Communal Dining Etiquette

From Amis in Philadelphia to Son of a Gun in Los Angeles to Publican in Chicago, communal dining is a hot new trend that isn’t just for picnicking. Upscale restaurants all over the country are putting foodies in a more relaxed and social atmosphere – but aren’t skimping on the quality of their stellar dishes.

If you’re a student taking online culinary courses, you may be wondering how diners handle eating amongst complete strangers. Since this popular restaurant trend is showing no signs of slowing down, Bon Appetit magazine offered up some helpful etiquette tips for students in international cooking schools:

Break the ice: Ignoring the fact that you’re going to be sharing a table for the next 1 to 2 hours might be a little awkward, so offering a nice gesture is a great way to make your dining experience more comfortable.
Use “airplane rules:” When you are at a communal restaurant, pretend as though you’re on a flight. The person next to you may or may not want to chat through dinner, so watch your body language and verbal cues when you first sit down.
Keep your space: Don’t become messy or overload table space with dishes that will impede someone else’s meal.

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