All Women's Talk

17 Pieces of Dinner Etiquette a Lady Should Know ...

By Holly

When you're eating at home with your family, it doesn't matter if you eat with your mouth open or put your feet on the table. However, if you go out on a fancy date or attend a business meeting at a restaurant, you want to look elegant. So here are a few pieces of dinner etiquette that a lady should know:

Table of contents:

  1. Place a napkin over your lap
  2. Wait until everyone is served to begin eating
  3. Keep your phone off
  4. Dont reach across the table
  5. Cut your food one piece at a time
  6. Hold your fork in your left hand
  7. Place your knife and fork on your plate when you're finished eating
  8. Pass food to the right
  9. Swirl your wine before tasting it
  10. Chew with your mouth closed
  11. Don’t talk with your mouth full
  12. Blot your lips before taking a sip of your drink
  13. Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
  14. Close your menu when you're ready to order
  15. Don’t gesture while holding utensils
  16. Let the host pick the seating
  17. Compliment the food

1 Place a Napkin over Your Lap

When you first sit down at the table, you should grab your napkin and place it over your lap to avoid staining your clothes. If the napkin is small, unfold it all the way. If it's large, then only unfold it halfway.

2 Wait until Everyone is Served to Begin Eating

You don't want to dig into your food as soon as it's placed in front of you. Make sure that everyone else at the table has a meal before you take a bite of your own.

3 Keep Your Phone off

If you can't stand the thought of turning your phone off, then you should at least put it on silent. You don't want it to beep in the middle of dinner. It's just plain rude.

4 Dont Reach across the Table

If you want a dish from the other side of the table, then ask someone to pass it to you. You never want to reach across the table. You don't want to place your elbows on the table while others are eating, either.

5 Cut Your Food One Piece at a Time

You don't want to cut apart your entire meal and then start eating it. You should cut a piece, eat it, and then cut another piece. Take your time.

6 Hold Your Fork in Your Left Hand

Did you know that there's a "correct" way to hold your silverware? Since your fork should be in your left hand, your knife should be in your right hand.

7 Place Your Knife and Fork on Your Plate when You're Finished Eating

There are signals that will let your server know that you've finished your meal. All you have to do is place your knife and fork on your plate when you're finished eating.

8 Pass Food to the Right

If someone asks you to pass them something, then you should pass it to the right. Remember that the right is "right."

9 Swirl Your Wine before Tasting It

If you're given wine, you should start by looking at it, then swirl it in your glass, and then taste it.

10 Chew with Your Mouth Closed

You don't want to chew with your mouth open. The other people at the table don't want to see the food in your mouth.

11 Don’t Talk with Your Mouth Full

If you should avoid chewing with your mouth open, then it should be obvious that you should avoid talking with your mouth full, as well. You don't want to spit food onto someone.

12 Blot Your Lips before Taking a Sip of Your Drink

Before you take a sip of your drink, you should blot your lips with a napkin. That way, you won't accidentally get any food pieces on your glass.

13 Cover Your Mouth when Sneezing or Coughing

If you need to cough or sneeze, make sure to cover your mouth. You don't want to get your germs all over the food.

14 Close Your Menu when You're Ready to Order

If you want your waiter to come over and ask for your order, you should close your menu. That way, they'll know you're ready for them.

15 Don’t Gesture While Holding Utensils

If you have a knife or fork in your hand, you shouldn't gesture. If you want to talk with your hands, put your utensils down.

16 Let the Host Pick the Seating

Let the host pick where they want to sit before you pick a seat. After all, they're the one who planned the outing.

17 Compliment the Food

It's polite to compliment the meal you're eating, especially if you're at someone's house. It's the least you can do.

Now you'll look elegant whenever you go out to eat! What other pieces of dinner etiquette have you learned?

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