Have you ever felt embarrassed on a business dinner or while meeting with your in-laws or any other such formal/informal dinners because you did not know the proper dining etiquettes?
Well, you are not the first. Many people feel out of place when invited to an exquisite restaurant because of poor table manners. It is not that difficult to learn the dining etiquette. Here are the few do’s and don’ts of dining that will help you next time you step into some fancy exquisite restaurant:
Follow the general etiquette
Some of the common etiquettes have been taught by parents since we were toddlers. If you don’t follow those common table manners then be prepared to get those weird judgmental looks from people. Some of the general etiquettes are:
- Don’t make the chewing sounds while eating
- Don’t speak when your mouth is full
- Always cover your mouth while coughing
- Never place your elbows on the table
Always follow the lead of your host. Most of the times he/she has seating arrangements already set in their mind. Don’t go and seat yourself in any chair you want to be seated in. After you sit, pull the chair gently and do not drag it over with the horrible scrape.
Placement of the napkin
Unfold the napkin and place it on your lap while you are eating. Use it occasionally to wipe your hands and lips. Remember, don’t create a scene by using it to blow your nose. Instead, excuse yourself to go to the washroom for it. Place it in the chair while excusing yourself. At the end of the meal, place the napkin on the left side of your plate. It’s okay if you can’t fold it.
Place Setting of the cutlery
This is where we freak out. Most of the times we do not know what fork are used for which food. There is a universal rule that applies to the setting. The drinks are served on your right side and food on your left. Each course has its own utensils. The fork is always on the left and the knife on your right. So start with the outer utensil to inward as and how you progress in the meal. For instance, if you get served an appetizer in the start then the outermost fork is meant for it.
Etiquette while eating
When the food is served hot, wait for it to cool. Don’t blow on it. When you are served any kind of soup, do not tilt or even lift the bowl. You wouldn’t be making a good impression. Ask politely if you want any dish to be passed to you. Generally, it is not a good thing to use your hands while eating food. But there are some exceptions to it as well. For example, it is always advised to tear your bread with the hand instead of a knife. Same is applied to some of the dishes of Indian cuisine as well.
When you pause in order to speak with someone, always place your knife and fork on your plate. Place it in an inverted V shape with their tips facing each other.
Finishing the meal
After finishing, wait for others to finish their meal. Place the napkin on the table. Place the knife and the fork pointing upwards on the plate. Don’t leave either of them on the sides.
Voila, you have it. You no more have to belittle yourself in front of any of your associates or in-laws in that case for not knowing the dining etiquettes. You can’t learn all of them in a swish. But going over it a few times will definitely be enough. Remember, Good manners never go out of style.