What is the etiquette to taking a call in a restaurant? Or responding to a loud phone call at the table next to you?

We’ve all had the world’s most exciting news that we wanted to share with a friend at that exact moment regardless of where we are or who we are with.  And while we may be enthralled in the conversation, we often forget that the company around us is less than interested and *gasp* may find our conversation annoying or even dull!

A restaurant is a particularly challenging place to face this conundrum. On one hand there are conversations all around us, and on the other hand we go there to enjoy food and the atmosphere. An atmosphere, by the way, that ideally does not include your phone conversation.

While some consider a phone conversation to be the same as a conversation between two people, it is not.  Only one side of the conversation can be heard by others and this can be immensely annoying.  Whether you are the one having the conversation or the conversation is going on at the table beside you, there are a few things to help gauge the situation:

Be Mindful of Your Location: The type of restaurant is a factor here. If you are in a loud Chipotle, provided that the conversation is not held above the volume of the crowd, a phone conversation may be perfectly acceptable.  However, in a sit down restaurant, this is hardly the case.

Adjust Your Volume: Are you having a hard time hearing the person on other side of the conversation? Don’t compensate by yelling back and speaking above the rest of the crowd.

Length of call: If the conversation is brief, i.e. to tell the babysitter you are running late, you likely aren’t bothering others and people will generally understand.  A conversation that lasts between the time the waiter takes your order and the fifth course.

If you are listening in on another person’s obnoxious call, feel free to politely comment to the other person. State why the call is out of place – people are always more responsive when they aren’t blamed. Then make a request to have the caller change his or her behavior.  A simple, “I’m having a hard time holding a conversation. Do you mind taking your call in the foyer?” will do wonders.

Have a peaceful and enjoyable next feast on the town.

2 Responses

  1. Vicky says:

    I love these, please write more. It’s easy for people to remember proper etiquette.

    • admin says:

      I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying the blogs. If ever you or your friends have a question, please ask :)

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