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American Restaurant Culture

Please wait to be seated When eating in non-fast food restaurants in the United States, the waiter who leads the table usually leads the table. Such restaurants usually have a service desk at the gate or a sign at the gate that reads Please wait to be seated. If there is such a service desk or sign, don’t go in directly, just wait at the door. Even if a friend has already sat down in a restaurant for an appointment, the waiter will usually find the friend’s table before taking you into the dining area. The waiter will always ask the guest “how many” before taking a seat. Sometimes you will also be asked whether to choose smoking or non-smoking areas. Because more and more public places in the United States are now non-smoking, the chance of being asked this question is also much less. If you have any special need for a seat, such as a window seat or a quieter place, you can bring it up so that the waiter can find the seat you are most satisfied with. If you are led to an unwanted seat, you can also bring it up instead of changing it yourself. The reason why American restaurants are arranged like this is that each waiter has his own area of responsibility. When meeting the needs of the guests, the waiters will try their best to balance the guests in charge of the waiters so as not to be too busy in some places or too idle in others.

American Restaurant Culture

American Restaurant Culture

After the guests sit down, the waiter in charge of this table will present the menu. When eating in China, people usually have only one or two menus for a large table, while in American restaurants, everyone orders their own, so it is not difficult to understand each menu. Before ordering, the waiter will ask if he wants any drinks. if he has not made a decision, he can say “i’m not sure yet.” The free drink in American restaurants is ice water. If you can’t decide what you want to drink, you can say water. After the waiter brings up the drinks, he will leave to show you the menu for a while and choose the dishes he wants to eat. Some restaurants have special dishes recommended on that day, and the waiter will introduce them to you before ordering.

Ordering There are few pictures in American menus, but the ingredients and the making method are clearly written behind each dish. There are many people with food allergy in the United States, so it is more convenient for guests to choose the ingredients clearly. If you have a good idea, closing the menu means “we are ready to order”. The first few times I ate in an American restaurant, when the waiter didn’t show up, I just read the menu and passed the time. As a result, the waiter never showed up. I wonder why the service is so poor. Later, after observation, it was discovered that in the United States, it is necessary to combine the menus to indicate that one is ready to order. If the waiter hasn’t come yet after you decide what to order, don’t try to greet the waiter. The American custom is to wait for the waiter to come and ask if he is ready. Raising one’s arm and calling it “Hey, waiter/waitress” would be considered very impolite. In general, the waiter will soon notice whether the guest’s menu has been closed. If the waiting time is really a bit long, you should generally nod or smile a little when he meets your eyes to show that you are ready.

Occasionally, the waiter will ask before you close the menu. This may be because the restaurant is not busy or the waiter is just free. If you are not ready, politely say I need a couple more minutes. If you have any questions about a dish, you can also ask the waiter at this time.

When ordering dishes, try to be concise and comprehensive. At home, I often order while watching the menu. In the United States, people think that it wastes the time of waiters, and also the time of other table guests who are in charge of waiters.
Ordering in American restaurants is a science. When I first came here, I was most afraid of ordering dishes. Ordering in China means the name of the dish. Different from China, many choices are not on the menu when ordering in the United States. First of all, western food in the United States has different side dishes, which can be selected according to their own tastes.

Secondly, the United States attaches great importance to personal choice, even in the small matter of ordering dishes. For example, if you order eggs and bacon for breakfast in the United States, the waiter will ask, How do you like your eggs cooked? The first time I heard such a question, I didn’t know how to answer it at all, thanks to the help of friends in the same trade. There are many ways to make eggs. The common ones are: over-easy, over-hard, sunny-side-up, and scrambled. With the eggs, there was bread. What kind of bread do you like? Whole wheat, white? If you don’t want bread, do you want English muffins? So many choices have long been familiar to waiters, but for foreigners who do not know us, it seems to be a spoken language test.

Salad dressing: Salad is usually served as an appetizer. Generally speaking, garden salad, green salad and dinner salad are all free of salad dressing. The waiter will ask you what dream do you like? The most common choices are: ranch, caesar, bluecheese, italian and thornisland. Other specialty salads will have sauce on the menu.

In the United States, the dishes are not served as soon as they are ready. In most cases, the dishes ordered by one person are served together. During the meal, the waiter will come at least once and ask How do you like it? ), whether you need to add wine. Of course, unless it is very bad, it is generally said that I like it. Very good. Perfect. Some people think it is hypocritical to do so. In fact, the waiter doesn’t care whether you eat well or not. He just wants to make a good impression on you and earn more tips. This makes sense. However, I think that apart from tipping, the service industry in the United States generally adheres to the service concept of establishing friends with strangers. I often see waiters chatting and joking with guests. Especially when I see familiar repeat customers, I will definitely come to talk about them.

When eating in America, you seldom see leftovers on the table. Ordering dishes is done according to one’s abilities, not for the sake of ostentation. When I first came to the United States, I had a small appetite. American restaurants gave me a large amount of food. I always had at least half of it left, but it didn’t matter. When the waiter sees that the guest has almost finished eating, he will ask if he would like to order dessert. If he is ready to check out, he will also ask if he wants to pack. If the bill is ready, the attentive waiter will ask whether the bill is together or separate. Many meals in the United States are AA-based, so waiters are used to dividing bills into several portions. You can even tell the waiter to pay only the portion he ordered. If everyone orders differently, the bill will be different. When it comes to payment, don’t be like China, where everyone is rushing to pay. Although this is a kind of hospitality and generous performance, but in the United States and friends go out to dinner, if not agreed in advance, generally everyone is divided equally. If you want to treat, you’d better get the consent of your American friends in advance and never shout loudly at the dinner table. Americans have a strong sense of independence and equality. Although dinners are our way of hospitality, we should do as the Romans do.

Tips of tipping The bill will be put in a clip or a small tray (the bill is upside down) will be brought up. This is to give the payer some privacy. Tipping is the same principle when eating in American restaurants. The fixed income of American catering service personnel is not high, and most of the income depends on tips. For people from countries that never tip, how much to tip has always been a puzzling question, but even if you ask Americans, you may not have a unified answer.

Go Dutch?A-A rule?on average?

What will be your answer ?



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