Last week I had the pleasure of attending both the Atlantic City Bartenders Ball at the House of Blues as well as the fabulous Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival at Bally’s. Both events were truly amazing and take place every year right here in Atlantic City, so keep an eye out for next year’s dates!
One of the best parts of the Food & Wine fest was hanging out with my new friend and local celebrity food blogger Holly Burtchaell of Oakhurst and randomcravingsblog.com. We had a great time sampling the tasty treats of the event and mingling with the Food Network celebs during all of the pre-parties. The next day I checked out the Marketplace at Bally’s and found some delicious foods, including brownies by Brownies Squared in Mays Landing, lobster bisque soup from Fin at Tropicana, Caribbean rum pralines by Pecan Jacks, and a really great fire-and-ice martini by 2Chicks with chocolate. Honestly almost everything I tried was wonderfully delicious.
Speaking of attending events where you stop at every booth for samples, I started thinking about proper etiquette while waiting in line. It’s frustrating when the people in the front stand there and just nosh on the samples without moving. It’s good to grab your sample and eat while you walk. This way you don’t hold up other people, right?
Whew, now that I got that off my chest ... I started thinking about other etiquette faux pas while dining out, such as talking on a cell phone really loud, or chewing with your mouth open or, as pointed out by my friendBrad Mossman of Ocean City, being taken out to dinner and having the person you’re with leave a lousy tip — that’s just plain embarrassing.
I posed the question of what restaurant etiquette faux pas annoy you most, and the No. 1 answer I received — which I thought was interesting — didn’t have to do with food per se, but had to do with respecting your waitstaff. Many people commented on how it’s very disrespectful to treat your waitstaff badly and to act like spoiled brats when things don’t go your way. It’s so true — people sometimes feel like they are better than their servers or, as Burtchaell points out, “please” and thank you” seem to have disappeared from many people’s vocabularies. Servers are not some lower form of life; they are our equals, and oftentimes our peers. They deserve our respect and appreciation, she advises.
Ocean City’s Natalie Kraft and Galloway’s Brandy Smith both agreed.
As a former server herself, Smith added that it’s ridiculous when people complain that their meal was unsatisfactory, and even request a discount or the entire meal for free, after they’ve cleaned the plate. Egg Harbor Township’s Susanne Sacchetti concurred, adding that people shouldn’t forget common courtesy, respect, and graciousness. “Treat your waiter/waitress as you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes,” she says.
Blanche Morro, also known as “The Singing Bartender” at Resorts Casino Hotel, has been in the business for many years. Her pet peeves include loud cell phone rings leading to loud conversations, people who talk with their mouths full, people who bring their babies and allow them to scream while other people are eating, and, where the waitstaff applies, “service with a lack of knowledge for what they are serving.”
The list goes on, but as you can see, your actions affect others when you’re out in public. Try to take into consideration the people around you and be conscious of your mannerisms. If you do that, then it truly will be a great time had by all.
As a freelance writer, Whitney's columns were published in multiple press outlets including: GoJaneNews.com The Atlantic City Weekly New Jersey Lifestyle Magazine & The Boardwalk Journal just to name a few.
She is the former host of the Entertainment Minute which aired on the NBC40 News and was featured twice on FOX's Chasing New Jersey.