Have the Bill Come to the Table Nationally recognized etiquette consultant Jodi R. Smith has doled out her expert advice on the CBS Early Show, Good Morning America, and Today. According to her, people with good table manners never have the bill come to table at the end of the meal. This primarily applies to planned events — birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Drink When You Are Toasted Dawn Bryan is the author of Elite Etiquette , and she sent in a lot of great tips like how you should never smoke at the table or use your napkin as a handkerchief, but I found her tip that you should never drink to a toast if the toast is for you very enlightening. Begin Eating Before the Host Starts Published etiquette author Constance Dunn warns that you should never begin eating until the host has started or has otherwise signaled the guests to start.
Ask for a Seat Reassignment Lifestyle and manners expert Michelle Payer demands: Sit wherever you're assigned. She sums it up nicely when she says, "If there are place cards, never asked to be re-seated or change places; be gracious and honored to be included. Eat Their Bread Like an Animal Actually, Michelle Payer had another great comment that made me laugh a little: That wasn't the first tip I saw about how to handle bread either.
Etiquette Scholar suggests that you should break soft bread in half with fingers instead of a knife. Start Eating Before Everyone Is Seated Cool your jets, Top Guns. Relationship expert April Masini says, "Whether you're at a dinner party or at dinner with your family at the kitchen table, people with good manners will wait for everyone to be seated to begin eating. Waiting signals that you acknowledge the others at the table, and it's a way of showing respect for them, as well as for yourself as part of a group.
Typically, it's good manners to wait for your hostess to begin eating, which is a signal for everyone else to begin as well. If he or she doesn't, wait. Eat Their Meal Too Quickly Certified etiquette consultant Priscilla Murtha says that people with good table manners won't eat their meal too quickly. She suggests pacing yourself to the slowest diner so everyone finishes at relatively the same time.
Slow down, troglodytes; dinner wasn't served in a trough. Lean Their Chair Back Certified personal image consultant Marian Rothschild says that balancing your dinner chair on its hind legs is a major faux pas. Place your napkin in your lap immediately upon sitting down. Unfold it while it is in your lap. Table Manners Tip 2 - Utensil Etiquette. In most situations, use the "outside-in" rule to tell which knife, fork, or spoon to use at the dinner table.
Use utensils on the outside first and work your way in with each new course. Table Manners Tip 3 - Removing Unwanted Food from your Mouth. Food is removed from the mouth in the manner in which it is put into the mouth. Food put into the mouth with a utensil is removed with a utensil. When fingers are used to eat food, the pit or bone is removed with fingers. Table Manners Tip 4 - Excusing Yourself. Simply say "excuse me, please; I'll be right back" when leaving for the restroom.
Leaving without a word is rude. Table Manners Tip 5 - Cutting Food. Cut your food into only one or two bite-sized pieces at a time. Table Manners Tip 6 - Electronic Devices. Turn off or silence all electronic devices before entering the restaurant. If you forgot to turn off your cell phone, and it rings, immediately turn it off.
Do not answer the call. Do not text and do not browse the Internet at the table. Table Manners Tip 7 - Seasoning Food. When at a dinner party or restaurant, proper table manners dictate that you taste your food before seasoning it. Table Manners Tip 8 - Speaking While Eating. If you have more than a few words to say, swallow your food, rest your fork on your plate , and speak before you resume eating.
Table Manners Tip 9 - Reaching. Items are within reach if they are within easy reach of your arm when you're leaning only slightly forward. Don't lean past the person sitting next to you read more about passing etiquette. Table Manners Tip 10 - Don't Drink with a Full Mouth. To avoid leaving food on the rim of the vessel, make sure the mouth is free of food and blot the lips with a napkin before taking a sip of a beverage.
Table Manners Tip 11 - Holding a Wineglass. White wine glasses are held by the stem, not the bowl. Red wine glasses may be held by the bowl. Table Manners Tip 12 - Unfamiliar Food. Table Manners Tip 13 - Eating Quietly. Scraping a plate or loudly chewing is unpleasant to listen to and considered impolite.
Smacking and slurping food are major mistakes and a sign of bad table manners. Table Manners Tip 14 - Wayward Food. In formal dining the knife is used to push food against the fork. At informal meals, a knife or a piece of bread is used as a pusher, for example, to push salad onto a fork. Table Manners Tip 15 - Elbows.
The "no elbows on the table" rule applies only when you are actually eating. When no utensils are being used, putting your elbows on the table is acceptable. Table Manners Tip 16 - Ordering Wine at the Right Price.