Although table manners are different for different nations, the basics remain almost the same. Etiquette starts with the setting of table and continues until the end of the meal. Talking about American table manners, the appropriate use of utensils, the proper way of talking and the style of conducting yourself, when you are dining, are included in the rules followed by the people when they dine. Formal lunch or dinner undoubtedly demands the knowledge of table manners. However, maintaining the etiquette even when you are dining out with your friends and family on informal occasions won’t do any harm. Instead, it will show that you know the basic etiquettes that should be maintained while socializing. In this article, we have given the basic American table manners.
American Table Etiquettes
- Wash your hands thoroughly before each meal.
- Knife and spoon should be positioned on the right side of the plate, while the fork should be place on the left.
- After you take your seat, open the napkin and place it in your lap, as the first step. Ensure that you do not do it hastily.
- Now, pass the food to the person sitting on your right side.
- Do not stretch your hands to reach the food that is at a distance. Instead, ask for food to be passed on to you.
- Do not take food if another person has requested for it and you are passing it.
- Do not open your mouth to talk, unless you have swallowed your food. Also, chew food with mouth closed.
- Taking big bites of food is strictly against American table manners! Swallow food in small pieces.
- Do not overpower the conversation over the meal. Instead, wait for your turn.
- If you have to attend an urgent phone call while you are dining, be courteous enough to ask permission to be excused from the table.
- Never put food you have touched once, back to the serving bowl/plate.
- The left hand should remain under the table throughout the meal. It should be used only in the process of cutting the food.
- Do not place your elbows and arms on the table when you dine.
- You should eat at such a pace that you finish the food at almost the same time as everyone else.
- After the dinner is over, place your knife and fork on your plate in such a way that their position resembles the hands of a clock at 5:30.
- When the dinner is finished and the plate is also taken away, remove the napkin from your lap. Fold it in half and place it back on the table, where it was placed before the meal started.
- Men should help women while positioning their chair before dinner as well as when leaving the dinner table.
- Do not forget to thank the host/hostess for the meal!