5 Tips For Dining With Large Groups


If you’ve never worked in a restaurant, then you may not realize just how difficult it is for a restaurant to juggle large groups. In order to be a gracious guest and make the restaurant’s life easier, here are some of the best tips for dining with large groups, and what to avoid at all costs.

Let Them Know Ahead of Time About Special Requirements

In order to accommodate your group, it’s best to let the restaurant know ahead of time about any special arrangements you require. For example if you have an older family member in a wheelchair, you should ensure that they have the space and wheelchair access you require. The same goes for us having children in your group. Don’t automatically assume that they have high chairs. 

Call ahead and let them know and this won’t just help them prepare for your visit, but it will also improve the quality of your dining experience

Always Reserve

Even if you assume that the restaurant you’re going to will have plenty of room for the number of guests you have, it’s always best to reserve exactly the same amount you plan to show up with. 

You never know when a restaurant could be having a busy evening and won’t be able to fit in your group. Even though an extra two or three guests at your table may not seem like a big deal to you, restaurants with limited resources could struggle to keep pace.

Show up at The Same Time

It’s much easier for the kitchen to get everyone’s orders in at the same time.  Therefore, ideally, everyone should show up within the same window of time.  If everyone trickles in slowly and orders dishes as they come, this could lead to chaos in the kitchen, and confusions about the final bill. Give everyone a time to show up, and it will be a lot less complicated for your orders.

Let Your Server Know the Checks Are Separate Upfront

If you’re not planning on splitting the check evenly, you should make sure that your server knows upfront that everyone has separate checks. Separate checks at a large group come up from time to time, so servers are usually equipped for it, as long as you let them know ahead of time.  However, because of the way POS systems work, it can be a nightmare to separate the checks at the end of the night when everyone wants to cash out.

Tip Based on Total Bill

One of the biggest nightmares for restaurants when it comes to large tables is tipping based on your individual tabs alone and not on the total bill. Organize how much you should put together as a group to tip based on the total number of guests and bill. Your server will be running around quite a bit to make sure your group is well looked after, so make sure that you look after them at the end of the night as well.