Dining Etiquette

Dining Etiquette
Today we hope you....
Walk away with 3 important tips:
Table manners play an important part in making a favorable
Table manners are visible signals of the state of our manners
and therefore are essential to professional success.
Regardless of whether we are having lunch with a prospective
employer or dinner with a business associate, our manners
can speak volumes about us as professionals
The Purpose of Dining Etiquette
The way an individual behaves at a dining table is indicative
of the way s/he will conduct business, therefore your goal
should be a display of good manners, courtesy, respect and
trust; a solid merging of social graces and business
Men: Dark Suit, conservative tie, polished shoes
Women: Dressy business suit, dress, or pantsuit
Arrive at least ten minutes early
Once you have arrived, acknowledged your host,
and been introduced to others at the table, wait to sit
until your host has indicated that you should, or until
he/she is seated.
•Rise (if you are seated)
•Extend your hand
•Repeat the other person’s name
•Remember a good handshake is important
• Be sure to explain who people are
• Use full names
• Don’t assume that everyone wants to be called by their
first name, wait until you are told to use a first name
Name Tags:
• Should be worn on the right hand side of your front
shoulder area.
• DO NOT clip nametags to the bottom edge of your jacket
Networking Socials
Most receptions or socials are for the purpose of
mingling and making contacts whether for job leads, as
a part of an interview, or an employee entertaining
• Wait Your Turn
• Your drink always stays in your Left hand
• If no tables are available, you should have food OR
your drink in your hand. –Not both
• If there are tables available, then you can have both
• Do not tip the bartender
• Take a plate and a napkin
• Never double-dip
• Never take food straight from the tray to your mouth
• Never place used food items back on the buffet table
• Take small portions and do not go back over and over
As soon as you are seated, remove the napkin from your
place setting, unfold it, and put it in your lap placing the
folded end towards you.
Only after your meal is finished should you place your
napkin on the left side of your plate (Never on your plate)
Leaving the table… but I’ll be back.
In this case, place your napkin on your chair, folded neatly
Confusing Cutlery
Which Glass is Mine??
Sweetening drinks
Limit yourself to one or two packets of
Tear one or both at the same time ¾ of the
way at the top of the packet, and leave the
paper waste at the side of the plate.
Using more than two packets of sugar or
artificial sweetener may be seen as
Don’t make noise!
What to do about the bread?
What NOT to order
Unfamiliar foods
French onion soup
Buffalo wings
Bony fish
Big sandwiches
Cheesy food
Foods requiring special utensils
The Main Meal
• When being served by the wait-staff, do not begin eating
until everyone at your table has been served.
• Try your food first before seasoning with salt or pepper.
Cutting Food
• When cutting something, keep your elbows as close
to your body as possible, so your neighbor won't
have your elbow in his or her ribs.
• Do not raise your elbow to get a good grip on any
food item
• Hold the fork as though you were holding a pencil.
• “Cut” your meat, not “Saw” it
• Cut 3-4 pieces at a time
American Style
In the American style of eating, after cutting your
meat, you switch the fork to your right hand, place
your knife on the plate, spear a piece of meat, and
then eat it.
Continental Style
In the Continental eating style, you keep your fork
in your left hand and convey the food to your
mouth after cutting each piece. The knife remains
in your hand and may be subtly used to get meat or
any other food.
It is all right to rest your wrists on the
edge of the table (Continental) or place
your hands in your lap (American), but no
elbows on the table!
Miscellaneous Manners
Sit up straight and Maintain good posture
Chew with your mouth Closed!
Hold your utensils properly
Always watch your host(ess) and follow
their lead
Be polite to the wait staff
You do not have to clean your plate. It is
polite to leave some food on your plate. Do
not push the remaining food around on the
Your silverware should be in the correct and
that you never place used utensils on the
Don’t Stack the Dishes
Be a good conversationalist
Give equal time to the persons around you, don't pay
attention to one or a few and ignore some members
of your group. Always introduce yourself to
everyone at the table.
Be genuine. Initiate topics of conversation in which
you are interested. Steer away from topics, however,
that only you or a few members of your group can
talk about (e.g., golf).
Be careful about jokes.
An appropriate compliment can be a good ice
Know when to talk less or remain silent.
Safe Topics
Sports (In General)
No WAY Topics
Relationships/Personal Issues
Picking Teeth
Try to remove the lodged item with your
tongue. If this does not work, excuse
yourself from the table and go to the
restroom. Toothpicks should be used
discreetly and in private; never at the
Taking food out
If it went in with your fork, it should come
out with your fork and likewise with your
hands. Move it to your tongue and onto the
fork and deposit it on the rim of your plate.
No one should notice you doing this,
because the fork to mouth motion is a
common one made by anyone who is eating.
Last Don’ts
Do not apply make-up at the table.
Talk about personal relationships, recent parties, politics, or
Discuss dietary restrictions; downplay your food preferences.
Order foods that require twirling or licking, are going to
splatter or spray.
Argue over the check or offer to pay the tip; the host who
invited you must take care of both.
Don't blow your nose in your napkin.
Don't eat as if this is your last meal. On the other hand, don't
eat too little. Keep everything moderate. You'll make the best
impression by eating like a human – not like a wolf or a bird.
You may use whatever utensils are provided to eat dessert.
When you are finished with your main course and your
dessert is already set, you may go ahead and eat it, but do
not push away your dinner plate.
Do not pick up your dessert plate and place it on your
dinner plate, simply reach across your dinner plate and eat
your dessert.
If your dinner plate is removed by the server, you may
move your dessert dish in front of you.
No swapping desserts with your neighbor.
Coffee or hot tea after the meal
is okay if this is offered and if
time allows.

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