The way you eat food says a lot about your personality. Just like cooking, eating food too is an art. Dining etiquette thus can go a long way in improving your personality and making the right impression during crucial official business dinners.
Here is a list of basic essentials of dinner table etiquette which will save you the social embarrassment while dining:
Eat only when all are seated and served food
This is one basic thing which you need to always keep in your mind. You should not start eating until all in your group are seated and served food. Such an act is usually seen as rude and unsocial.
Use the napkin
Once seated it is advised that you unfold your napkin and use it for occasionally wiping your lips or fingers. Make it a point not to mess up the whole napkin with the food you eat. In case there is a napkin ring, then place it on the top-left of the setting, after removing the napkin. When the dinner is over make it a point to leave the napkin tidily on the place setting.
Use the utensils outside in
This is one part where many of us are confused. Well the answer to how to use the various utensils is quite simple. You need to use it ‘outside in’. Hold the knife and fork with the handles in the palm of the hand, forefinger on top, and thumb underneath. You can have the desserts with both a spoon and fork, or alternatively a fork alone if it is a cake or pastry style sweet.
Do not turn over the forks unless you are eating peas, sweetcorn kernels, rice or other similar foods.
Use salt and pepper only after tasting the food
Many of us start sprinkling salt/ pepper or both in the food as soon as it is served to us. This should be avoided as it is seen as disrespect to the chef. Therefore always taste the food before getting the salt and pepper bottles.
Also keep in mind to pass salt and pepper together to others on the table.
Though it is advised that you avoid having lot of wine, but if a different wine is served with each course, it is quite acceptable to not finish each glass. Always hold your wine glass with its stem.
In case you are not sure about which wine to order then you should consult your waiter or wine steward. They will help you choose a wine which will compliment your meal.
Do not forget to ‘tip’
This is a very important aspect. Never forget to leave a tip. These days 20% of your order is regarded as the standard tip. In case you are unhappy with the food served bring the issue to the server, rather than not paying the tip.
Along with these tips, always keep in mind to make small conversation while dining, as these meals are also seen as an occasion for socializing. But at the same time never speak with your mouthful or pick your teeth with your fingers. Use toothpick for the same.
Follow these etiquette and make the right impression while dining.