Minding Your Manners: How to Behave at Dinner

Proper dinner etiquette can sometimes be confusing. Which fork do you use? When should you start eating? Which glass is which? It takes some time to master the particular rules, and you won’t become an expert overnight, but here are a few basic tips that will give you an edge on the social scene.

First Impressions:

Gentlemen, wait for all of the ladies to be seated before you take your own chair. It may sound old-fashioned, but it is considered good manners. Pulling out the chairs for the ladies with you can make a very good impression. When you sit down, leave your napkin on the table. It should only be placed in your lap after your drink is served. Don’t tuck it into your navy veteran t shirt . Unfold the napkin (without shaking it around the table) and gently place it in your lap. If it falls during the meal, don’t retrieve it. Merely wait for the server to come by and ask for a new one.

At The Table:

Do not rest your elbows on the table even if you are finished eating. You may rest your forearms on the edge of the table, but you should not do it all the time. Whatever hand you’re eating with should be above the table. The other can rest in your lap unless you need it to cut your meat or butter bread. Dining silverware can be confusing. One simple tip to help it all make sense is to start on the outside and work your way in. If you are confused as to which utensil to use and how to use it, pause briefly while the other diners begin eating and then copy their actions.

Eat It Up:

You may begin eating after all others are served. Traditionally, it is good manners to wait for the host to take the first bite. However, at a restaurant, wait until all plates are on the table before you dig in. Bread and rolls may present a problem. The correct way to eat them is to break off a piece of the roll, butter it and eat the small piece, repeating for each. Do not butter the whole roll and bite in. When cutting meat, place your fork at a 45 degree angle and use your other hand with the knife to cut your meat into bite sized pieces. Cut one piece at a time and eat that piece before cutting another. If you have a piece of gristle or bone in your meat, don’t reach in your mouth and pull it out. Don’t spit it onto the plate. Lift your fork to your mouth and put the gristle on the fork and place it on the side of the plate discreetly.


When you have finished eating, place your used utensils on the plate. Do not pick at your food with your fingers. Leave your napkin in your lap until you rise from the table. Then remove the napkin and place it neatly on the table, not in your plate. Always compliment your host on the quality of the meal, even if you didn’t enjoy it much.

If you follow these few tips, your manners will create an excellent impression that will get you invited back to any event.

write by Abner

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