196

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 make a bad impression, I would usually try to sneakily add extra tip in my own bill. However, in the case where your guests are covering the whole bill and you'...


162

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 codified expectations of behavior, normally considered part of "polite society". This is a reciprocal expectation. You can't hold someone's poor manners against them ...


151

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 way that is was audible for both me and their parent. They were always in the age range of 4/5 years. I never felt an apology was really necessary. What I ...


148

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 have to do. When asked if you'd like an extra dish however, there's no shame if you respond with: That sounds interesting, but what's the price for that? I ...


125

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 parents of the screaming child isn't likely to go well for anyone, they're already stressed and preoccupied, just don't. Asking to move to a new table solves ...


110

(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 parties in order to find the best solution. Everyone knows the mindset of the person who has to hear the child screaming. We've all been there. Those without ...


87

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 the cost, you can be delighted if you find out its free. If it's more than what you want, just note, "No thanks, I'll pass."


80

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 (but that's been so rare that when it happens I complain to the manager and get the entire meal comped.) Not leaving a tip actually punishes the waiters and staff,...


76

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 would be obliged to either conform to yours, or to politely ignore yours, depending on the specific nature of the issue. For anyone beyond the confines of your ...


59

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 appear off-putting), ...(order food and drink) and if you don't mind, I'm fine until I ask for the check, Thanks. The waiter will/should ask, "Are you sure?...


58

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 like: We are ordering now, do you know what you want? We could order for you as well That lets them know what you're up to so that it isn't an unpleasant ...


50

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 call me "Onkel" while I am your server, I would also be offended, because it implies that you are looking down on me. Just "Excuse me, can you ... " is ...


41

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 happy about it. Make direct eye contact. If they're the kind of parents that are already feeling self-conscious about it, this might be the motivation they ...


41

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 age by his look or he probably just didn't want to be called as such. Is this correct or we were wrong in thinking so? I'd say neither party is wrong. You ...


37

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 your native language, and despite this it was still received badly. It could be that this waiter has lived all his life in Germany, and has never become ...


31

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 speaking the truth. "That man is fat". Depending on tone of voice there is no implicit accusation, judgment or condemnation in this statement. These could easily be ...


31

"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 good manners would not, for example, comment on your disability unless you brought it up yourself. They may appear not to even notice your tremor or your use ...


23

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 does it cost?" or "Is it free?" Don't over complicate something simple, just ask or check the menu, if the product isn't listed, it's normally free. "Some ...


23

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 often they do it to save money, but just plain not ever consuming anything a restaurant, any restaurant, has to offer is outside the cultural norms of pretty ...


22

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 polite without calling them anything, though you may not have expected that hostile response. We don't really have the right to call an unknown person uncle ...


21

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 can be rude to say such observations yet, and they have no idea which observations are rude. To the child, calling someone fat isn't much different from ...


21

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 do when they ask about my meal and my mouth is full, is just smile and nod which generally means that it's good. If they're asking if I need anything, I smile ...


20

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 to the person potentially offended, which was sincere, because the fault is mine: "I apologize, she is still learning she isn't the only person with feelings." ...


20

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 alone, I think you should prepare yourself that a busy waiter can still ask you how things are out of habit. Anyway, here's the phrasing I would use to keep ...


19

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 a definite time frame (have to be somewhere else after dinner)? Is the restaurant staff looking askance at your table? Have you asked the server if the table ...


19

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 table that wants to move for whatever reason, whether it's loud neighbors, proximity to kitchen or restrooms, dislike of the server, or just plain wanting ...


19

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 tempted not to move, even if I knew I was wrong. When you draw their attention to the fact they pushed in, it needs to be as blameless as possible and offer them ...


19

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) so will give my perspective there. In a casual or fast food place, this is generally fine, I would not hesitate to do this in say, a Subway, Costco or Burger ...


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