15 ULTIMATE TABLE MANNERS
CERTIFIED ETIQUETTE CONSULTANT
Table manners have evolved over centuries to make the practice of eating with others pleasant and sociable. 15 of “how-to” lists and lists with the best table manners to keep in mind as you eat:
- While dining, you should wait until everyone else has been served and when the hostess asks you to.
- Before unfolding the napkin, wait for the hostess to remove her napkin from the table and unfold it on her lap. Place the napkin on your lap upon seating and when leaving the table temporarily, put the napkin on your chair. When the meal’s end, fold your napkin and place it to the left of your place setting.
- Don’t throw your dirty paper napkins on the table, not even on an ashtray. Place them under you own plate and then on the plate when your waiter clears your table.
- Chew with your mouth closed and never speak with a full mouth.
- Wait until you’re done chewing to sip or swallow a drink.
- When you pause to take a sip of your beverage or to speak with someone, rest your utensils in inverted V: place your knife and fork on your plate near the center, slightly angled in an inverted V and with the tips of the knife and fork pointing toward each other.
- When each course is finished, place the knife and fork parallel with the handles in the four o’clock position on the right rim of the plate.
- Never gesture with an eating utensil in your hand.
- 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.
- Toothpicks should be used only in private not at the table. Don’t noisily clean your teeth with your tongue.
- Sip instead of gulping.
- Don’t drink beer and soft drinks straight from the bottle. When served at a meal, drinks should be served in a glass (drink from the bottle only at a picnic, barbecue, or other very casual occasion).
- When drinking a beverage that contains ice cubes or crushed ice, don’t crunch the ice in your mouth.
- Don’t put your cell phone, mask, keys, or purse on the table. Keep your smartphone off the table and set to silent or vibrate.