Restaurant Etiquette: Quiz Answers

If you missed the quiz portion, go back and check it out.  If you are coming from the quiz, welcome.  Please pass your tests to the left to grade.  We are working on the honor system here folks.  No cheating.

Question One: The minimum socially acceptable amount to leave as a tip for proficient, but mediocre service is:

B: 15-18%.  This is the socially acceptable norm for service that is satisfactory, but not impressive.

Question Two:  The minimum socially acceptable amount to leave as a tip for unsatisfactory service is:

C) 10%.  This should be reserved for times when the service prohibited you from enjoying your meal.  There is a large gap between acceptable service and what merits a 10% tip.

Question Three: The minimum socially acceptable tip for above average service is:

C) 20%.  This is service that met all of your expectations.  The server answered your questions and made the dining experience enjoyable.  This should not be reserved for times where the server baby sits your child or changes your oil during the course of the meal.

Question Four: The proper time to ask for bread to be served is:

B) With the first course it compliments.  Bread is an accompaniment to other courses.  It is not to be used in place of an appetizer or salad.  It is not a side item.  It most certainly is not a second chance to get full when you failed to order enough food.

Question Five: Which of the following is an appropriate question to ask a server:

C) “What sides are served with the steak?”  Questions concerning the menu or the restaurant are always welcome.  The server is doing their job.   This does not mean you can ask derogatory or personal questions.  It also does not give you permission to invite them to join your company or church simply because they are hoping to get a tip.  This reflects poorly on your company or your church.

Question Six: How long is it appropriate to occupy a table after a meal:

A) 10-15 minutes.  This number is somewhat flexible.  If the restaurant is busy and you stay longer than this, you are preventing other guests from being able to eat and the server from making money.  You would not sit in a professional’s office after your appointment had ended.  The table is your server’s office.  It is rude to them and to the other diners to stay for an extended period after the meal has ended.

Question Seven: It is acceptable to ask for your water to be refilled:

D) At 1/3 full.  It is assumed by servers that you want your water refilled.  Reminding a server to do such a basic part of the job is like reminding a surgeon to stitch you back up afterwards.  It is insulting and obnoxious.  Water refills are not something you should have to ask for.  Unless you are given reason to doubt a server’s competency, do not point it out.

Question Eight: Which of these reflects the proper way to voice a complaint about the music?

C) “Is it possible to turn the music down a bit or move to a quieter table?”  The server has no control over the music.  The person who makes decisions on the type or volume of music rarely wears an apron.  If it bothers you, ask politely what can be done.  We want you to be comfortable and will do everything we can to accomplish that short of disturbing our other guests.

Question Nine: The proper time to consider dessert options is:

D) When everyone at the table has finished eating and the plates have been cleared.  It is exceedingly rude to ask for dessert while other guests are still eating.  It is also rude to point and stare at another table enjoying their dessert.  It will be offered at the appropriate time.  If you are intending to eat only dessert, it is polite to inform the hostess of this at the front door.

Question Ten: When is the proper time to voice a complaint?

D) Any of the above.  Voicing a complaint to a server or manager will get it immediate attention.  This is the best way to get a problem resolved.  Once you have left the restaurant it is far more difficult to fix the situation.  Keeping your complaint a secret until you leave demonstrates a desire to complain more than to have the problem fixed.

While most of the other answers seem to absurd to occur, they actually do with unexpected frequency.  Nearly every wrong answer came from recent personal experience.  Be kind to your server and let them be kind to you.  Take heart in knowing that simply by clicking this link you are concerned enough about proper restaurant etiquette that you probably follow it most of the time.  Please help remind others when they fail to do the same.

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7 comments on “Restaurant Etiquette: Quiz Answers

  1. Pingback: Restaurant Etiquette: Pop Quiz « Tips on improving your Tips

  2. Okay, I have to say that the water question can vary – first, I’d like to voice my displeasure with water served to me without ice. I like ice water. And I drink a lot of it (even if I have a glass of wine) when I’m at a restaurant. I would say that 80% of the time I end up drinking my husband’s too because the server or busser rarely comes around to refill. I often have to flag someone down or I ask them to leave the pitcher. I am the same way with iced tea.

    Now, I’m not saying I slam a glass of water every thirty seconds, but if, in 10 minutes’ time my water glass has vultures flying over it, I’d really like more, and the 14 servers who’ve passed my table, with or without a water pitcher in hand, are really driving me nuts.

    But then, even as a bartender, when I walk through the dining room on my way back to the bar (for whatever reason), I pick up empty plates from servers’ tables and offer guests more beverages if they’re empty. Nothing drives me more crazy than servers with tunnel vision.

    • tipsfortips on said:

      I don’t disagree, but I still contend that asking the server for a water refill when it is 80% full is redundant and insulting. A server should be aware of the water situation at all times. Asking for them to refill a full water is just looking for things for them to do. Unless a server has given you reason to be disappointed, have some faith that they are aware of the situation.

      • It is assumed by servers that you want your water refilled. Reminding a server to do such a basic part of the job is like reminding a surgeon to stitch you back up afterwards. It is insulting and obnoxious. Water refills are not something you should have to ask for. Unless you are given reason to doubt a server’s competency, do not point it out.

        Yikes. I think your standards for normal server behavior are skewed by where and with whom you work.

        Earlier this week I had a server come to my table and ask if everything was okay without even glancing at our water glasses, both of which had been empty for quite some time. After being asked, she got a pitcher and refilled our glasses courteously, but I guess my point is that something that is glaring and obvious to you is not so to everyone.

        Keep in mind that we diners don’t always get conscientious servers who are good at their jobs!

        • tipsfortips on said:

          I can see your point. With someone who lets it get empty you should say something. My point it more asking for a refill when it is over half full and has never been empty. I will actually say to tables, “Other than a little more water is there anything I can get for you?” and have them reply, “can I have some more water?” Drives me up the wall that some guests can’t trust that I have their water situation under control.

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