Nowhere can your manners (or lack of) show up quicker than at the table. With our busy lives, less and less time is being allotted to eat meals, and manners have been all but forgotten. Soup slurping, not using napkins, grabbing for items that they need to get at – it’s enough to make your stomach ache.
But there’s hope! With some common sense and respect for the other people you are dining with, you can improve your table etiquette quickly.
Here are few tips to start with:
- When you sit down at a table, remove the napkin from the table and put it in your lap right away.
- When eating at a restaurant, do not start your meal until everyone at the table has been served.
- When eating at someones home, do not start your meal until your host or hostess has started eating.
- When eating bread, break small pieces off and eat them. Butter only the small portion you are eating at that time. Put the remainder on your plate or bread dish.
- Use your utensils from the outside – in.
- Once you have used a utensil, do not put it back on the table to use again.
- Do not talk with your mouth full.
- Do not take food off of other people’s plates.
- Do not pick your teeth at the table. If something is caught in your teeth, excuse yourself to the bathroom and remove the food there.
- If you need to leave the table, say “Excuse me, I’ll be right back.” and go do your business. More information about where you’re going or what you’re going to do is not necessary.
- When you’re not eating, rest your hands quietly on the table or in your lap.
- When eating at someones home always remember to thank your host or hostess for your meal.
- When passing food at a table, always pass it in a clockwise direction.
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