The Top 5 Don’ts Dining Tips In America

Do’s and Don’ts usually come hand in hand. Funnily enough, people tend to remember the NOT rather than the DO. I guess human are just rebellious by nature. Anyhow, learn from my experience and don’t….

1. Be overwhelmed by choice.

America is great. It is a land of opportunity. There’s almost nothing you can’t get here. Here,you can be faced with an overwhelming number of choices.If you are not decisive by nature,it’s easy to be  ‘paralysed’ having to make the best decision in a short time. This is what coined as ‘Paradox of Choice‘. For example, in Cheesecake Factory, you have more than 200 menu selections . There’s 37 (I’ve counted!) choices of cheesecake alone and don’t even get me started on the appetizer! So, where do you start? How are you going to make a choice? My take is that it is better to risk ordering something which may not turn out as expected (just close your eyes and point if you must), than staring down at menu paralysed and unavailable to make any decision and give up. A less perfect meal is better than no meal at the end of the day!

2. Get confused with different terminologies.

Sometimes, a simple order can simply turned out to be something different altogether. I remember ordering chips (French fries if you are American) with my corn dog having one of those chips craving.To my disappointment, I’ve got a bag of potato crisp (potato chips if you are an American) instead. The danger is that both words are used but with different meanings. Just imagine asking for tomato sauce (tomato ketchup) at McDonald’s and got a blank stare (more of where in the WORLD are you from look?)as a reply.Below are some of the common terminologies that I find commonly misunderstood:

Bacon – Rasher

Biscuit – Cookies

Candy floss – Cotton candy

Chips – French fries

Custard – Pudding

Prawns – Shrimp

Sweets – Candy

Tomato sauce – Ketchup

Entrée – appetizer

Main – entrée

3. Be deceived by the price on the board

The price on the board may not necessarily reflect the nett price. Depending on which states you go, there’s different law applicable to food tax. So, don’t be surprised that the final price on the checkout counter is slightly different from the ones on the board.

4. Go to a restroom without spare change

Yes, it’s the tips again. It may not be applicable to all restaurants. But, it is always good to be prepared. There may be a lady/man in the toilet handing you towels, handwash etc. and as a courtesy, you usually tip them ($1 is sufficient). So, you wouldn’t want to find yourself bursting to use the toilet and going back to get some spare change,would you?

5.  Be afraid to ask when unsure

It’s easy to be misunderstood or understand how things work in a foreign country. In any instances of doubt. Just ask. No one would shoot you!


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