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Dining Etiquette

Many people are uncomfortable with the subject of dining etiquette. Yet, it’s extremely important to know how to dine in style and elegance. As dinning etiquette varies in every culture, it’s impossible to learn everything about the subject. However, it’s worthwhile to have an idea about the basics so that you don’t fall into embarrassing situations.

A good display of the right dining etiquette can serve you a long way, especially if you want to project an image of confidence. Whether you are going on a romantic dinner or a lunch engagement with a client, you will be judged by the way you act on the dining table. Following the fundamental rules of proper dining etiquette is not all that difficult. It may require some practice but even kids can be trained to exhibit good dining etiquette.

When to Sit?

Take your seat only when invited to do so by the host, or until after the host takes his or her seat. Throughout the entire course of the meal, try to stay seated as much as possible unless a toast is due.

What to Do with Your Napkin?

The napkin plays a huge role in dining etiquette. Unfold it when everyone is sitting at the table and place it in your lap. Never substitute it for tissue.

Which Piece of Silverware to Use for What?

Silverware can be confusing especially if there is quite a number that surrounds your plate. The simple trick is to begin using fork and spoon from the outside and work your way to the inside of the plate.

How to Properly Eat Bread/Rolls?

Bread or rolls are tricky things to eat. Break or tear a small piece, and use the butter knife to spread the butter.

How to Properly Cut Meat?

Cutting meat can be done by holding the knife with right hand and the fork on the left or vice versa if you are left-handed. Cut the meat into small pieces before you begin to eat. Start from the outside, working inwards. Make sure you don’t cut too hard as you will be making some screeching sounds which may be irritating.

When Can I Order Alcohol?

It’s best not to order alcohol unless initiated or offered by the host. If there’s alcohol, just drink a little. Don’t get drunk.

What Kinds of Foods are best to Order?

It is advisable to order something that is easy to eat. This will avoid drawing unwanted attention. Avoid spaghetti, or any foods that may be very saucy. Also try and avoid ordering large sandwiches which may fall apart all over your plate.

What if I Drop My Fork?

Remain calm when you drop your fork. Accidents happen. Never pick it up, and be sure to not make a scene, when the waiter comes over quietly ask for a new fork.

How Do I ask to be excused?

It’s impolite to leave the table unless you need to go to the comfort room or there is an emergency. When you need to be excused, don’t forget to say “May I be excused.”

Dos and Don'ts

  • Don’t talk when your mouth is full.
  • It’s best to turn off your cell phone before meals.
  • Listen attentively to conversations.
  • Don’t reach over anyone to get something.
  • Never put your elbows on the dining table.
  • Don’t make loud noises when eating.
  • After the dinner, thank the host.

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