Is it Rude to Order a Drink While Waiting?

The fact of the matter is that if you’ve had a lot of dates, or business meetings, in public places like restaurants or bars, you’ve had to do a bit of waiting. 

But, did you order a drink while waiting? Further, if you did order that drink to kill some time, was it rude? Read on below and find out!

Is it Rude to Order a Drink While Waiting?

When you are in a public place that serves food and drinks, if you’ve been waiting for more than 10 or 15 minutes, it is rude to NOT order at least a drink. 

That’s right, folks. It isn’t rude at all to order a drink while waiting… it is rude if you don’t order something while you wait if it is taking a while.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, ordering a drink while waiting for someone rates 1. Ordering a drink while you wait for someone to show up for a date or meeting is not rude, it is proper and polite.

If you are in a public place like a restaurant or bar, you typically need to either order something or give up your seating. 

That’s why it is the polite and proper thing to order something if you have been waiting for approximately 15 minutes.

Why is it Not Rude?

It isn’t rude to order a drink when you’ve been waiting for 10 to 15 minutes. 

In fact, it is rude to not order something in a restaurant or bar when you’ve been there for several minutes and are taking up customer seating. 

Most places of business that serve food and drinks to customers, like bars, pubs, coffee shops, and restaurants have policies that state you must order something if you take up seating.

That means you need to order a drink, at the very least, if you are waiting on someone for any amount of time over a few minutes.

Common Questions

Should you sit at the bar while waiting for a date?

Whether or not you sit at the bar while waiting on your date depends on you. 

If you plan to have something to eat, you would do better off procuring a table for yourself and whoever it is that you are waiting for. 

On the other hand, if your date is scheduled for drinks and conversation only, sitting at the bar will do just fine.

Is it proper to stand or sit when your date arrives?

The most polite and proper way to welcome a date you’ve been waiting on is by standing. 

If there are chairs, you should also pull their chair out for them while you greet them. 

If you are waiting at the bar, you should stand up until they are seated themselves.

Should you order drinks while still waiting?

You should at least order a drink for yourself, if not for you and your date. 

That said, if it is the first date, or you have been waiting so long that you’re not sure if your date will show up or not, you should order only drinks for yourself. 

As soon as your date arrives, ask them what they’d like to have to drink and order it for them.