A Beginners Guide to Fine Dining

Fine dining is one of those concepts that can make otherwise calm people extremely stressed. In the USA, fine dining restaurants make up only 1.4% of full-serve restaurants and 0.73% of the total dining scene. For most people, going to a fine dining restaurant is a special occasion. If you're a beginner at fine dining, keep these four tips in mind.

Look at the Restaurant's Menu Before You Go

If the restaurant has its menu available online, take a look at it before you go. Take some time to see what they have for both food and drinks. You can also look into dining reviews from other customers to see how their experience was. By taking time to do this before you arrive at the restaurant, you can feel more prepared when the server asks you what you would like to have.

Mind Your Manners

While fine dining isn't necessarily stuffy, it is a formal occasion. You should be on your best behavior while at the restaurant. Dress appropriately and use common sense. Cell phones should be put away and conversation should stay civil. If you're polite and kind to the people serving you, then a minor slipup with silverware will hardly be noticeable.

Ask for the Check

While other restaurants might drop the check off at your table, a fine dining restaurant does not want to appear to be rushing you through your meal. When you're ready for the check, ask your waiter to bring it over. If you don't ask, they won't know that you're ready, so make sure that you ask clearly and politely when the time comes.


The whole point of going to a fine dining restaurant is to have a nice experience. The staff is there to ensure that, not to point out that you don't belong here. So relax. Let yourself look forward to a night of dressing up and eating fancy food. If you arrive at the restaurant already tense and terrified, you're more likely to embarrass yourself. Think of it as an adventure and have fun.

Fine dining doesn't have to be scary. If you prepare yourself for it a few days in advance, you'll go in with the necessary knowledge to avoid making errors or ordering food you won't enjoy. Prepare ahead and use common sense and you'll be ready for your first fine dining experience.