Cafe etiquette

Old Sep 24th, 2000, 02:52 PM
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Cafe etiquette

I know this is probably a stupid question, but do you just sit down at an open table at an outdoor cafe? I have not been yet, and was wondering in general, if you must be seated (if it is more formal?) or if you can just sit down anywhere that is open?

Thanks for your help!
Old Sep 24th, 2000, 03:34 PM
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At cafes, you generally just take a seat at an open table. Once the waiter notices you, he will come over to take your order. He will also usually leave the check on your table at some point. When you're ready to pay, you can just place your money on the table. The waiter will pick it up and give you your change when he passes your table. If he doesn't leave the check, you can always get his attention and ask for it.

Since they don't really bother you after you have placed and received your initial order, you usually will need to get the waiter's attention again if you want to order something else. The tip is usually already included in the price on your check, but I usually leave any small change that I get back on the table.
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 12:19 PM
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Thank you for your answer to my post. I felt a little silly asking at first, but you were very patient and kind in your answer.

Thanks again!
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 03:00 PM
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Terrific advice from Jayelle. Note, however, that often one section of tables outdoors will have bare tables, whereas another sections may have tables set for meals (placemats, flatware, glasses, etc.). If you are planning to have only a beverage, seat yourself at a bare table. If you are planning to order food, you may sit where the tables are set. Sometimes, though, it's difficult to know whether it's a cafe or a restaurant with tables outdoors. It all the tables are "set", you should probably ask (go inside if necessary) if you may seat yourself. At a cafe, do not get discouraged if it's quite a while before the waiter comes to take your order. They are very professional and do things "in order". They may walk past you several times without acknowledging your presence or even seeming to notice you. But, they do and will come over in due time. As Jayelle mentioned, they don't automatically bring menus either. You may have to request one, "La Carte", (menu is the daily special, generally posted on a blackboard, so be careful what you ask for).
Old Sep 28th, 2000, 08:29 AM
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Dear Patricia,
Do all what you've been told, that's the perfect way to look like a real French lady. But be careful if you go to an English-like pub : you may wait a lot as you're usually served at the bar only !
If you want to have dinner, ask the waiter to be seated.
And leave a tip, even small : the 'garcons de café' are not really smiley, 1 or 2 FF will make them like you.
Greetings from Paris !
Old Sep 28th, 2000, 08:58 AM
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Oh, one of my favorite things in the whole world--sitting in a cafe in Paris!
I usually stay in a cafe for awhile so I usually tip the waiter with my first order. The next time he makes the rounds of the cafe, I am sure to hear "get I get you another, madamemoiselle?? Just hearing that wonderful French accent....AAH to be back in Paris. Have a wonderful time!
Old Sep 28th, 2000, 11:21 AM
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How does one ask, in French, whether one may seat oneself?
Old Sep 28th, 2000, 01:14 PM
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I have a tip. When sitting at tables in Paris, watch how the french do it, especially the women (especially during Winter). The reason is the tables are extremely close and the first time I went, I went with a friend and she took out the mustard, salt, pepper, and everything else on the table next to us. If fact, she did this in the first two restaurants we went in. Then she saw a French women grab the back of her coat at the top of her backside and pulled it tight/back so it tightened the base of the coat (it was November) and slid effortlessly between tables. My friend did not have a problem anymore. My only suggestion is we expect and get fast service in America. Sit back a relax in Paris for it may not be as fast, but constant and good. Have fun--I will be there in November.
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 12:25 PM
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Remember you pay depending on where you sit.Dont buy something at the bar then go & sit at a table.By sitting down you are requesting waiter service, which costs more.

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