Wikipedia defines table manners as “Table manners are the rules used while eating, which may also include the appropriate use of utensils.”
Many people are not comfortable when dining just for the reason that they are not aware of the rules to be followed while dining. It is tricky to learn table manners at a glance, but here are a few tips to make you better at table manners.
Remember, good manners are always in fashion and add to your personality.
- Never fill your spoon to the brim.
- Clean the base of the spoon with 12 o’clock position.
- Sit up straight and don’t bend over your food.
- Bring the food towards yourself.
- Why do we bend over the food? It is so because the spoons we use at home are smaller.
- Don’t tilt the soup bowl to swipe out the last drops.
- Mannerism and etiquettes are more important than finishing off the small portion.
- As soon as you sit on the dinner table, pick up the napkin and spread it in your lap.
- If you need to go to the washroom, just say “excuse me” or “I’ll be right back”. No more explanations are needed.
- Never say “I want to go to the washroom”.
- Where do you leave the napkin when you leave the table temporarily? You should leave it on the chair.
- How should you leave the napkin? Properly folded or loose? You should leave it crumbled/loosely folded.
- Food should be served from left side and passed on to the right side.
- Don’t take any phone calls while sitting on the table. Simply say “excuse me” and walk away.
- Never call the wait staff as “waiter” or ‘excuse me’. Instruct the wait staff to look into your eyes whenever possible.
- When you go for the next course, don’t take the used plate along. The wait staff will remove it.
- Avoid making a noise while pushing the chair backwards to get up.
- Do not over-fill your plate with food.
- Fork should be held in the left hand and knife in the right hand.
- Don’t grip your fork and knife like a spoon.
- Your fork and knife should be held firmly in your palm.
- Fold your food so you don’t have to open your mouth too wide.
- If you need to speak, either finish the food in the mouth or cover your mouth with one of your hands.
- If the food is cut in a smaller size which may fall enroute to you, use a spoon.
- Replace the knife with your spoon swiftly many times during the meal but don’t replace the folk.
- The red dot on the placaed near the serving plate indicates non-veg food and the green dot indicates veg food.
- If the serving plate is in someone else’s vicinity, never stretch yourself and pick the plate. Ask the person sitting next.
- That person must not push the plate towards you. He must pick it up and hand it over to you respectfully.
- To move towards the next course, wait for others to join. Then get up together and start together.
Judith Martin said “The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet”.
There is a lot more to learn and experience about table manners.
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