12 Social Etiquettes to Know at Formal Sit-Down Dinners

Photo Courtesy: Executives Internationa

One needs to follow the correct code of conduct and behavior while attending a formal sit-down dinner. There are a set of rules called etiquette that one needs to abide by. We have listed them down here so that you are at your best the next time you are invited to a dinner party.

1. Make sure that your elbows are never resting on the table. Even while cutting a piece of food, elbows should be out of the table.

2. Talk only after between the bites. Don’t ever open our mouth to talk until you have gobbled down every morsel of the food or every drop of the liquid.

3. Always sip the soup from the side of the spoon by tilting it toward your mouth. Don’t slurp on it and don’t use the front of the spoon to drink the soup.

4. For eating rice and noodles, always use a fork. A spoon is only to be used for drinking soup, not for eating.

5. Employ the European style of eating, rather than the American one which is messier, distracting and noisier. The European style involves holding the fork in the left hand while using the right hand to cut with a knife, and eating with the left hand itself. The American one involves exchanging the cutlery so that the fork is in the right hand to eat, and then exchange again for the cutting process.

6. The napkin should be unfolded, and kept only on the lap, and nowhere else once the host unfolds his or her napkin. If you need to be excused to go to the washroom, place the napkin on your chair.


7. To indicate that you are done with your meal so that the server doesn’t need to ask you for a second helping again, place the used knife or fork diagonally across your plate.

8. When drinking from a long stemmed glass, pick it up only from the stem, don’t cup it between your fingers.

9. Don’t try to change your place on the dining table and respect the seating arrangement done by your host. Sit as per his or her instruction, or where your place card suggests.

10. If your napkin or cutlery falls to the floor, don’t appear as a low standard character, and use the same ones. Ask for new ones, and certainly keep the fallen ones aside.

11. Don’t play around with the cutlery. Use them only when needed or else keep them aside.

12. Don’t attempt to reach for a dish that is far on the table. Always ask to be passed.

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