I thought it might be fun to share some dining etiquette tips. I have trained all my staff on this subject for around 12 years. So lets begin:
- When invited to a party at someone's house it's always nice to bring the hostess a small gift—perhaps a bottle of wine, some flowers or candy.
- Should you have any diet restrictions it's best to let the hostess before the party.
- I know sometimes it gets a little confusing when you sit down and look at a formal silverware place setting. You should always remember to eat from the outside in through the meal. Water, then wine glasses are placed above the knife and spoon. The bread-and-butter plate is placed above the salad fork and dinner fork. The dessert fork goes at the top of the plate. Napkin is placed under the forks.
- When you sit down at the dinner table you should always place your napkin in your lap until the end of the meal. When you have finished eating, place your napkin to the left of your dinner plate.
- When serving a plated meal you serve fron the left and pick up from the right. Ladies should be served first, then you finish with the men.
- Should you attend a formal dinner party, wait until everyone at the table has been served their meal before you begin to eat. When the hostess picks up her fork, that is your signal that you can begin eating. Once you start eating, never place your silverware on the table. The proper way is always to leave your silverware on your plate.
- An arm or elbow on the table, talking with food in your mouth, or chewing loudly is considered bad manners. Place your left arm on your lap. Remember only to cut enough food for the next mouthful.
- When passing food around the dinner table always move from the left to the right. It's not polite to cross over or reach for something. When passing salt and pepper make sure to pass both at the same time.
- If the host or hostess comes around with more wine, and you prerfer not to drink any more, place your hand over the glasss to signal that you are finished.
- When everyone has finished eating, dinner plates are removed from the right side. At this time dessert is then served with coffee. You may also provide after dinner drinks.
I hope you find these tips useful when dining out, and remember to mind your manners!