“The world was my oyster, but I used the wrong fork.” - Oscar Wilde
All of us should feel comfortable when we sit down to eat, whether for a formal dining experience with our bosses or a casual gathering for our cousin’s birthday celebration. This is where knowledge and confidence about table manners comes in. One should know basic dining etiquette in order to not make others uncomfortable or embarrass yourself at the table. Fr!day has come up with few basic table manner rules that you so need in your life.
RSVP within three days of receiving an invitation
RSVP literally means “répondez s’il vous plaît” or please respond. Therefore, it is best to inform your dinner hosts within 24 hours of receiving your invitation; 72 hours if delayed. Of course, a delayed response is always better than no response at all, but you should never reply with a maybe, as yes or no is expected. If you’re not able to make it on the day due to an emergency, inform your host of this as soon as possible.
Find your seating
To avoid delay and confusion on seating arrangements, make sure to look for place cards with your name on the table. However, if you cannot find one, either the host will inform guests of where to sit or request they choose their seats on their own. If you can’t see a place card, wait for the host to hint where you should sit.
First and foremost, the napkin never goes on the chest; unfold it and lay it in your lap. Use as needed to wipe your hands and mouth.
Utensils and glassware
Should your host have put multiple utensils at your place setting, always eat from the outside in. A salad fork will be on the outermost left followed by your dinner fork. When unsure, wait to see what others do, particularly your host. Make sure everyone has had the opportunity to be passed every serving plate and has their dinner selection on their plate before digging into your own food. Focus on others, not just your food. Your soup spoon will be found on your outermost right, followed by the beverage spoon and then knife. A dessert fork may be placed closest to your dinner plate though it’s sometimes placed on the dessert plate above your dinner plate or it may brought to you when dessert is served. How you eat with spoons varies slightly by location—in some places, people eat from the side of the spoon, others eat from the front. Don’t slurp your soup, though!
In general, food should be cut up into small pieces to be eaten. Do not put a big portion of food in your mouth making other feel uncomfortable while looking at you or speaking with you. You should also not hunch over your plate nor use your fingers.
Wine is the most common drink available on a dining table. In a formal setting, your server will refill your glass at times without you asking. Traditionally, red wine goes with heavier dishes, such as beef or pork, white wine with lighter ones like chicken or fish. Being tipsy is a big no at these kind of events, so make sure to stop drinking before you have had enough, not after. If you do not drink, you can politely refuse the offer, of course
Leaving the party
It is best to leave at the same time others do. Make sure to say goodbye to the host and also, send a thank you note or an email to them the following day.
A few more table tips
Take part in the conversation around you.
Always chew with your mouth closed.
Keep your smartphone off the table and set to silent or vibrate. Wait to check calls and texts until you are finished with the meal and away from the table.
Do not use your utensils like a shovel or stab at your food.
Remember to use your napkin as needed.
Wait until you’re done chewing to have a sip of your beverage.
Cut only one piece of food at a time.
Do not pick your teeth at the table.
Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating.
Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.