Eating at a fancy restaurant or even at home requires you to be at your level best when it comes to manners and etiquettes.
We all know some of the basic table manners such as not speaking when your mouth is full or interrupting a fellow guest’s dinner, but there is more to dining well than these, especially when you’re at a professional or social function.
But there is no one-size-fits-all kind of deal when it comes to dinner table etiquettes as different occasions demand different approaches.
In this article, we’ll go through some basic tips and bits of advice that will help you maintain your manners while at a dining table.
Prior to the dinner experience
When going to a dinner that someone else has invited you to, it’s always best to let the host know whether you will be attending or not as this will help in the planning of the dinner party, RSVP or not.
It’s also advisable to let your children know that they’ll have to be well-mannered if the dinner invitation also includes your family. If the invite doesn’t mention entertaining additional guests, it’s best not to ask if you can bring one.
While at the dinner party
After you have reached the dinner party, make sure to let the host know that you’re there. Make sure to only take a seat when the hosts take theirs.
If prayer is being told, make sure to include yourself even if it goes against your beliefs as this can signify respect to the hosts.
The necessity of gifts
If the host is a personal friend of yours or if the party is informal, it is wise to get a gift for them that is ideal and appropriate.
Use of napkins
Napkins at a dinner table can be used to signify when you’re done having your meal. But keep in mind that only the host has say when it comes to starting the meal.
When the host lifts the napkin and places it on his or her lap, you should do the same as well. This must be done as soon as you see the host unfold the napkin.
Keep the napkin in your lap at all times during the meal. If you wish to be excused from the dinner table, place the napkin on either side of the plate. After you’re done, the napkin must be placed on the left of the plate.
Passing the food
When the food is served, make sure you pass it along in a counter-clockwise flow. If anything you wish to have is across the table, ask for it to be passed to you instead of reaching out for it.
Be sure to use the serving utensils instead of your own cutlery.