Restaurants can be ideal spots to celebrate special occasions or simply get a night off from cooking. One of the joys of dining out is having a delicious meal prepared and served without having to worry about post-meal cleanup.
Dining establishments are in the business of keeping customers happy, but diners can do their part to make their next dining experience as enjoyable as possible.
When planning your night out, call the restaurant or make a visit in person to inquire about their reservation policy. Find out how far in advance reservations must be made, and discuss the size of the party you plan to bring. Restaurant employees can advise you as to which days tend to be the least busy and which times ensure you will have a smoother dining experience, especially if your dinner party will be large.
If possible, become a regular patron at a particular restaurant you like. This allows you to develop a rapport with the staff and possibly even the owners. Like the restaurant’s page on social media and sign up for email alerts about specials so you receive advance notice about upcoming events.
For special requests that go beyond regular restaurant offerings, consult with the manager well in advance of your party. Many restaurants are able to accommodate special requests, such as renting out the space or bringing in flowers. The restaurant may have a set of protocol they follow or vendors with whom they contract, and that can make the dining experience even more special. Discuss the extra costs involved and work out the details thoroughly so nothing is left to chance. Call ahead a few days in advance and confirm the reservation and special plans, if any. This way there will be no surprises come the night of the dinner.
Always be on time for a reservation, especially when you have a large dinner party. The restaurant’s job is to turn over tables, and while you want to have a relaxing meal, you do not want to be late or dawdle past an acceptable time. Consider the restaurant’s business and be a good patron.
Remember to reward exceptional and friendly service during your meal and when paying the bill. Generous diners who treat the staff courteously and go above and beyond in terms of gratuity will likely be remembered the next time they dine out. Go out of your way to praise exemplary service and offer to give positive reviews of an establishment online.
Hosting a special occasion at a restaurant can be even more enjoyable with some pre-dinner planning and by working with restaurant staff you trust.