Dinner Etiquette

Halley Branham

What to do when you're seated

Immediately unfold your napkin and place it on your lap, do not shake it open!

A la carte and a la mode

-a la carte is a French language loan phrase meaning "according to the menu".

-a la mode a French saying meaning "in the style".

How to get your waiter's attention

Wait politely until your waiter passes you and get their attention then, don't yell to get their attention.


Gratuity is the tip given to your waiter or server. Gratuity given depends on how good the service was, a typical tip given is 15% of the bill.

After each course

-Soup- never blow your soup to cool it, stir it without hitting sides of the bowl

-Salad- if salad pieces are too big cut them, do not try to fit it all in your mouth at once

-Main course- Try not to order anything too messy

Helpful hints

-Don't cling your silverware together

-Don't chew loudly or slurp your food

-Don't put your elbows on the table during dinner

-Have appropriate dinner conversation

-Use please and thank you