By: Sherman Kaplan
When I was reviewing restaurants, I had virtual freedom to review any restaurant I chose, and no censorship of my reviews. However, there was one piece, not specifically a restaurant review, more a comment on diner etiquette that I was told not to broadcast. I thought they were wrong then, and still think so…


A couple of weeks ago, I spoke of areas where I think restaurants have been remiss in dealing with their customers. Now, it’s time to discuss The Responsible Diner. So, in no particular order….
When you make a reservation be sure to keep it. If you can’t, call the restaurant and let them know. And, don’t make reservations all over town for the same time on the same night, assuming that it gives you more opportunity to make a last minute choice. It’s rude, it’s selfish, and it denies restaurant owners the opportunity to use a table they may be needlessly holding for you.
Show up on time. Just as the restaurant has the responsibility to be on time, so do you. If you know you are going to be late, call ahead and let the restaurant know.
If you have any special dining requests, or dietary needs, give your server all the information needed to meet your special requirements before ordering. Most restaurants will do what they can to deal with allergies, dietary restrictions, special tastes. Don’t expect anyone to read your mind. Speak up. If a restaurant cannot accommodate you, they’ll let you know. By the way, it’s always a good idea to establish such ground rules when you make your reservation. If needs cannot be met, you know to go somewhere else.
If you have a problem with food ordered, of course you have the right to send it back. But, be judicious and fair in making your judgment. If you give the restaurant the benefit of the doubt, chance’s are its management will do the same for you in return. Speaking of restaurant management, I was talking to a friend who owns a small restaurant and he was telling me that he recently changed his eateries energy provider through a website such as Usave. He was so glad he did and saved a bunch of money. If you’re interested in making some savings on your businesses energy outgoings take a look at this website.
It’s OK to send a wine back if it’s spoiled. It’s not OK to send a wine back merely because you don’t like its taste.
You may think tipping is an option. It’s not. The only reason to skip a tip is if service is genuinely rude. Don’t blame a server for the kitchen’s fault. Let a manager know about the problem.
Finally, the most important rule of all. Enjoy yourself and realize that courtesy is a two-way street. If you’d like to comment, look for our blog at

Read more Sherman Kaplan Restaurant Reviews at and in
North Shore Magazine