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Life Coach

The world of dining and drinking is an obstacle course wrapped in a labyrinth wrapped in a logic puzzle — it’s full of pitfalls, gray areas, and bewildering questions that really shouldn’t even be questions (How do I find the bathroom?) and yet, somehow, are. Fortunately, your friends at Eater are here to help: Life Coach is a series of simple guides to the arcane rituals of modern dining. Have a question or a quandary you’d like us to tackle? Drop Life Coach a line.

How to Say No to the Holidays This Year, Even When Your Family Insists

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8 Rules for Eating Out on a Holiday (If You Refuse to Cook)

Arrive on time, tip big, and be prepared for the unexpected

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Seven Things to Consider Before You Break Up With Someone in a Restaurant

Bring cash because you’re going to need to make a quick exit, you monster

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How to Gift (or Get) a Great Food Experience

Cooking classes, food tours, and wine-tasting experiences are popular experiential gifts — for good reason

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How to Give a Restaurant Meal as a Gift

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What to Wear to a Restaurant for Any Occasion

Take the stress out of figuring out how to dress, so you can focus on important things — like what to order

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Seven Rules for Working From a Coffee Shop

Laptop squatters, listen up

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The Right Way to Bring a Baby to a Bar

A trip to the bar with a young kid can be a disaster, but there are steps you can take to ensure that everyone has a good time

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How to Drink (Somewhat Responsibly) on an Airplane

Drink water before anything else and take all the snacks

How to Plan a Truly Excellent Food Crawl

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How to Get the Most Credit Card Rewards When Dining Out

You spend money at restaurants anyway: Get some of it back

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How to Write an Online Restaurant Review Without Being a Jerk

Do your part to make the internet a slightly better place by writing Google, Yelp, or TripAdvisor reviews that are actually helpful

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How to Order Caviar Without Going Totally Broke

Remember: expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better

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The Definitive Guide to Tipping at Any Restaurant in America

Start by making your default 20 percent everywhere — yes, even there

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How to Be a Good Thanksgiving Guest

Arrive on time but not early, bring a thoughtful gift, and make yourself useful in the kitchen

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How to Day Drink Without Falling Asleep at the Table

Stick to low-proof beverages, don’t forget to eat and hydrate, and most importantly, know when to quit

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How to Split the Check Without Annoying Your Friends (or Your Server)

Remember: Venmo is your friend — and if all else fails, consider separate checks

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The Right Way to Navigate All-You-Can-Eat Buffets

Go hungry, don’t load up on carbs, and other helpful tips

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The Right Way to Complain at a Restaurant

How to properly complain about bad wine, an overcooked steak, or a misplaced reservation

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How to Pack the Perfect Beach Picnic

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The Best Way to Dine Alone

Know when to go, where to sit, and when it’s time to leave

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Just Stay Home on New Year’s Eve

All the excuses you need to not go out

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Skip the Super Bowl, Go Out for Dinner Instead

Strategic Dining Days are a real thing. Take advantage of them.

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A (Nearly) Foolproof Guide to Ordering at Trendy Restaurants

How to navigate the fancy menu minefield

How to Conceal Your Pregnancy at Bars and Restaurants

How to Be On Time for Dinner

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