The Eight Ps & Qs of BYOB Etiquette


Originally posted by Maura Graber on Etiquipedia

Image from the movie Sideways, Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church analyzing a snifter of whiskey

It’s up to the patrons to reciprocate that courtesy by following some basic manners when participating in the BYOB practice.

Have you carefully stored a special bottle of wine for an anniversary or birthday? And are you planning on popping its cork at your favorite dining spot? If you are, please do the restaurant a favor by minding your Ps and Qs while you BYOB.

Most diners, myself among them, feel that the customer is usually right. If I want to eat my dessert first and appetizer last, that’s my business. The restaurant’s business is to serve me what I order, in any order I wish. But when it comes to bringing in a bottle of wine or champagne, the restaurant gets to call the shots as they are under no obligation to do so, and the laws vary wildly from place to place.

Generally, the restaurants in states, counties, provinces, or countries where it is legal, will usually allow their patrons to bring their own wine into a restaurant as a courtesy. And it’s up to the patrons to reciprocate that courtesy by following some basic manners when participating in the BYOB practice. The following is a list of etiquette to keep in mind:

  1. Call ahead of time to check with the manager regarding bringing your own bottle, or check online. Some restaurants may not allow BYOB, or may not have a license to serve alcohol of any kind, or may not have a permit to sell their own, but can serve you yours. This gets very tricky, so if you are traveling, always check ahead of time.

  2. Read the other 7 'Ps & Qs of BYOB Etiquette' by the The RSVP Institute of Etiquette founder, Maura Graber @ Etiquipedia

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