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DINING ETIQUETTE Attention should be focused on people, not on food.

Dining Etiquette

May 12, 2015


  • 1.DINING ETIQUETTE Attention should be focused on people,not on food.

2. How to make restaurant reservations?

  • Restaurant reservations are like any other appointment.
  • If you make a reservation, stick to it.
  • Call ahead if youre going to be more than 15 minutes late.
  • Cancel as far in advance as possible.

3. Getting seated.

  • Never take your seat before being invited to do so by your host.
  • The gentleman should always help the lady be seated.
  • Do not ever run around trying to help the ladies not sitting directly next to you .
  • Always take your seat from the left side of the chair.

4. How to use napkins?

  • The meal begins when the host or hostess unfolds his or her napkin.
  • This is your signal to do the same.
  • Pick up your napkin by a corner and let it fall open.
  • Do not shake it open.
  • Don't clean the cutlery or wipe your face or nose with the napkin.

5. Using Napkins Cont.

  • The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal.
  • If you excuse yourself from the table, loosely fold the napkin and place it to the left or right of your plate.
  • Never place your napkin on your chair.


  • The host will signal the end of the meal by placing his or her napkin on the table.
  • At the end of the meal, leave the napkin semi-folded at the left side of the place setting.

Using Napkins Cont. 7. When to start eating?

  • Wait until all are served at your table before beginning to eat.
  • When your host or hostess picks up their fork to eat, then you may eat.

8. Table setting.

  • Eat to your left, drink to your right.
  • At formal dinners, the food is served from the left and the dishes are removed from the right.
  • Start with the knife, fork, or spoon that is farthest from your plate.

9. Table setting 10. How to use the utensils?

  • Hold knife in the right hand and fork in the left hand.
  • Eat food with fork still in left hand.
  • Difference between American and Continental styles.

11. Cont.

  • Hold the knife and fork in your hand with the tines pointed down throughout the entire eating process.
  • If you want to take a drink put down both the utensils on the plate.
  • Always rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate or in the bowl.

12. How to use glasswares?

  • Hold the glass by its stem.
  • Do not drink when there is still food in your mouth.
  • Do not the empty the glass.

13. Drinking soup.

  • Dip the spoon into the soup, until it is about two-thirds full, then sip the liquid from the side of the spoon.
  • Do not slurp the soup or insert the whole spoon into the mouth.
  • Do not blow on the soup to cool it off.

14. Cont.

  • Do not put in big pieces of bread into your soup.
  • Break the bread into small pieces by hand.
  • It is perfectly fine to tilt the bowl slightly to get the last spoonful or two of soup.

15. Cont.

  • Tip the bowl away from you, not toward you.
  • Place the spoon in the bowl when you want to rest.
  • When you are finished, leave the spoon on the plate beneath the bowl.

16. How to eat bread?

  • Use your fingers to remove bread from the serving plate/bread basket.
  • Pass the basket/any food always to your right.
  • If bread is handed out by a waiter, allow the waiter to use bread tongs to place it on the plate.

17. Cont.

  • Break apart the bread into small pieces using your fingers.
  • Do not cut or bite.
  • Add butter to each small piece of bread in your bread & butter plate.
  • Place the butter knife horizontally on bread plate.

18. Cont.

  • Take enough butter from the butter dish and place it on your dish using the butter knife.
  • Do not double dip into the butter dish.
  • Carefully and neatly spread the butter and eat the small broken piece.

19. How to eat sandwiches?

  • Small sandwiches may be picked up and eaten with your fingers.
  • Large sandwiches should be cut with your knife before lifting and eating.
  • Any hot sandwich served with a gravy requires a knife and fork.

20. Eating the main course.

  • DO NOT talk with food in your mouth!
  • Always taste your food before seasoning it.
  • If asked for the salt or pepper, pass both together.
  • Always use serving utensils to serve yourself, not your personal silverware.

21. Cont.

  • Don't blow on your food to cool it off.
  • Cut only enough food for the next mouthful.
  • Do eat a little of everything on your plate.
  • It is acceptable to leave some food on your plate if you are full or unable to eat.
  • Do not "play with" your food or utensils.


  • Do not hold food on the fork or spoon while talking.
  • Do not wave your silverware in the air or point with it.
  • Try to pace your eating so that you dont finish before others are halfway through.
  • Once used, your utensils, including the handles, must not touch the table again.

Cont. 23. Cont.

  • Always rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate or in the bowl.
  • It is never acceptable to ask a person why they have not eaten all the food.
  • Don't make an issue if you don't like something or can't eat it - keep silence.
  • Do not request food other than which is being served.

24. Eating desserts.

  • Dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal.
  • It usually consists of sweet food.
  • Common desserts include cakes, cookies, fruits, pastries, ice cream, and candies.
  • Always use the dessert spoon and the dessert knife.

25. Drinking wine.

  • Never turn a wine glass upside down to decline wine.
  • It is more polite to let the wine be poured and not draw attention.
  • Otherwise, hold your hand over the wine glass to signal that you don't want any wine.

26. Placing knife, fork and spoon after completing food. 27. Using arms and legs.

  • Rest your arms in your lap when you aren't eating.
  • If you gesture with your hands during a meal conversation, you may rest only your forearms on the table.
  • Keep the arms still when in your lap, and avoid the urge to fidget.

28. Cont.

  • Don't rest your elbows on the table while you dine.
  • Never stretch your arms at the table. It signifies boredom.
  • If you feel the urge to stretch or fidget while dining, excuse yourself from the table and take a break.

29. Simple, Good Manners.

  • Always respond to an invitation within a week of receiving it.
  • Dress properly as per the occasion. NEVER attempt to "out dress" the host!
  • Be punctual - never more than 10 minutes late.
  • If you wish to bring a guest as your partner, you should always check with the host first.

30. Cont.

  • Never carry any gifts for the host or the hostess.
  • Avoid loud eating noises such as slurping and burping as they are considered very impolite.
  • Don't stretch across the table crossing other guests to reach food or to pass the food.
  • Picking teeth or licking fingers are very unattractive!

31. Cont.

  • Drinking too much wine can be very embarrassing!
  • If you drop a piece of food on the table, don't panic.
  • Don't correct others if they aren't using proper etiquette.

32. Cont.

  • Don't forget to make polite conversation with those guests around you.
  • Pick a role model and compare your behavior with them if you are not sure.


    • T H A N KY O U
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