If you are wondering how to get the best casual dining experience, the following tips can help to ensure a memorable and enjoyable meal.
Eating out can be costly, and it isn’t unusual for a meal for a family of four to cost around $100 at one of America’s popular casual dining chains. You can save money by looking online for coupons, which often offer a dollar amount off the bill, or a buy one entrée, get one free. And signing up for your favorite restaurant’s frequent diner or frequent guest program can also save you money, or better still, limit your wait at busy times.
And it is possible to wait up to an hour to eat on busy evenings, especially Fridays and Saturdays, holidays and special events. One way to get the most out of your casual dining experience is to avoid peak dining times or take advantage of the call ahead seating offered by many restaurant chains. Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be slow in the restaurant business, and you can often have the place almost to yourself.
Where you sit in the restaurant can also affect your overall dining experience. If possible, avoid taking a table near the door, the bar or the kitchen, all of which can be noisy locations, with people walking past you regularly. A booth offers more space and privacy than a table, and if you don’t like where the hostess seats you, it’s acceptable to ask for something different.
Sampling something new on the menu is always exciting, although if you don’t like to take risks, you may want to stay with the tried and tested dishes offered by most American casual dining chains. Chicken and steak dishes, ribs and burgers are nearly always well cooked and won’t disappoint. Some chains offer combos, such as steak and seafood, and most now allow you to explore the menu online before you even set foot in the restaurant.
Finally, remember that your wait staff would like a positive experience too; always treat restaurant staff respectfully and courteously and don’t forget to add on a tip.