So you have been trapped in your house during the quarantine for what seems like years and are wanting to go out to eat at one of the many local establishments open for dine-in service. Fun! It is important to remember, however, we are still knee-deep in a pandy. So I put together a handy dandy guide of dos and don’ts when going out to eat in 2020 after conversations with friends in the service industry as well as my own experiences.
Do: Make a reservation ahead of time. Most places require this so they can get a headcount. Check their website before you venture out.
Do Not: Get up from your table unless you are coming or going. Doesn’t matter you totally see Gina over there and haven’t seen her in forever. Send her a text message like an adult.
Do: Have your mask on whenever you are not eating or drinking something. No, don’t complain it is hard to have a conversation with it on. It is a piece of cloth, not a Darth Vadar helmet. You’re fine.
Do Not: Order yourself up a plate of fresh mozzarella sticks and then stand up on your table loudly proclaiming yourself to be the “Mozzie King” and start tossing mozzies to people at other tables like you are a mascot at an NBA game throwing out t-shirts.
Do: Be polite, courteous, and understanding with all the restaurant staff. This should go without saying but is even more important during the pandy. They are under a lot of pressure and stress. They are quite literally risking their health so you can get some Eggs Benny. Be good to people.
Do Not: Saunter on back to the kitchen and insist to anybody who objects “It’s cool. I have been watching a lot of Chopped lately. Just wanna lend a hand to the staff, maybe teach ‘em a few things.”
Do: Tip the hell out of your server! Take what you think would be a nice tip and then add more. They deserve it. In all likelihood you haven’t been going out much or going on vacation or doing other fun stuff so probably have saved a lot of money if you are fortunate enough to have a job. Take care of others. We are all in this together.
Do Not: Set up an entire Risk game board on the table and tell the server, “Might be here a while. Our games usually go at least 8 hours because this a-hole over here Joey sets up shop in Australia and plays fast-and-loose with alliances.”
Do: Wear pants. Seriously, it is easy to forget these days. I went down to check the mail the other day without realizing I was in my boxers and a hoodie.
Do Not: Do that bit where you pull out your old Blockbuster card out of your wallet when it comes time to pay the bill and ask the server if they take Blockbuster cards. What? I am the only one who does that bit? Huh. Makes sense. Pre-pandy it used to get a pity laugh 3 outta 10 times from the server and an annoyed eye-roll from my wife while she mouths “I’m sorry” to the server 10 outta 10 times.
Do: Seriously. Tip your server! I mean it. If you don’t I will come to your house and steal all your toilet paper and the batteries from all your remotes.