8 Mistakes People Make When Dining in a Large Group
A little planning and patience can go a long way.
Skipping the Reservation
Unexpected large parties are one of the things restaurant hosts secretly dislike. Making a reservation for a large group lets the restaurant prepare for the rush a big table can bring. It also ensures that you won’t be disappointed if they’re having a busy night. Keep the restaurant posted if the size of your party changes significantly.
Showing up at Different Times
It can be hard to control the comings and goings of a big group, but having everybody show up on time makes things a lot less complicated for your server. It also should improve the quality of the service you get. While this is one rule we think all restaurant-goers should follow, there are certainly a few dining etiquette rules no one follows any more.
Waiting to Ask for Separate Checks
Please don’t ask for separate checks at the end of the meal. It’s best to ask right away—it will save your server from scrambling later. It’ll also give you a chance to sort the payment out with friends if splitting the bill isn’t possible. By the way, this is the best time to ask for separate checks.
Making Requests One at Time
If your server is getting a second drink for someone in your party, ask for one at the same time—even if your glass isn’t 100 percent empty. It’ll save the server from constantly running back and forth—which is one of the most common server pet peeves.
Monopolizing the Server’s Time
While you should absolutely feel comfortable chatting with your server and asking for what you need, give them a break once in a while. Be mindful that you’re probably not their only table, and try not to go overboard or monopolize their time.
Waiting on a large party can be challenging. If you can see your server is making an effort, take a deep breath before complaining. Of course, if you are having a low-patience day, you can skip the party and chill at home with one of these restaurant copycat recipes.
Forgetting to Check the Bill
Many restaurants add an automatic gratuity (often 18%) for parties larger than six. Make sure you double-check (you don’t want to be paying twice) before settling the bill. Don’t be afraid to add a little extra, if your server went the extra mile.