Monday, November 14, 2011

Dinner Etiquette: The 10 Do's at the Dinner Table

We've all been there, sharing a pleasant meal at a fine and elegant restaurant with someone who had a tremendous lack of good manners. And we don’t want to find ourselves being “that guy” (or girl) who has no common sense when it comes to proper dinner table manners. You see, using good table manners and etiquette shows a great respect for your fellow diners. Even in today’s typical casual dining atmosphere, displaying just basic table manners is essential. You need to make sure that your manners are in check cause just your luck, you might be on a nice date or having lunch with your boss and co-worker. Therefore, you need to make sure that your eating and dining habits are deemed acceptable. Well to help make this possible, here are 10 things that you need to do to ensure that you’re practicing proper table manners. 

1. If you’re a man accompanied by a woman, be sure to pull out her chair so that she can take her seat comfortably.

2. Once seated, unfold you napkin and place it on your lap. The proper locations include over one thigh for men and both of your thighs for women. Be sure to use the napkin occasionally for gently wiping lips and fingers.

3. Try to sit up straight and keep elbows off the table throughout the meal.

4. Hold the knife and fork with the handles in the palm of your hands- forefinger on top and your thumb underneath. While eating, it’s great to rest the knife and for on either side of your plate between mouthfuls, and neatly on the side of the plate when finished eating.

5. If the host or hostess asks to pray before a meal, you can do two things: bow your head and close your eyes or sit quietly until they finish.

6. If the food presented to you is terrible or not to your liking, try your best to eat a small amount of it. If it’s truly inedible, in your opinion, cut it up into small pieces and try to move it around your plate, so that it at least gives the appearance that you have eaten it.

7. It is ok to leave some food on your plate, especially if you have eaten enough. However, don’t completely clean out your plate because it can give the appearance that you have not eaten in days.

8. If a lady asks to be excused for the bathroom, it is respectful for men to stand up as she leaves the table and sits down again when she returns.

9. Make conversation with guests around you. These gathering are sometimes for social purposes as opposed to eating purposes.

10. Sometime during the dinner, normally at the beginning and the end, you should thank the host or hostess for their hospitality. Once a few days pass, you should send a personal thank you note, as a kind gesture, noting your appreciation for their hospitality.

Well there you go. You should now feel confident that you will display proper table manners when in public or even at home.  I hope this short guide has helped you out and that you will now be able to display proper dinner etiquette.

Bon Appétit

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