New research, from online restaurant booking service Bookatable, reveals that Brits are far from being on their best behaviour when visiting restaurants, leaving friends, loved ones and other diners with a less than enjoyable dining experience.
The findings show Brits are most offended by people snapping their fingers to get a waiters attention (45.96 per cent) while not surprisingly chewing with your mouth open came a close second (45.6 per cent). Despite the popularity in the trend to take photos of food for social media, people using mobile phones offends 40 per cent of Brits, with 12 per cent even taking the extra step to complain about fellow diners to the restaurant.
Other notable annoyances include romantic couple’s public displays of affection, known as PDA (22 per cent) while using a toothpick with people watching was also seen as a dining etiquette faux-pas (16 per cent). It’s not just other diners disturbing our dinner enjoyment, as restaurants themselves can also ruin a meal with friends. Rude service is the top way for restaurants to offend Brits (65 per cent), a factor that rates higher amongst women (70%) than men (59%).
Leading British etiquette expert William Hanson has worked with Bookatable to create a Modern Dining Etiquette Guide; aiming to help restaurant goers have more pleasurable and memorable dining experiences. Hanson says, “It’s clear from the research that people experience a number of frustrating behaviours when eating out with friends and family. Traditional table manners can still be relevant even in the age of mobile phones and social media so a little thought for the neighbouring table can go a long way to ensuring everybody enjoys a nice meal.”
Neighbouring tables were also cited as the cause for dinner guests to feel irritated. No matter how cute they are, for 51 per cent of Brits, crying or misbehaving children would leave them sighing under their breath. And that table loudly celebrating a birthday? 49 per cent of Brits want to turn the volume down on overly loud guests.
Joe Steele, CEO, Bookatable, commented: “As modern trends, such as community dining (where guests share a table space) and photographing food continues to grow, the lines between what is acceptable behaviour have become somewhat blurred. It’s interesting to see that Brits still believe in the idea of table manners even if it’s not necessarily what they are personally experiencing on meals out. Going for a nice dinner out should be an enjoyable experience so Bookatable created a Modern Dining Etiquette Guide to bring some clarity where there may be confusion. ”
The survey of 2,000 Brits also revealed that 1 in 5 no longer makes a considerable effort to look nice for dinner. Peter Avis, Restaurant Manager at Babylon Roof Gardens commented: “I think it is important to not become complacent and adopt an ‘anything goes’ attitude. Standards must be maintained and each guest’s individual values respected.” A thought that can also be applied to diners who enjoy using their mobile phones during dinner, Avis continues “Although it’s lots of fun, too much social networking at the table can cause disjointed and unengaged conversation which can be unpleasant for others at the dining table, so it’s important to remember those around you.”
To read the full Bookatable Modern Dining Etiquette Guide written by William Hanson visit here.
Research was carried out by OnePoll who surveyed 2,000 UK residents between Friday 6th June and Friday 13th June 2014.