Proper Dining Etiquette: A Guide to Avoid Embarrassment
If you’ve ever found yourself fumbling with the multiple forks on the table or wondering if you should take smaller bites, you’re not alone. Dining etiquette can be confusing, especially in formal settings. However, following some simple rules can help you avoid the embarrassment of being called out by your boss or girlfriend’s mother. In this article, we’ll cover basic and advanced etiquette, so you can feel confident when dining with others.
Chew with your mouth closed.
It’s common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this basic rule. No one wants to see bits of food flying out of your mouth while you’re talking. Keep your lips closed at all times while chewing. If you find it difficult because of large bites, try taking smaller ones.
Don’t speak with your mouth full of food.
Wait until you’ve finished swallowing before speaking. No one wants to hear you smack your lips and mumble while food is still in your mouth.
Don’t slurp. Ever.
Avoid slurping your soup or drink. Take small sips from a shallow spoon or glass. If your soup is too hot, let it cool down.
Use cutlery from the outside in and rip pieces off your bread roll‒don’t bite into it.
This basic rule is easy to remember. Start with the outermost utensil and work your way inward. Break off small pieces of bread and butter them rather than biting into the roll.
More Advanced Etiquette
Hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right.
There are two styles of eating: American and Continental. In the American style, you hold your fork in your right hand and switch to your left hand to cut a large piece. In the Continental style, you keep your fork in your left hand and use your right hand to cut. Using the Continental style ensures that you never have to switch hands, minimizing the chances of dropping your utensils.
Spoon your soup away from you, not toward.
When eating soup, spoon it away from you to avoid spilling it onto your lap if you accidentally tip the bowl.
Place cutlery to show that you’ve finished eating.
When you’re finished eating, place your knife and fork together across the plate with the fork tines facing upwards. You can place them perpendicular to you or at 10 and 6 (clock-face). This lets the waiter know that you’ve finished and your plate can be cleared.
The proper method of calling a server.
If you need the server’s attention, raise your hand and make eye contact. Once they notice you, nod, and they’ll come over. Avoid waving, yelling, gesturing wildly, or grabbing them as they pass.
Remember to always be polite and say “please” and “thank you” when ordering. By following these simple rules, you’ll feel confident and avoid any embarrassment during formal dining situations.