Tableware etiquette mastering the dos

Mastering tableware etiquette is essential for creating an enjoyable and respectful dining experience. Here are some dos and guidelines to keep in mind:
  1. Napkin Etiquette:
    • Place your napkin on your lap immediately upon sitting down.
    • Use your napkin to blot your mouth discreetly as needed during the meal.
    • At the end of the meal, leave your napkin loosely folded to the left of your plate.
  2. Utensil Etiquette:
    • Start with the outermost utensils and work your way in as each course is served.
    • Hold your utensils properly, with your knife in your right hand and your fork in your left hand (in Continental style) or with your fork in your right hand (in American style).
    • When resting between bites or courses, place your utensils on your plate, not on the table.
  3. Bread and Butter Etiquette:
    • Tear off a bite-sized piece of bread and butter it individually.
    • Avoid buttering the entire roll or bread slice at once.
    • Place the buttered bread on the side of your plate or on a bread plate if one is provided.
  4. Soup Etiquette:
    • Use your soup spoon to eat soup by sipping from the side of the spoon.
    • Avoid slurping or making excessive noise while consuming soup.
    • Tilt the soup bowl away from you to scoop up the last spoonfuls.
  5. Glassware Etiquette:
    • Hold your glass by the stem or base to avoid warming the contents with your hand.
    • If toasting, maintain eye contact and raise your glass to acknowledge the toast.
    • Pace your consumption of alcoholic beverages to ensure you remain composed throughout the meal.
  6. Passing Etiquette:
    • If someone requests an item that is within your reach, politely offer to pass it.
    • Pass items to the right in a clockwise direction, allowing each person to take what they need before continuing to pass.
  7. Dining Posture and Conversations:
    • Sit up straight with good posture and avoid slouching or leaning on the table.
    • Engage in polite and meaningful conversation with your dining companions, but avoid discussing controversial or sensitive topics.
  8. Cell Phone Etiquette:
    • Keep your cell phone on silent or vibrate mode during the meal.
    • Avoid using your cell phone for calls, texting, or checking social media at the table.
    • If you must attend to an urgent matter, excuse yourself from the table briefly.
  9. Paying the Bill:
    • If you are the host, it is customary to take care of the bill.
    • If dining in a group, it is polite to offer to split the bill evenly or calculate individual shares fairly.
  10. Expressing Gratitude:
  • At the end of the meal, express your appreciation to the host or hostess for the invitation and the meal.
  • Thank the waitstaff for their service by saying “thank you” or leaving a tip as appropriate.

Remember, tableware etiquette varies across cultures and formalities. It’s always a good idea to be observant of your surroundings and follow the lead of your host or the most senior person at the table. Practicing good table manners shows respect for your dining companions and enhances the overall dining experience.