Dining Etiquette TIps

Independent Study Business

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Etiquette Tips


  • Before the meal, shake hands with anyone already sitting at the table. If necessary, introduce yourself. Be sure to remain standing until your host sits. Once you sit down, place your napkin on your lap only after everyone else is seated and your host has moved his or her napkin. If someone arrives to the table after you do, it’s polite to stand up to greet them.


  • Cut only enough food for the next mouthful (cut no more than a few bites of food at a time). Eat in small bites and slowly. Do not “play with” your food or utensils. Never wave or point silverware, and do not hold food on your fork or spoon while talking.


  • Your mother’s request when you were a kid works here, too: keep your elbows off the table! It’s also courteous to never talk with food in your mouth.


  • If you must leave the table during a meal for any reason, do so with as little interruption to others as possible. Politely and quietly excuse yourself, lay your napkin on your chair, and leave without fanfare.


  • Try a little of everything on your plate unless you have a food allergy. You could come across as unsophisticated (and juvenile) if you eat only your steak and potatoes and ignore your veggies. If the food served is not to your liking, it is polite to at least attempt to eat a small amount of it. Additionally, don’t over indulge or ask to finish anyone else’s food.