10 pieces of restaurant etiquette from around the world

Rawpixel.com/ShutterstockIn Kazakhstan, it’s a good sign if your server brings you only half a cup of tea.
  • Dining etiquette differs from place to place.
  • You might want to be prepared to get a round of drinks for your table in Ireland.
  • Making noise while you chew or eat in the presence of others is considered rude in the US, but in Japan, it shows appreciation for your meal.

Much like how tipping etiquette differs around the globe, proper manners and what’s considered rude or polite when dining differs, too. Although it’s easy enough to remember to cover your mouth when you cough and to not talk while you have food in your mouth, when you visit restaurants around the globe dining etiquette can be different than what you’re used to. In order to be a proper guest when visiting a new country, it can always be handy to know a bit of restaurant etiquette as you travel.

Here are 10 pieces of dining out etiquette from around the world.


In Ireland, you might want to be prepared to offer up a round of drinks when you’re out with a group.

Adam Berry/GettyIt’s fairly typical to take turns buying a round in Ireland.

It’s considered courteous to go to the bar to bring back drinks for your entire table. This is called “getting your round in,” according to IrishCentral. Generally, everyone in the group should get up to offer up a round at some point whether you’re asked to or not.


You should probably avoid asking for extra cheese on your pizza in Italy.

Getty Images

And you won’t want to try to add cheese to your seafood dish, either. In Italy, it’s sometimes considered rude to ask for anything that isn’t explicitly offered to you while dining out, according to Revealed Rome.


You might be insulting the chef if you ask for salt and pepper in Portugal.

iStockIn Portugal, there’s no salt and pepper on your table for a reason.

It’s OK to add a little extra salt or pepper to your plate as long as the condiments are already on the table. But according to Lonely Planet’s “Portugal Travel Guide,” asking a server to bring you salt and pepper is considered an offence to the chef’s seasoning skills.


Slurping your food is a sign of appreciation for your meal in Japan.

iStockIn Japan, slurping is considered a sign you enjoyed your meal.

In some countries like the US, it can be considered rude to make sounds when you chew or swallow your food. But in Japan, it’s a way to show your server or chef that you enjoyed the meal, according to TripSavvy.


Splitting the tab in France can be considered unsophisticated.

ESB Professional/ShutterstockYou probably shouldn’t ask to split the bill in France.

When in France, splitting the bill with fellow diners should be avoided when possible. You’re expected to offer to pay the entire bill or someone else is expected to do so. However, in some cases, it is expected that the one who invites the group out for a meal should cover the check, according to Etiquette Scholar. Of course, according to French Today, there are some instances where splitting the bill is OK, like when dining out with a large group of people or with coworkers.


You’re may want to leave a little bit of food on your plate in China and Colombia.

iStockIn Colombia and China, you may not want to entirely empty your plate.

If you’re used to cleaning your plate, you might want to consider not doing so when dining in China. According to Veem, it’s considered rude to leave an empty plate because it’s as if you’re telling your host that he or she didn’t give you enough food. According to Knoji, the same rule applies when dining in Colombia.


In some parts of China, flipping over a fish is considered bad luck.

iStockIn China, just eat around the bones of the fish.

In some parts of China, when you reach bone while eating one side of a fish, you must not flip the fish to continue eating. It is said that doing so symbolises the capsizing of a fishing boat, according to Culinary Lore. Instead, you should remove the bone and continue eating.


In some cases, you should leave the business talk at the door when you dine in Australia.

Max PixelPay attention to social cues.

In Australia, people typically prefer not to discuss business matters over a meal, according to Etiquette Scholar. Of course, it depends on the person or group you’re with, but you should pay attention to any cues from your fellow dining companions for good measure.


In Kazakhstan, it’s probably a good sign if your server brings you only half a cup of tea.

iStockIf you’re served a full cup of tea in Kazakhstan, it could be interpreted as a social cue.

In America, it’s pretty typical to get annoyed when your barista doesn’t fill your cup all the up. But in Kazakhstan, it will actually leave you satisfied since it is a good sign. According to Every Culture, half-filled cups are meant to keep your tea warm since your host will continuously fill your cup as a way to keep the interaction going.

If your host or server were to fill your cup with tea, however, it is a sign that they might want you to leave, according to Commisceo Global.


If you find yourself at a feast in the country of Georgia, you don’t want to sip your wine.

Getty ImagesIn Georgia, you should wait for the toast before drinking your wine.

If you ever find yourself at a supra, which is a traditional Georgian feast, you should avoid sipping your wine. According to Georgian Journal, you should instead wait for the toast and then drink the entire glass.

Visit

INSIDER’S homepage

for more.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.