Is it Rude to Not Order at a Restaurant?

It happens all the time; a group of people goes out to eat but someone doesn’t order anything.

But, is it rude to not order at a restaurant? Read on with us below and find out!

Is it Rude to Not Order at a Restaurant?

The main time it is considered rude to not order at a restaurant is when you are alone. If you are with a group of people, or even just one other person, there is nothing rude about not ordering.

However, you should be polite with the wait staff as well as the people in your group who are eating. 

Just let them know that you have already eaten, or aren’t feeling well, and won’t be ordering as soon as you arrive.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, not ordering at a restaurant rates 3. While there is nothing wrong with one or two people in your group not ordering something to eat, while dining at a restaurant, it would be extremely rude if you wear alone. 

Likewise, if you are in a large group of people and only a few of you end up ordering something, the restaurant staff may feel slightly cheated as the money they make will be less than they typically receive for the same amount of service and seating they provide your group.

Why is it Rude?

If you go to a restaurant alone and don’t order something, it is rude to take up space that an otherwise paying customer could utilize.

 In this case, the staff will likely ask you to leave after around 15 minutes or so.

Why is it Not Rude?

It’s not rude to skip ordering something at a restaurant if you are dining with at least a small group. 

That said, going to a restaurant alone and not ordering something is rude and uncalled for and you will be asked to leave.

All in all, people go out to eat and don’t order anything all the time, so long as they are with other people who do order and eat something from the restaurant.

Common Questions

Is it rude to go out and not order?

It is only rude to go out and not order if you are on a romantic date. 

Otherwise, it’s fine to go out with a group of people and not order something. 

All you need to do is be polite about it so that no one feels awkward about eating in front of you.

Is it weird to eat alone at a restaurant?

There is nothing weird about ordering or eating alone at a restaurant. 

Today, there are more individuals eating alone than ever before, as our daily lives and work schedules are busier than ever before.

What’s proper food ordering etiquette?

The proper way to order food in most restaurants is simply to wait until the waitress appeared as inquired as to what you’d like to drink and ask if you’re ready to order. 

Most people try to order within the first 10 to 15 minutes of sitting down, as waiting longer is often considered rude and bad for business. 

If you are waiting for someone who is taking forever to show up, let the staff know, and order food for yourselves if they are more than 10 minutes late.