Saturday, April 16, 2016

Restaurant Napkin Etiquette

“Haircut or shave, sir?” — Past toddlerhood, bibs are not allowable according to to currently accepted etiquette standards, unless one is dining on lobster in its shell and the restaurant provides special bibs, or one is dining in a theme establishment at which diners are encouraged to wear napkins tucked in at the neck.

The efficient Henry, major domo of New York’s posh Barberry Room, was pained to note that one diner, evidently unfamiliar with the etiquette of dining in high society, had tucked a big napkin under his chin, preparatory to tackling an order of goulash-with-noodles. 

How to tell the gauche fellow that he was doing the wrong thing without hurting his feelings? Henry figured out a way. He tapped the diner lightly on the shoulder and inquired politely, “Haircut or shave, sir?”

 * * * 
A customer had been trying in vain to get some service in a crowded midtown restaurant one lunchtime. Finally he beseeched the major domo, "Can't you change my table, please? I'd appreciate something nearer a waiter.” — By Bennett Cerf, Distributed by King Features, 1962

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia