Ah, college — the time when there’s a struggle between spending your last $2 on much needed coffee or clean laundry. While being a broke college student usually means switching between dining hall food and cups of instant noodles, it is always important to splurge and treat yourself every once in a while.
But if you’re like a lot of students here and have forgotten what it’s like to be served at an actual sit-down restaurant, have no fear — Spoon is here to help.
Although we all want to eat at Michelin-starred restaurants, you’ll be paying a lot extra because of that fame they have. Instead, try checking Yelp or best eats articles written by newspapers for delicious restaurants that won’t be as killer for your wallet.
Choose a restaurant that’s close by so you won’t have to spend a lot on transportation costs. If possible, avoid driving your own car because you’ll have to pay for parking and to tip the valet. Instead, look into public transportation options, especially ones that are free or discounted with a student ID.
Make a reservation and don’t be late or your table may be given away. Use the utensils furthest from your plate, work your way in, and then leave those utensils on your plate once you’re finished. Put your napkin on your lap while eating and place it to the left of your plate if you ever get up.
Sometimes we forget that there are clothes other than sweats. But eating at an expensive place comes with expectations, which includes dressing classy to fit in with the ambiance. You don’t have to go out and buy a new outfit, just try to always have a couple of nice pieces which will make everything else seem fancy as well.
This is especially important as a student. Some of the wait staff will be tempted to treat you poorly if you show up looking like you just took a midterm; you have to show them you’re taking the experience seriously.
Waiters and Waitresses
Your waiter or waitress can make or break your night. Always ask about items on the menu you don’t understand, and ask for personal recommendations. Instead of calling out to get their attention, try to make eye contact. If not, raising your index finger should be sufficient. Also, it may be tempting to pull out your smartphone at every moment, but don’t. It is very rude and not appreciated.
When ordering on a budget, be smart about the choices you make. Don’t order the most expensive item, and maybe choose between an appetizer or a dessert instead of both.
With these reminders, you should be all ready for a nice night out without breaking the bank. Just be prepared to come back to reality soon enough.