In the age of instant communication and fast food, the concept of manners and etiquettes is slowly vanishing. This holds especially true in case of table manner and dining etiquettes. With formal sit-down dinners becoming less frequent, people have almost forgotten how to behave, when seated on a formal table. In case you consider yourself to be one of them, the tips given here will surely help you brush up your basic manners. Just go through the following lines and explore the basic table manners and etiquettes, followed almost throughout the world.
Proper Table Manner & Dining Etiquettes
- Whenever you are invited to a formal dinner party, always be on time. Unless otherwise stated, it is considered rude to be late.
- When you are in a restaurant, you unfold the napkin as soon as you are seated and place it on your lap. In case it is a private party, wait for the host to unfold his/her napkin first.
- The napkin rests on your lap throughout the meal. You are not supposed to use it to clean the cutlery, wipe your face/ nose. if you have to excuse yourself in the middle of the meal, fold the napkin loosely and keep it to the left of your plate.
- In a restaurant, you can start eating as soon as every one has been served. In case of a private party, wait for the host to pick his/her fork. In the latter case, host will also signal an end to the meal, by keeping his/her napkin on the table.
- After the meal is over, place your napkin neatly on the table, to the left of your dinner plate. You don't have to fold it, but try not to leave it too crumpled or wrinkled as well.
- On a dinner table, the food is always passed from the left to the right. If you want to have an item kept a bit away, don't stretch over the table, rather ask the person sitting closest to the dish, to pass it to you.
- If you are asked to pass something, pick it up and place it near the person sitting next to you, who will then pass it over. Never ever pass the item hand-to-hand.
- It is considered inappropriate for a person, other than the original requestor, to use the item that is being passed. If you want it as well, let him/her use it and ask it to be passed again, this time to you.
- If you are asked to pass salt, give it over and then ask the person whether he/she wants the pepper as well. Again, keep the salt and pepper directly on the table, instead of passing them hand-to-hand.
- When you want a helping of butter, spreads, or dips, first transfer them to your plate. It is considered rude to start spreading or eating the items, by taking them directly from the serving dish.
- While the wine is being served, if you do not want another drink, just hold your hand over the wine glass. Never ever turn a wine glass upside down or say no loudly.
- If you want to say something, wait till you have swallowed the food in your mouth. Don’t talk while chewing your food. It is also advisable not to drink anything, while you mouth is still full of food.
- If you are eating something, but want to spit it out, make use of a fork. Bring the item to the tip of your tongue, discreetly transfer it to the fork and place it on your plate, in a side.
- Always try to scoop the food away from you. If the food is hot, do not blow on it, to cool it off. Rather, let it sit in the plate for a few minutes and cool down, before you start eating it.
- You are not supposed to rest your elbows on the table, though you might keep your upper arm there. At the same time, keep your left hand in your lap, unless you are using it.
- You should always take small bites of food and not stuff your mouth with it. Cut only enough food for the next mouthful. Eat slowly and chew with your mouth closed.
- When you sit down to eat dinner, either switch off your cell phone or keep it on silent mode. It should be kept inside your purse or pocket. If you have to answer the phone, excuse yourself from the table and then talk.