What not to do when dining out

graphic: Elizabeth Teng

We’ve all been in one of those situations—waiting in line forever just to ask for napkins or having to watch some weirdo gulp down an entire hoagie in three minutes. No one wants to be in an awkward scenario like one of these, so please heed our advice and avoid doing anything on this list: 

Texting or playing games the whole time you’re eating

Being on your phone during a meal is rude. Take the time to talk and spend time with the person you’re with instead of trying to get to the next level of Candy Crush or sending a Snapchat to your other friends. You’re hanging out with them—not your phone.

Talking in an obnoxiously loud voice

To be blunt, no one cares about the drama in your friend circle or the test you just totally failed. So be courteous and talk with your inside voice; that way, others can have a chance to enjoy their meal and have their own conversations.

Paying only with coins—come on, use common cents

Not only is paying with coins inconvenient, it also holds up the line behind you. It takes extra time for you to count out the money and for the cashier to double check your counting. It just takes time away from everyone. Instead of counting those rusty pennies, wouldn’t you rather just be eating? Pay with bills and save your change.

Going through a drive-through on a bike, skateboard, or any non-motorized vehicle

Going through on a bike or skateboard is not only inconvenient but also dangerous. How are you going to hold on to that delicious hamburger while riding your bike or skateboard? Also, you are making other drivers be more cautious around you and creating a dangerous situation for everyone.

Disrespecting your servers

Their job is to bring you food and clean up after you, not do your bidding for the next hour or so. Follow the golden rule and appreciate the fact that this waiter can carry four trays of food around three kids, seven chairs, and six outstretched feet—all without dropping a fry. They also clean up after you and greet you happily despite the rudeness.

Ordering from the kid’s menu if you’re clearly older than 12

Sure, sure, that mac and cheese with a juice box and an addition of ice cream looks appetizing! It’s time to start acting like an adult, so order the adult-sized, adult-priced mac and cheese instead. We know, it’s a drastic change, but you can probably handle the larger portion and wider variety of options.

Chewing with your mouth open. Gross!

Honestly, it’s common courtesy at this point. We have no desire to see exactly what stage of decomposition your food is at. Nor do we wish to witness the entire process you use to consume your food. Food is a wonderful part of life—chew with satisfaction as you keep your mouth closed.

Taking the items on the table home with you

Maybe that packet of Splenda is tempting you, or possibly those ketchup packets. You could even be a napkin person, but please, please, do not take home the products sitting on the table. They are provided for you to help satisfy your hunger at the time and to make your meal more enjoyable. There is absolutely no need to steal the packets of sugar, unless, of course, your intention is to look like a freeloader.

Taking forever to order your food

Especially when there’s a long line, this is not acceptable. The people waiting behind you are impatient and hungry, and you could end up with an entire restaurant of strangers sending hateful glares your way. Try to figure out what you want to eat before you step up to the cashier or call the waiter over to your table.