send it back. If the server offers a replacement, refuse; then spend the rest of the meal pouting and whining about this injustice as you watch your dining companion chow down.
Talk trash about the server behind their back.
Shitty servers are a dime a dozen. If you got one, you're totally entitled to talk trash about them every time they step away from your table.
Enjoy yourself audibly.
Why do all the other diners act like restaurants are libraries? If you're happy and you know it, laugh your ass off, heckle the bartender from across the room, and otherwise revel in your dining companion's company with aplomb.
Split the bill in the most complicated way possible.
If divvying up the tab between you and your dining companions doesn't involve a complicated math equation, you're doing it wrong. Don't you dare pay one cent more than you owe. Recruit the server to help in this task, no matter how many sighs and evil eyes they cast your way in the process.
What are you, the welfare office? Tips are a scam that you refuse to participate in. Restaurant owners need to stop relying on diners to subsidize employee paychecks and increase hourly wages instead. Until that happens, your server should be grateful to get 10 percent, tops, out of your pocket.
Ask that everything on the table be boxed up separately.
Hey, we understand: leftovers are great, but not if the food all congeals together and loses its individual flavors. Demand separate containers for each part of your meal to guarantee the best taste tomorrow. It’s not like the restaurant doesn’t have a stockroom full of Styrofoam for this exact purpose.