The Subtle Serving Technique You Might See At Fine Dining Restaurants

Fork on the left. No elbows on the table. Don't share food. Know how much to tip. Foodies travel all over the world to enjoy fine dining experiences. Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette and The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program, says that proper etiquette dictates you: never say "bon appetit," butter each bite of bread individually as you eat, and fold your napkin with the crease toward you, per Food & Wine. Phew.

Tired of all these rules yet? There's probably a good chance that your server is as well. But they still follow them, and as a courtesy to the person looking after you during your meal, it's a good idea to brush up on the numerous unwritten (but very important and hideously embarrassing to violate) rules of fine dining. In that spirit, keep an eye out for this subtle serving technique you might see at fine dining restaurants. 

It's a dance

With so many fine dining rules, you'd probably think "no dancing at the table" would be one of them. But, you would be wrong. Believe it or not, your server wants you to cut a rug ... kind of. Parker Geiger, CEO of the personal coaching company Chuva Beyond, says to lean left, then lean right. When your server comes to the table, Geiger explains via Best Life, they're going to be carrying plates that need to be set down. Per the idiosyncratic laws of the dining room, they will likely be setting those plates down to your right. By leaning left, you're giving them the space to do their job. Then, after your meal, when your server returns to collect your emptied plates, they'll be retrieving them from your left side — so lean right.

While you may not be visiting a fine dining restaurant tonight or tomorrow, there's a chance that you might be visiting one sometime soon. For the first time, reports Fox Business, from 2015 to 2016, U.S. consumers spent more eating out than they did on groceries — $54.857 billion compared to $52.503 billion. By 2021, U.S. consumers spent a collective $876.33 billion on food service. So, on your next fancy restaurant excursion, whenever it is, keep the lean in mind. Your server will appreciate it.