Table Etiquettes

1 09 2012

‘Dining out’ describes a plethora of eating experiences, but restaurant rules are universal. Although you are the customer, a little charm goes a long way, so treating your waiter or waitress respectfully will enhance your experience considerably. The point of etiquette rules is to make you feel comfortable – not uncomfortable.


  • Reservation

Whenever possible, make a reservation; always book if you are dining in a group, and discuss any special requirements with the restaurant in advance.

  • Napkin

Put the napkin in your lap as soon as you are seated. If wine is poured or drinks are served you will be prepared. When you are ready to leave the restaurant, take the napkin off of your lap and fold it neatly and place it on the table. If you have to get up during your stay, then place the napkin on the table out of the way of others.

  • Place the hand in the lap

While you are eating, always place the hand that you are not using to eat with in your lap. The exceptions for this are cutting meat and buttering and eating bread.

  • Don’t Talk With Food In Your Mouth

If you’re in a habit of talking while eating, wait until you finish the bite that is in your mouth. Talking with your mouth full is not only gross, but sometimes also makes the food come out with the words and spread on the person you’re talking to.

  • Elbows off the table

Sit straight with elbows off the table. We often relax and put our arms and elbows on the table, but we should not do this.

  • Keep your voice low

When dining in a fine dining restaurant, you must respect others’ privacy and keep your volume low while talking to each other.

  • Knife and Fork

If your food requires to be eaten with a knife and a fork then always hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand. Hold the food with the fork, by applying pressure through the index finger. Cut with the knife, in the same way and have a small bite with the folk.

  • Complaining

If you are dissatisfied with the food or service, say so discreetly and with minimal fuss, and request any necessary (and reasonable) changes. Keep things pleasant, and don’t shoot the messenger. Be aware that excessive complaining may spoil your companions’ evening.

  • Thank the staff and the chef

Say please and thank you frequently to the staff, in order to show them that you like their service. Also thank the chef and the waiter before leaving.



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