Dining is such an integral ingredient of the dating process that to not properly plan and perform when given the chance presents the opportunity for a night to forget. Being the first date at a restaurant is an open invitation to impress a captive audience. By making subtle moves before, during and after the meal will assure your time together will be memorable.
If the date begins with a drive to the restaurant, open the car door for your date. Be sure she is fully in the vehicle before shutting the door. At times a flowing dress, coat, or even a sweater can be stuck on the outside. This can create an embarrassing moment when arriving at the restaurant.
The normal action once arriving is to find a parking space. Remember, this is your first date, so pull up to the entrance. If she doesn’t make a move to get out, then you get out, open her door and offer your hand to help her up. Be sure she has everything before heading off to park.
Once back together, offer to take her coat and hang in the provided area. Certainly this wouldn’t be done if the coat is valuable or the coat room is unattended. If she would like to keep the coat with her, then offer to carry it. Also, this is the perfect time to gently take her elbow in your hand and guide her to the hostess stand, verify your reservation, and continue to guide to the bar or table. No matter where the next stop is, be sure to pull the chair out so she can be seated easily.
A common sight that has swept through the restaurant industry, so much so that it has become an acceptable action, is a gentleman wearing a hat. As it is stated here, emphatically, this action is not acceptable when dining. It is for the female if the head apparel is part of her outfit. Otherwise hats can be left in the coat room.
Dining etiquette for a first date demands that all communication devices are turned off. The person you are with is your only interest. Having her alone cannot be interrupted by work, family, and friends asking unrelated questions or receiving scoring updates of your favorite team. No, she is to be treated as the only person in the room.
Easily missed while dining is when she excuses herself for a bathroom visit. When she comes back, be ready once again to pull her chair out so seating is easy. Not only will she appreciate the effort but other women will take notice.
As the meal comes to a close, help her from her chair, take her gently by the elbow and lead her out. If needed, help her on with the coat, and then have her wait while the car is brought to the front door. Open the door, help her in, and off you go for the rest of the evening.