- Wait for your host to sit, and then take your seat.
- Wait until everyone is served, then follow your host’s lead to begin eating.
- Never speak with food in your mouth. Take small bites so you can finish quickly and respond to a question or comment.
- Try to eat at the same pace as the others at your table.
- Don’t wave or yell to get your server’s attention. Simply wait for him/her to come by or ask another server near you.
- If someone has something in their teeth, let them know subtly and quietly.
- No elbows on the table. Place your wrists on the table or your hands in your lap.
- If there is a problem with your meal, discreetly and quietly let your waiter know.
- Don’t text at dinner and turn your cell phone off or to vibrate.
- Thank your host at the end of the meal.
- Never place a used utensil on the table.
- Always use utensils, even for traditional finger foods.
- Don’t butter your entire piece of bread at once. Brake off a small piece, butter it with your butter knife and then eat.
- When eating soup, dip your soup spoon away from yourself.
- If you use your knife during the meal, when you are not cutting something place it at the top of your plate with the blade facing toward you.
- To show you are finished, place your knife and fork parallel to each other with the handles at the 4:00 position, like on a clock, and the ends at the 10:00 position. The knife blade should be facing toward you.
- Following your host, take your napkin and fold it across your lap, with the fold facing your waist.
- If you need to leave the table during the meal, place your napkin folded on your chair.
- Place your napkin to the left of your plate when the meal is finished.
- Always fold your napkin before placing it in your lap.
- Don’t use your napkin as a tissue.
- Choose water, juice, iced tea or soda to drink. One glass of wine, sipped slowly, is acceptable in some situations, but never in an interview.
- Order simple foods that are easy to eat with a fork and knife, such as meats, salads or soups.
- Avoid ordering messy or greasy foods such as spaghetti, large sandwiches or pizza.
- When in doubt, follow the lead of the host.
- Don’t order the most or least expensive item.
Formal table settings can be confusing so be sure to refresh your memory with this chart.
|A. Napkin||B. Salad Fork||C. Dinner Fork|
|D. Fish Fork||E. Soup Bowl||F. Soup Plate|
|G. Dinner Plate||H. Dinner Knife||I. Fish Knife|
|J. Soup Spoon||K. Bread Plate||L. Butter Knife|
|M. Dessert Spoon||N. Dessert Fork||O. Water Goblet|
|P. Red Wine Glass||Q. White Wine Glass|
A common mistake when dining is using the wrong bread plate or drinking from the wrong water glass. Follow this tip to remember which bread plate and water glass are yours.
- Make “OK” signs with both of your hands like the picture below.
- Notice how your left hand makes the letter “b” for bread – your bread plate on your left when you sit down.
- Your right hand makes the letter “d” for drinks – your water and glasses are on your right when you sit down.
Wine glasses can be confusing. Remember each has a unique shape, the image below shows the standard type of glasses.
Champagne Flute, Beer Glass, Chardonnay Glass (white wine), Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon Glass (Red Wine)