8 MODERN NAPKIN ETIQUETTES
If you want to be a proper host or a proper guest, you must properly set and use the napkin at the dining table. Follow the most important napkin etiquette principles to use your napkin the right way
- Place the napkin in your lap immediately upon seating. If there is a host or hostess, wait for him or her to take their napkin off the table and place it in his or her lap. An exception to this rule is buffet-style meals, where you should unfold your napkin when you start eating.
- The size determines how you unfold a napkin in your lap: large napkins are unfolded halfway, medium or small napkins are unfolded completely and cover the lap fully.
- If a napkin ring is present, remove the napkins than place the ring to the top-left of the setting.
- Do not wipe your mouth with the napkin; instead, blot it.
- Your napkin should remain on your lap during the meal.
- If you need to leave the table temporarily, place your napkin in your chair and push your chair back under the table – this signals to the wait staff that you will be returning to the table. When you return to your seat, return the napkin to your lap.
- At the end of the meal, leave your napkin in loose folds that keep soiled parts hidden. Do not refold it – this signals to the wait staff that you have finished your meal.
- If after-dinner coffee is served at the table, the napkin remains in the lap.