- Dress accordingly. Dressing nicely makes a huge difference.
- Wait to be seated: Even though you arrive early and waiter offers you to take a seat. It is appropriate to wait for the whole party to arrive.
- Never pull out someone’s chair for them regardless of gender.
- Don’t put your cell phone, keys, or purse on the table. And don’t take your phone out to text. This sends a message to your company that whoever you’re texting is more important to you than they are.
- Place the napkin in your lap upon seating. You can do this as soon as you sit down. However if someone is taking you out to a meal (especially if it is for business), wait until your host puts his or her napkin on their lap. When leaving the table temporarily, put the napkin on your chair.
At the meal’s end, fold your napkin and place it to the left of your place setting.
- Keep the food options balanced with your guest. Agree with your companions upon whether or not you want appetizers or desserts. That way, you will start and finish your meals at the same time.
- Wait for everyone to be served before starting to eat.
- Know the utensils’ proper locations. Food is placed to the left of the dinner plate. Similarly, drinks are placed to the right of the dinner plate. Any glass or drink will be placed to the right of the dinner plate.
“Left and right also work for utensils. Fork goes to the left, where as knife and spoon go to the right.
- Handling utensils
How to hold a fork for continental style?
Hold your fork in your left hand, tines downward. Hold your knife in your right hand, an inch or two above the plate.Extend your index finger along the top of the blade. Use your fork to spear and lift food to your mouth. If your knife is not needed, it remains on the table.
For American Style
Hold your fork like a pencil, with the shank extended between your thumb and index and middle fingers. Your fourth and fifth fingers rest in your hand.
For leverage, the index finger is extended along the back of the fork, as far from the tines as possible.Hold the knife with the handle cupped in the palm of your left hand, along with your third, fourth, and fifth fingers. Place your second finger on the back of the blade. Hold your thumb against the side of the handle.
- Hold your wineglass by the stem. If you’d prefer not to drink wine, don’t turn the glass upside down. Just politely place your hand over your glass to signal that you don’t want any, without drawing attention.
- Resting Utensils
When you pause to take a sip of your beverage or to speak with someone, rest your utensils in one of the two following styles:
Continental Style: Place your knife and fork on your plate near the center, slightly angled in an inverted V and with the tips of the knife and fork pointing toward each other.
American Style: Rest your knife on the top right of your plate (diagonally) with the fork nearby (tines up).When each course is finished: Place the knife and fork parallel with the handles in the four o’clock position on the right rim of the plate.Soup Spoons.
Soup Bowl: If soup or dessert is served in a deep bowl, cup, or stemmed bowl set on another plate, place your utensil(s) on this underplate when you finish. If the underplate is too small to balance the spoon, the spoon is laid in the bowl.
Soup Plate: If the bowl is what is called a soup plate (shallow and wide), leave the spoon in the bowl.
- Do not use the napkin as a tissue. The napkin should only be used for blotting the sides of your mouth.