In the arena of dining, etiquette refers to the appropriate and proper manners and behavior in a formal situation of dining. Amongst all table manners play a very vital role in making a good impression. Following are the various distinguished ways: –
Basic Table Manners: –
- When having a formal dinner, it is firstly advised, that before ordering for yourself ask everyone and their suggestions too, then call for an order.
- Always call the waiter or captain by excuse me, (not by snapping your fingers like by calling shhh, shuhhh, arey bhaiya, etc)
- Never chew with your mouth open or make loud and irking sounds when you eat.
- Keep your hands on your lap or rest your wrists on the table only when you are not eating.
- You should not leave the table once you are done instead wait for everyone to finish.
- If you need to get up from the table to visit the washroom, take a call (only in case of emergency), and excuse yourself politely.
- If you need something that you cannot reach and it is far away, politely ask the person closest to the item you need to pass it to you. (Don’t jump on the item to take it by yourself.)
- If the salt and peppers are in a set of tray, And if someone asks for only salt, you will generally pass the entire set not only salt/ pepper. Same applies for the set of sauces.
- When the food is being served wait till everyone is being served and then start.
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Napkin Use: –
- Put your napkin on your lap soon after everyone is seated at the table.
- While placing it on your lap, the napkin must be completely unfolded if it is a small napkin or in half, lengthwise, if it is a large dinner napkin.
- Keep the napkin on your lap throughout the entire meal and gently use it only to blot your mouth.
- The host should signal the end of the meal by placing his or her napkin on the table.
- If you need to leave the table during the meal, place your napkin on your chair or at the left side of your place setting, but never on the table where food is still being eaten.
- Once everyone has finished eating, you should place your napkin neatly on the table to the right of your dinner plate.
- If you are not certain about some items mentioned in the menu, ask the server about them.
- The best bet is to allow your host to take the lead. If this does not happen, it is appropriate to ask , “ What do you recommend ?” or “What is the specialty of the restaurant?”
- Don’t order unfamiliar food or food that will be difficult to eat while also taking part in the conversation.
While Eating: –
- If a piece of your silverware (dining items i.e., spoon, fork, knife, etc) falls onto the floor leave it there and let the server know you need a clean one.
- Don’t pick your teeth at the table (If you are not able to remove some food stuck in your teeth, leave the table and go to the washroom where you can do it in properly.)
- If by chance some food spills off your plate, simply pick it up with your silverware or wish the tissue and place it near to your plate.
- Do not slurp soup from a spoon (like you sip tea from the cup). While taking soup in the spoon, move the spoon away from you and sip it from the side of the soup spoon. Let the soup cool down before you have it; do not blow on it.
Finger Bowl: –
- When the server gives you a finger bowl, please make sure everyone has finished eating and then only you will use it.
- You will just dip one hand at a time, while the other can be covering the bowl for it to look appealing.
- You will never put both the hands together it has high chances of water spilling out.
- You will never squeeze the lemon. You can just touch it in and around.
- You will keep tissue or napkin handy before you dip your fingers. So that after your fingers are wet you don’t drop water everywhere.
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Some General Don’ts for dining:
- Never ask for a food parcel when at a business dinner. It is alright if you do that when your with friends or family, but not in a professional capacity.
- Gesturing / Playing with silverware: It’s perceived as unprofessional and disrespectful also impatient and kiddish.
- Do not talk when there’s food in your mouth. If you have something important to say, wait till you’ve finished eating that portion of the food before making the next statement.
Lastly, don’t forget to put back the chairs in the dining area which shows humbleness and respect. Thank the server before leaving with a smile.
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