196 votes

Covering for person who refuses to tip waiter without offending?

I've been through similar situations (friends not tipping because they didn't have money or because service was 'too slow'). In the cases where I knew I'd be a returning customer and didn't want to ...
  • 22.6k
163 votes

Is it acceptable to violate table manners in public due to my disability?

Can you violate table manners in public? Of course you can. Everyone can. In fact until someone learns them it's likely that they will be unintentionally violating them. Table manners are just ...
  • 8,404
150 votes
Accepted

Should I have my child apologize to someone after he called them fat?

Ooohhh, so recognizable! I've been overweight for at least 10 years, the last 6 I'm hitting a BMI of obese. I've worked in a shop, as a cashier. I've twice had little children call me fat, in such a ...
  • 33.7k
147 votes

How can I ask if something's free, without looking stingy?

A waiter's job is to inform you of the menu and serve you while you're in their restaurant. Their time is precious so you always want to be careful when causing them more work than they would normally ...
  • 15.2k
127 votes
Accepted

How do I deal with other people's screaming children in restaurants?

The way I've dealt with this situation is to ask my server if I could be moved to a different table. It's a little loud over here could we move to another table? Perhaps outside? Approaching the ...
  • 54.6k
110 votes

How do I deal with other people's screaming children in restaurants?

(Preface: Some people have taken offense at how pro-parent this answer is. There's good reason for this. In any meaningful interpersonal situation, we have to pay attention to the mindset of both ...
  • 4,282
86 votes
Accepted

How can I ask if something's free, without looking stingy?

Is that extra, or included? It's a way to inquire about pricing while not actually saying any specific word that is heavily financial in nature. Or, simply, "How much is that?" By inquiring about ...
  • 1,462
80 votes
Accepted

Covering for person who refuses to tip waiter without offending?

To be clear, while the amount of the tip you leave is somewhat flexible, in countries like the United States where it is customary, you should leave a tip unless the service is extraordinarily bad (...
  • 6,787
76 votes
Accepted

Is it acceptable to violate table manners in public due to my disability?

Yes. In fact, "table manners" are a matter of circumstance, as anyone with a background in etiquette should tell you. It is not physically possible for you to conform to my manner of eating, so I ...
  • 1,172
58 votes
Accepted

What is the etiquette regarding ordering food at a restaurant if someone is late?

Exact time is somewhat dependant on situation, but if everyone is there and one person is 20+ minutes late, you should just order. If you want to be nice about it you can call them and say something ...
  • 3,051
57 votes

Asking waiters to let you eat in peace

Apaul34208 gave a great answer, but you comment that you don't want to be bothered at all. So I'll add a scenario. When you order, say (with a big smile and all the charm you can muster, so as not to ...
50 votes

A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

This might be an unlucky coincidence - in German, young people sometimes also refer to older male persons as "Onkel", but it would mean something like "dude" (informal!). If you, as a stranger, would ...
  • 417
42 votes

How do I deal with other people's screaming children in restaurants?

This isn't going to be a popular answer, but I have used this tactic before with success... Use non-verbal cues to let the parents know that you've noticed their kid's misbehavior and that you're not ...
41 votes
Accepted

A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

calling him "Uncle" shouldn't be offensive at all since he was anyway quite elderly for us. Calling the waiter uncle might have offended him because, possibly he thought that you either mistook his ...
  • 7,774
38 votes

What is Soda Fountain Etiquette?

The biggest factor is where the other person is standing. If they are standing directly or mostly in front of the machine, then they are effectively claiming exclusive use of the machine. If they ...
  • 3,035
37 votes

A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

Referring to any stranger/service professional as 'Uncle' in Western Europe is likely to be received as strange, even outside of the restaurant scenario. You mention that you held this conversation in ...
  • 521
31 votes

Is it acceptable to violate table manners in public due to my disability?

"Table manners" is just one small subset of overall "good manners". One hallmark of good manners is patience and respect, and a desire to make others comfortable in your presence. Someone displaying ...
  • 6,787
30 votes

Should I have my child apologize to someone after he called them fat?

I will be that guy right now, and risk all the downvotes. If the truth offends me, then that is my problem. If the truth offends you, then that is your problem. In this case, the child is only ...
  • 349
23 votes
Accepted

How to decline eating food at a restaurant?

First off, this is awkward, and there isn't a lot you can do to make it less awkward. Very few people absolutely will not eat in restaurants. They may eat without enjoying it much, they may limit how ...
  • 43.5k
22 votes

A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

I am Indian myself and let me tell you first off that I never call a waiter or any other service-provider anything because I wouldn't know which form of address is acceptable to that person. We can be ...
22 votes

How can I ask if something's free, without looking stingy?

Unless you're afraid of looking cheap - something I really don't care in a situation like this, where politeness and straightforwardness are always more important - what's wrong with: "How much ...
21 votes

Should I have my child apologize to someone after he called them fat?

No, you shouldn't force the child to apologize, for two reasons. First, the child doesn't know that they have done anything wrong, and they have no reason to know. You may not have taught them that it ...
21 votes

Asking waiters to let you eat in peace

Asking wait staff to leave you alone probably isn't the best way to handle this situation. They're likely to need to bring you your bill and you're likely to need a drink refilled... What I usually ...
  • 54.6k
20 votes

Should I have my child apologize to someone after he called them fat?

I'm not sure forcing a child to apologize is useful, the person probably knows it isn't sincere and it just draws more attention to them. I would (and have) corrected my child and apologized myself ...
  • 5,932
20 votes
Accepted

Asking waiters to let you eat in peace

My answer is very similar to what has already been said, but I would add that it is expected of the waiter to check up on you. So if you follow people's advice here and ask the waiter to leave you ...
  • 801
19 votes

What is the etiquette regarding ordering food at a restaurant if someone is late?

For a big group, I think waiting is expected. How long, though, is dependent on a lot of things. Is the person habitually late? Is the restaurant filled to capacity? Do some members of the party have ...
19 votes

What's the proper etiquette to be relocated from table at a restaurant?

I'ver spent a lot of time working in restaurants. Let me start out by saying, "This is a known issue/procedure with restaurant staff." They generally, especially on a busy night, see at least one ...
  • 32.2k
19 votes

Accidental queue jumpers refuse to believe their mistake

we went ahead and tapped their shoulders and told them they had to move back. They did not like this I'm not surprised. Physical contact and an accusation? I wouldn't like it either and would be ...
  • 802
19 votes

What is Soda Fountain Etiquette?

In my experience, though this does depends on both the area you live (the US is a big place) and the kind of establishment you are in. I have most US experience on the west coast (and the mid west) ...
  • 509

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