Many important conversations and decisions happen over a meal. It’s that one meal, one dinner, one lunch that could take you places but only if you have the right table manners. You don’t want to ruin your chances of a promotion or lose a good opportunity just because of an awkward faux pas that could easily have been avoided.
We’ve made a list of the Dos and Don’ts of table manners for you to follow whether you’re hosting or attending an important meal in order to avoid any form of embarrassment:
1. DON’T hunch your shoulders over your plate, it makes you look like you’re dying to have the meal, similarly, slouching back in your chair makes you look like you couldn’t be least interested in the meal, so maintain your posture properly and sit straight.
2. DON’T put your purse on the table, it will crowd and disturb the table setting, instead put it on your lap or wherever the host suggests you keep your belongings.
3. DON’T eat with your mouth open, or chew loudly as that not only makes you look bad, but is also quite uncomfortable for everyone around you.
4. Always be polite and DO thank your server. How you treat servers says a lot about you.
5. DON’T light a cigarette on the dinner table, it is offensive to non-smokers, ruins the atmosphere, and dulls the palate.
6. DO one thing at a time; if someone asks you to pass a dish, make sure you put your cutlery down on your own plate first.
7. DO unfold the napkin and put it on your lap before you start the meal.
8. DON’T put scented candles as center pieces on the dinner table if you don’t want the eating environment compromised.
9. DON’T blow on the soup to cool it down, stir it slowly and wait for the magic.
10. DON’T forget to compliment the dish.
11. When asked to pass the salt, DO pass both salt and pepper.
12. DON’T talk while chewing food in order to avoid spitting some on your fellow diners.
13. If you’re dining at a restaurant, DO always tip the waiters, especially if you receive a complimentary drink or dessert. Not only is it basic decency, but it also saves you from looking like a cheapskate.
14. DO take small bites, food enough to chew and swallow in one bite.
15. DO put all the necessary dining utensils on the table, like a separate glass for drink and water.
16. DON’T use your phone while sitting on the dining table.
17. Eat properly by utilizing all the dining utensils on the table to avoid making a mess.
Memorize all these rules, and remember to always look to your host for guidance. Follow their lead, and you’ll be sure to impress anyone you dine with. Good luck!