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Dining with etiquette I.: setting and basic rules

08 January 2018

You are invited to an exclusive dinner. Do you know all the rules of the etiquette? Refresh your knowledge by reading the first article of our series where you can read about the table setting and basic rules.

Imagine the situation: you have arrived at an exclusive dinner, have taken your seat. They are starting to serve the first dish in seconds. You look at the table and realize that you have minimum five knives, four forks and three glasses in front of you. And start to feel like Julia Roberts in the restaurant in Pretty Woman. But the situation should not be like this! You are in good company and would like to enjoy yourself. You should not worry about dining etiquette; we help you to get to know everything during this series of articles now!

What is on the table? What is it for? When shall you use it?
Look at the picture above and match the numbers with the items.

1. Seafood Fork
2. Soup Spoon
3. Fish Course Knife/Fork
4. Meat Course Knife/Fork
5. Salad Course Knife/Fork
6. Dessert/Coffee
7. Water Glass
8. Wine Glass
9. Wine Glass
10. Plate and/or Napkin
11. Bread Plate & Butter Knife
12. Coffee Cup & Saucer

Some important tips at the table

• Use silverware from the outside in.
• Never cut more than three bites at one time.
• When passing main dishes, always pass to the right.
• To indicate you have finished eating a meal, place silverware together on your plate in a clock position of ten to four, with the handles at four.

Sixteen basic rules to guide you

1. Napkin on your lap as soon as you are seated.
2. Course silverware accompanies course china service.
3. Pass salt & pepper as a set.
4. Wait for everyone at your table to be served before beginning to eat.
5. When passing food platters, pass them around the table not across.
6. Pushing food on to your fork with a piece of bread/roll is unacceptable as is using your fingers.
7. Remove foreign objects with the same conveyance on which it entered the mouth. Exception: fish bones
8. Never put silverware on the table surface after it has been used, lay it on the butter plate.
9. Never ask for items that are not presented by the host/hostess.
10. Some foods are better eaten at home.
11. Never draw attention to food served to you that you can’t or won’t eat.
12. Do not pre-season food before tasting it.
13. Butter bite-sized portions of bread/roll as you eat them.
14. Transport food to your mouth…not your mouth to the food.
15. Never request seconds. Accept them graciously if they are offered.
16. When you are in doubt of proper procedures, observe and follow good examples.

(The article is written on the grounds of the Fordham University (NY, USA) hospitality services broadsheets)

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