Clean the restrooms, turn up the lights — and 8 other things restaurants should do better

As a food critic, I typically eat almost all my meals away from home and with particular intensity in fall, winter and spring, when dining guides and special projects mean doubling up on lunches or dinners (sometimes both) in the pursuit of sharing my favorite restaurants with readers.

All that time spent in dining rooms other than my own has given me abundant pleasure, but also pause, as I encountered service and other bumps, most of which would have been easily avoided with a dash of consideration or forethought.

Herewith, 10 resolutions restaurants can make to express true, be-our-guest hospitality:

Honor reservations, and by that I mean, don’t overbook and don’t make diners wait more than 15 or 20 minutes — max — for a confirmed time without offering them something that shows you’re sorry they were inconvenienced. A gratis glass of wine at the bar is a good start, followed by an appetizer on the house if the wait is 30 minutes or longer. (Guests, in turn, should make every effort to be punctual and notify the restaurant of a delay of 10 minutes or more.)