Dining Etiquette for a Date – What Is Acceptable and What Is Not

Dining Etiquette for a Date – What Is Acceptable and What Is Not

Heading out on a dinner date is a significant step in the right direction if you're interested in dating someone. It's a little more formal than meeting for a drink, or brunch, and says that your date is interested in getting to know you better, in a more intimate setting. You're already off to a great start.

But this doesn't mean that now is the time for dating etiquette to fall by the wayside. In fact, this is a chance for you to step up your game and impress.

If you're dining at a restaurant, here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind.


Dress the Part

Depending on where you're meeting, this is a great chance for you to put some real effort into your appearance. While looks aren't everything, making a good first impression is key. A dinner date is the perfect time to dress the part.

This means skipping the urge to wear shorts and a T-shirt. Now is the time to don a good pair of jeans and shoes, a collared shirt, and a great fragrance. Throw a blazer or suit jacket over the top if the restaurant is on the fancier side.

Think Ahead, Make a Booking

Most restaurants have a reservation policy. Plus, it looks sloppy and far too nonchalant if you show up to a restaurant and haven't had the forethought to make a reservation for this special occasion.

No doubt, your date will not enjoy being turned away from a restaurant that's overbooked. Make the effort, and reserve a table well in advance.

Limit Distractions at the Table

Yes, we live in a technological age where everyone's favourite accessory is their mobile phone. But a dinner date is not the time to be on your phone. In fact, it's best to keep distractions to a minimum, and this means keeping your phone off the table and in your pocket instead.

Better yet, put your phone on silent or vibrate so that it doesn't disrupt your meal. If you absolutely have to take a call, always politely excuse yourself from the table first.

Always Wait For Your Date's Food to Arrive

If there's one major faux pas to avoid when dining at a restaurant, it's diving into your mealbefore your date's food has arrived. It's good manners to wait for everyone's meal to arrive at the table before you all begin eating.

This should be common knowledge and goes without saying, even if you're not on a date.

Treat Service Staff With Respect

This is a big one. Treating wait staff and other service staff with respect and good manners leaves a lasting impression, no matter who you're dining with. If you're dining with someone you want to impress, this piece of etiquette is more important than ever.

Regardless, it's always important to treat service staff with respect, whether you're dining at an upmarket restaurant or a fast food chain.

Demonstrate Wine Etiquette

If you're ordering wine, it's important to show your date that you understand wine-drinking etiquette. This means pre-tasting your wine before it's poured, and offering your date a taste, too. It's also important to hold your wine glass by the stem.

If you're not drinking wine, but your date is, hold your hand over the glass to show that you don't want any.

Decide How You're Splitting the Bill

In today's day and age, it's perfectly acceptable to discuss how you want to split the billbeforehand. Most men might want to pick up the entire bill for a first date, and if that's your preference, let your date know at the beginning of the evening.

If you're both happy to split the bill, ask your waiter for separate bills ahead of time. And don't forget about a good tip!

Find More Dating Etiquette Tips Just a Click Away

Whether you're looking to brush up on your dating etiquette before you dive back into the dating world, or just want to broaden your knowledge on how to impress, check out the rest of our blog for more.

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