Zagat issues new dining etiquette rules for modern men and women

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Welcome to the year 2011, when going Dutch on a dinner date is the new social etiquette and any mobile device at the table is considered the height of rudeness.

That's according to the founder of the Zagat guide, considered the world's first crowd-sourcing diner's guide.

Mr. Manners Tim Zagat penned an authoritative list of 10 New Rules of Dining Etiquette Wednesday that may make manic texters, tweeters and female moochers squirm in their seats.

According to Zagat, the number one rule brings dining etiquette into the 21st century. Chivalry is dead, he proclaims bluntly, and has been supplanted by a notion called "equality."

"Women and men should be treated as equals," he says. After all, "She probably earns more than you."

Here are the rest of his dining etiquette proposals:

Whoever initiates the dinner date pays.

Forget gender. People should order when ready.

Do not talk, text, tweet, email or surf the web at the table.

Use discretion when bringing your kids to a restaurant. Leave the kiddies at home if going to a romantic restaurant or where decibel levels above a soft whisper would attract stares.

Dress casually.

Honor your restaurant reservations or cancel them on time.

Don't overstay your welcome at a busy restaurant.

Though going Dutch is now the new norm, men should still hold the door open for women.

The customer is still always right.

Meanwhile, Esquire food writer John Mariani has a decidedly different take on dining etiquette that observes traditional gender roles.

Penned last July, Mariani invoked 39 rules on how to dine like a gentleman, rules that instruct men to get up from their chair when a woman gets up from hers or approaches the table.

A real gentlemqn also orders after his guests, Mariani adds, and never leaves his cell phone on the table.

And while it's perfectly permissible to flirt with the coat check girl, he must never ask her out.

To read more about Zagat's new dining rules, visit