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Table Etiquettes to Help Create a Wonderful Impression When Next You Are Invited on a Date

TIPS AND TRICKS

Have you ever been invited to a lunch or dinner date and felt really awkward because you didn’t know exactly what to do and how to behave? Or maybe you have never been schooled on table manners. Believe it or not, how you behave at the table says a lot about who you are and where you are coming from. Table manners are not so complicated; in fact, they are very easy to master. Below is a list of table etiquette; simple rules that will help you create a wonderful impression when next you are invited to a lunch or dinner date.

  • Make good use of your napkins by placing them on your laps as soon as you sit down to eat.
  • Most times, it is hard to determine what utensil is right to use for different courses of meal that will be served. Use the “outside-in” rule to tell which utensil to use. Use utensils on the outside first and work your way in with each new course.
  • The “no-elbow” rule only applies when you are actually eating. When no utensils are in use, putting your elbows on the table is acceptable. When holding a utensil, rest your other hand on your lap. Remember to always keep your hands away from your hair.
  • When finger food is been served, take it from a tray and place it on a plate. Be sure not to lick your fingers, use a napkin instead.
  • If your soup is too hot, stir it; don’t blow. When taking your soup, be sure not to leave the spoon inside he bowl, place it gently on the saucer and pick it up again when you need to take more soup.
  • Removing unwanted food from your mouth is usually done in the same manner in which the food was put in. Food put in the mouth with a utensil is removed with a utensil. When fingers are used to eat, the bone is removed with fingers.
  • When leaving the table, simply say “excuse me please, I’ll be right back.” Leaving without a word is rude and absolutely unacceptable.
  • The use of electronic devices is not accepted at the table. Turn off or silence all electronic devices before entering the restaurant. If you forgot to turn off your cell phone, and it rings, turn it off immediately. Do not answer the call, do not text and do not surf the internet at the table.
  • If you must speak while eating, speak few words at a time, ensure there is no food in your mouth and rest your fork on your plate.
  • Scraping a plate or chewing loudly is unpleasant to the ear and considered impolite and a big sign of bad table manners.
  • Your posture is very important. Do not hunch your shoulders over your plate. Slouching back in your chair makes it look like you are not interested in the meal and is considered a bad table manner. Sit upright and ensure you are comfortably seated.
  • At tables with 8 or fewer people, begin eating only after all the other guests are served and the host or guest of honor has started to eat. If there is no guest of honor or host, begin eating after everyone has been served. At large events begin eating only when the guest on each side of you has been served.
  • In some high-end restaurants, steamed hand towels are brought to diners at the end of a meal. Use the towel to wipe your hands and areas around your mouth, if necessary. The waiters will take the towel away as soon as you’ve finished. If not, leave the towel at the left of the plate, on top of your loosely folded napkin.
  • Take small bites, just enough to chew and swallow, without having your mouth crowded.
  • Do not burp, yawn or hiccup when seated on a table. If a burp is coming, cover your mouth with a napkin and quietly burp, your mouth should be covered when a yawn cannot be suppressed and for hiccup attacks, excuse yourself from the table until they have passed.
  • When you are dining at a restaurant buffet, never go back to the buffet with a dirty plate. Leave it for the waiter to pickup and start afresh with a clean plate.
  • If your partner has food on his/her face, signal to them silently by using your index finger to lightly tap your chin or whatever part of the face is affected.
  • Don’t place your purse on the table because it makes the table look crowded and disturbs the symmetry of the table setting. Place it on your lap or beside your chair, close to you.
  • To show you are ready to order, close your menu and place it on the table. No need to signal to the waiter with your hands or mouth.
  • Be sure to always compliment the host or chef on the cuisine. It is always highly appreciated.

9 Comments

  • Boogie Li
    March 28, 2016 at 14:18
    Reply

    I’m glad I learnt this young and proud to be a good user of the table utensils

  • Tawo
    April 1, 2016 at 10:00
    Reply

    Who set these rules sef??? ?

  • TC
    April 6, 2016 at 11:37
    Reply

    I learned a lot and everything from this post….would be a wonderful memory to me…

    But what If you are kind of allergic to a food or on a diet or you dont even like whats up for the dinner or lunch..Please what do you do or advise?

    • Winifred
      April 6, 2016 at 17:52
      Reply

      Hello TC,

      Thanks for your comment. It is okay to politely decline the offer to eat whatever is being served but you must explain to the host the reason for your decision, in the nicest possible manner so he/she understands clearly. But in cases where you do not like what is being served, look for a good excuse to avoid eating the food but never tell the host outrightly that you are not a fan of the meal being served…most people take it the wrong way.

  • liz
    December 15, 2016 at 21:56
    Reply

    please, what if you’re not been served with finger food and you are not used to eating meat(chicken) with utensils, how would you do that?

  • Anonymous
    December 16, 2016 at 08:17
    Reply

    Hello Liz, sometimes eating meat with your hands can be a little bit messy and for a formal dinner it is totally unacceptable. The only option is to forfeit it and let it go…but better still, I’ll advise that you learn how to eat with your cutlery…it’s saves you a lot of embarrassment and helps create a great impression. Thank you!

  • Anonymous
    December 25, 2016 at 19:08
    Reply

    This really helped thanks a bunch

  • Ojeikhodion blessing
    January 7, 2017 at 13:29
    Reply

    Thank you so much, in case I want to use the cutlery and I didn’t know how to what should I do

  • floxy
    February 9, 2017 at 15:35
    Reply

    Wow so lovely thank s I learnt a lot today. more grace to ur elbow kip it up

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