10 new rules for modern dining (take our quiz to see if you pass the test)

When it comes to splitting the bill, be reasonable. 
When it comes to splitting the bill, be reasonable.  Photo: Shutterstock

1. Don't take your complaints to the internet before you take them to a staff member

Ragu too dry? Natural wine bordering on vinegar? Perhaps let a waitperson know about your gripes before posting them to an online review site or Facebook. It may well be a problem that's easily fixed and everyone can go home happy.

2. Be discreet with the food photography

This means no chunky DSLR cameras, artificial lighting, standing on chairs and shooting plates on the floor. Most importantly, it means acknowledging the staff member delivering the food to your table before whipping your phone out. As for Boyfriends of Instagram tasked with lighting dishes via phone torch – you're allowed to say no. Find the power within.

3. Keep the bill splitting to a reasonable level 

Most restaurants will be OK about splitting the bill evenly across two or three cards but waitstaff would rather drink a pint of shattered glass than deal with 20 separate transactions for a birthday dinner. You don't want to be that person itemising who ordered what on the bill either.

4. Stick to the agreed exit time if you have an early booking

And if you're on a late sitting and the chairs are being stacked, it's probably time to leave, too.

5. At the very least, put the iPad on mute

While there's strong arguments for and against keeping children occupied with electronic devices at restaurants, there's no reason Peppa Pig should be spruiking the benefits of seaside holidays at full volume. This rule applies to any public space and also planes.

6. Let the kitchen know about dietary requirements as soon as possible 

Online booking systems have a little additional notes section just for this. It means the kitchen has time to prepare the best possible gluten-free/non-dairy/vegan version of its tasting menu that it can.

7. If you have only a limited time to eat, let the floor staff know when you arrive

"If there's a conversation at the start of the meal or time of booking, the vast majority of times we can manage that experience," says Jeremy Courmadias.

8. Understand not all restaurants are created to cater specifically for you.

If you're going to complain online that a hatted chef won't provide chips or chicken nuggets it's fair to say you should never be allowed to visit any restaurant ever again and you probably should not have gone there in the first place.

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9. Don't ask for a free meal in exchange for Instagram posts 

Regardless of whether your Instagram account has 100 followers or 1 million, it's not a classy look and no restaurant worth its Olsson's will say yes.

10. Let the restaurant know if you don't intend to show up

"If someone invited you to their house for dinner you would call to let them know if you couldn't make it," says Attila Yilmaz. "You should do the same for a restaurant booking. It's simple courtesy. It also means we can allocate those seats to paying customers."

Take the quiz

Restaurants are fed up with diners being jerks and if you look around at your fellow eaters next time you're out, you might see that they have a point. But how do you fare?

Following in the grand tradition laid out by teen mags, Gemima Cody has devised a quiz that will determine whether you are a good diner.