It is said that 90% of communication is non-verbal. In a restaurant dining room, the rules are no different. Although if you are hoping to avoid interruptions to the ambiance at your table, you can communicate to dining room staff almost exclusively in non-verbal cues.
Sometimes you are deep in conversation, having a great time, and it seems like every five minutes a waitperson is interrupting to see if you need more wine, or bread, or if you are still enjoying that lasagna.
Here are few non-verbal things that can easily be performed in a restaurant setting (and make you look like a dining Jedi to your guests!):
1 If you don’t want more wine/coffee/water/etc, simply hold your hand above your glass when the server circles the table with a bottle or a pitcher (Coffee or teacups in a saucer can be turned upside down in their saucer if you do not wish to have them refilled).
2 When you have finished with your plate, place the cutlery side by side, face down on the plate, diagonally, like the hands of a clock with the tips in the center and the handles pointing to 5:00.
3 If you are merely taking a break from dining, place your cutlery on the top edges the plate, fork on the left and knife on the right (or on whichever side you use them). Alternately, when you see a staff member approaching to clear the table, simply pick your fork up again, or cut a fresh bite of your meal.
4 When a server approaches to check that all is well at the table, simply meet her gaze, make eye contact, and give a reassuring nod.
5 If you are ready for a glass to be cleared or refilled, move it to the edge of the table so if can be easily reached.
6 If you are ready for the check place your credit card on the edge of the table where the server is likely to see it.