It seems to me that etiquette is a lost art, but it definitely shouldn’t be. Knowing and practicing Proper etiquette on a daily basis will enable you to feel comfortable in any situation, says Linda Strandley of What’s Cooking America. One of the most critical situations to practice proper etiquette is at dinner parties. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to dining in, dining out, and dining with friends.
- · If you’ve made reservations, and now come to find that you won’t be able to make it, or you’re running more than fifteen minutes late, call and let the host know, suggests EttiquetteScholar.com.
- · During a get together, if the food is to be passed, always pass the food from left to right.
- · Career.vt.edu reminds diners to always pass the salt and pepper together, even if your dining partner only asks for one.
- · Upon receiving an invite to dinner, make sure that 1) you RSVP within 3 days of receiving the invitation, and 2) when partaking in dinner, wait for the host or hostess to begin dinner before beginning to consume your meal.
- · Always blot your mouth before taking a drink, and always hold glasses by the stem of available.
- · Cut or break food (especially bread) into bite sized pieces. If you’ve accidentally taken too much, says Zagat.com, and need to remove it from your mouth, remove it in the same manner that it entered.
- · Probably the most obvious, and the least respected rule of dining, is to turn your phone off.
- · Never talk with food in your mouth or chew with your mouth open.
- · Manners International cautions to never ask why someone didn’t finish their meal, and on a similar note, in a self-serve situation, only take what you will eat, as you can always come back for seconds.
- · Although this one is debatable, refrain from putting your napkin in your chair if you have to excuse yourself. If your napkin has food particles on it, you can very likely end up showing off your meal on your backside.
- · Manners expert Andy Gilchrist reminds us to never talk, text, tweet, or surf the web during dinner. It’s becoming common for diners to take pictures of their meals to post on media outlets; this is the only time you should ever see a handheld device, and even then, you should wait till after the meal to post the picture.
- · Don’t start eating until everyone has been served or until your host starts eating.
- · Putting a used utensil back on the dining table should never be done, says The Art of Manliness, a website devoted to “reviving the lost art of manliness.”
- · If you have to leave during the meal, make sure you excuse yourself, and never leave without saying anything.
- · Similarly, once the meal and visiting time is over, make sure to thank your host (or server). If they aren’t available and will remain indisposed for quite some time, ask someone to say goodbye for you.
Always practice proper etiquette wherever you are; you never know who will be watching and who will hear about your slovenly ways if you are not on your best behavior.