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Dining Etiquette Dos and Donts

dinner table

Being a well dressed man means nothing without manners. Sure, most of the times you go out with friends in bars and clubs…but there are occasions when you have to deal with a fancy restaurant.

A fancy dinner isn’t some sort of a test on your dining etiquette that you must pass. Think of it as a chance to show of some of the skillthat I’m going to teach you right now.

Before we begin, I have one think to ask you. And you must give you my word that you’ll do as I ask.

When you’re at that dinner with those important people or with that amazing uptown girl…don’t act too formal. Rather, be yourself and apply my dining etiquette tips as if they’re second nature to you.

Being in formal encounters doesn’t mean that you have to act like you just teleported yourself from the 16th century. Be cool and act cool.

All right, let’s get started with the most important dining etiquette tips you need to survive during a meal at a restaurant.

1. The big napkin that sits on your chair when you arrive (you may also find it on the table or in the wine glass) goes on your lap.

Most people are clueless as to what to do with that napking.They usually fold it and put it somewhere where it won’t bother them. At the end of the meal they might use it to wipe their mouth.


You should take the napkin and place it on your lap before you start eating.If you haven’t ordered yet, it’s ok to keep it on the table.

Caveat: you don’t have to completely unfold it when you use it… just enough to cover your lap.

Another caveat: never tuck your napkin inside your shirt’s collar.

When you excuse yourself from the table, fold back the napkin (once) and place it on the table.

When you finish eating, either place the napkin on the left or,if the plates have been cleared from the table, in the center.

2. Posture

Keep your back straight and don’t stretch your feet in other’s people personal space.
Never keep your elbows on the table. I know it feels like you don’t have where to put your hands but keep in mind that this rule right here is known by A LOT of people. It’s widespread and if you don’t follow it… you get the idea.

You can hold your arms on your knees or you can hold them on the table but only about half of your forearm.

3. Never blow your nose at the dinner table. Period.

4. Wait until everyone at the table is served before starting to eat

This is common sense and I’m sure you’re already doing it. The only exception to this rule is if you order 2 courses and others only one. You may go ahead and eat the first course alone and eat the second course along with everyone else.

5. Always eat with your fork and knife at the same time.The fork goes on the left, the knife in your right arm. If this is something you’re uncomfortable with, practice at home until you get it.

6. Never bite from your bread, use your hands to break the bread into pieces before eating it.

7. Never talk with your mouth full. I cannot stress this enough. If you want to know how bad this looks, just wait until you catch someone in action.

8. When drinking wine, never hold the glass from the cup. This will warm the wine and that’s why it’s considered bad manners. Hold the glass from its stem (the long thin part that connects the foot from the cup).

9. You can share food with other at the table for tasting purposes.This is OK. However,you should ask for an additional plate and another fork and knife to divide the food.

10. While eating, you can rest the knife and the fork on each of the sides of the plate. But don’t leave them with one side on the plate and one on the table. Once you start eating, your utensils should never touch the table again.

When you’re done eating, you should place them one next to the other on the plate, with one end in the center of the plate and the other at the side. This will signal the waiter that you’re done eating and that he can remove the plate.

11. It’s ok to leave food on the plate, contrary to what you mother might have told you. What’s not ok is to leave the plate “too clean”,as if you haven’t eaten in days. 🙂

George Lavas

George is dedicated to fashion and style for men. Based in the UK, George enjoys writing about lifestyle and fashion from both sides of the pond. George created BeStylish.org to help readers create a strong sense of style with minimum effort believing that everyone can look and feel good, all day, every day.

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