Did you know food can be dangerous? For example, pizza is one of the most dangerous foods. That doesn’t include food poisoning either.
According to Benson and Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, Not only can it be a choking hazard, carrying a pizza box can cause you to trip, and you can even poke the roof of your mouth with a fork while eating it!
Some food accidents are your responsibility, but many more of them aren’t, especially if you’re eating at a restaurant. If you want to stay safe and enjoy your time eating out with friends and family, there are seven things you should do.
1. Read Reviews Online
If you’re in the mood to try a new restaurant, get online and read reviews first. Just make sure you’re careful about how you read those reviews.
A lot of people like to go online to complain, which means there are a lot of reviews out there that may not necessarily be accurate. Look for reviews that mention the same thing more than once, ignore reviews that are more than a year old, and pay attention to reviews that don’t go to extremes when describing their experience.
2. Consider Your Safety
Food safety is important, but it isn’t the restaurant’s fault if you poke yourself in the mouth when using their fork. However, there are a lot of other safety considerations you should look for when you enter any restaurant.
You may not be able to take a peek in the kitchen, but other things you can look for that say this is a safe restaurant include:
- Tripping hazards are clearly marked.
- Handwashing signs are posted clearly in the bathrooms.
- The tables are clean and not sticky.
- Exits are clearly marked and easily accessible.
You may also need to consider the overall feel of the restaurant. If you notice the manager treats the waitstaff negatively, or if a particular restaurant hosts a rather rowdy crowd in the evenings, it’s okay to try a different location.
3. Review the Entire Menu
Going over the menu can be overwhelming, especially at restaurants where there are pages and pages of options. You may also get distracted and order the first thing on the menu simply because you’re spending more time talking than deciding what to eat.
Take the time to review the menu properly. It will ensure you consider all of your options, increasing your chances of getting a tasty meal you’ll enjoy. It’s also the best way to avoid certain ingredients, and it can make it easier for your waiter to answer your questions if you have any.
4. Know What to Ask, and What Not to Ask
Asking your waiter about menu items is expected, and it can be a great way to learn more about the best meals at the restaurant. Most waiters are happy to tell you which dishes they would recommend.
You can ask about ingredients, especially if you have a food allergy or intolerance, but there are many other questions that waiters hate. For example, you can ask which dishes they recommend, but don’t ask which ones are their favorite. That’s a lot of pressure! Don’t ask if they can modify menu items by making them vegan or gluten-free, and never ask questions that could be considered rude, like how long it will take for the food to get to your table.
5. Familiarize Yourself With Restaurant Secrets
There are many questions you can ask your waiter and certain things you can observe about the restaurant yourself, but there are many more things going on behind the scenes that can affect your experience. Knowing a few of them can help ensure you have the best experience possible.
There are many tips that are specific to certain restaurants, but there are some general rules to follow too. They include:
- Skip the fish special
- Dine out during the week
- Table bread often gets recycled
- Avoid discount sushi
It’s also important to have an idea of what’s in your food. Most restaurants don’t have nutritional information on-hand, but it’s a good bet that what you’re ordering has a lot of butter. If that’s a concern, stick with the healthy menu where calories are listed clearly.
6. Turn off Your Phone
Our phones permeate our lives, but there are some places they shouldn’t go to. The dinner table is one of them.
Do yourself and everyone else a favor by agreeing to turn off your phone. It will encourage you to be present, have meaningful conversations with friends and family, and it can enable you to enjoy your meal more.
It will be appreciated by your waiter too. Few things are more annoying than trying to take someone’s order when they’re talking on the phone or texting someone else. Put your phone away, make eye contact, and engage with the people around you.
7. Be Kind
Putting your phone away is one way you can be kind to your waiter, but additional kindnesses can go a long way.
It can feel like rudeness in restaurants is on the rise. It has become commonplace to complain about the food or tip waiters badly, but it only makes your dining experience less pleasant. Not to mention, it’s never a good idea to be rude to the person who is in charge of bringing you your meal!
Instead, strive to be kind to every server, even if they get your order wrong. They’re human, mistakes happen, and you never know when their shift started or when it’s going to end, not to mention the stresses they are experiencing outside of work. Have a little compassion, and tip well when you can. Everyone deserves the quality of life, and no one deserves to dread coming to work because they fear to deal with customers.
There are a lot of places to eat out there, and not all of them are good. Increase your chances of enjoying a truly delicious meal and good company by being more mindful every time you sit down to eat at a restaurant.