In an era where almost every first date, both romantic and business, is lunch or dinner, a lot of effort needs to be employed to make an impression as this will bear a lot on whether you get a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.
Given that societal demands are that it’s a man’s role to impress, we take a look at some things you’ll, as a man, nee to do to stand out as a gentleman.
1. Dress to impress.
This is perhaps the most important thing on the list and above all, it’s essential that you make an effort. It’s no longer a requirement for a man to wear a suit to dinner, but if you are attending a fine-dining establishment then a blazer or sports coat is essential. If all else fails, just remember that it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.
2. Be Courteous.
No matter whom you are with, if you have invited a guest out to dinner it’s only polite to let them order first. Being courteous extends to other aspects of the evening though, and as such, you should open doors for women (and men), pull out chairs for your female guests and eat slowly, so that you don’t rush anyone.
3. Avoid using technology.
Technology has little to no place in a restaurant and as such you should refrain from using it, unless in an emergency. If you must take pictures, then avoid using a flash at all costs – it is distracting for other guests and extremely rude.
4. Keep all personal items off the table.
As well, your mobile phone, your keys, wallet and loose change should all remain firmly out of site. For crying out loud, you came out to wine and dine; let that be it.
5. Always taste the wine.
You should always accept the *sommelier’s offer to taste the wine. This will allow you to ensure it is not corked i.e. when the cork has failed during storage and allowed too much air to enter the bottle, therefore ruining it.
6. Ask for advice.
If you’re not a foodie expert or part-time sommelier, then don’t pretend to be. Be sure to ask for the waiter’s opinion, as they should know their menu inside out.
7. Be subtle.
When trying to get the waiter’s attention don’t shout about it. Try and make eye contact and they should come instantly. Similarly, if you are pleased or disappointed with your food, express your feelings in a nonchalant manner.
8. Never interrupt.
It doesn’t matter who you are with, a true gentleman would never interrupt someone at the dinner table. Instead, let them finish their point and then proceed with your own.
9. Always pay the bill.
It sounds obvious but it isn’t. Don’t let money become an issue. Pay the bill in full. Period.
10. Don’t forget your manners.
This should go without saying but basic manners go a long way. Refrain from eating with your mouth open or talking with a mouthful, and be sure to use your napkin often, cut one piece of food at a time, butter bread on your plate and maintain good posture.
*Sommelier – A Sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. The role in fine dining today is much more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter.