Not knowing certain table manners often makes us uncomfortable, when dining with family/friends/colleagues in a formal or informal setting simply. Educating oneself with every point of table etiquette is highly recommended but tough to keep up with. So here are a few tips to help you become the perfect guest, who everyone looks up to for help and guidance in any confusing or awkward dining situations:
Napkin Etiquette: Place your napkin in your lap immediately upon sitting down. Unfold it while it is in your lap.
Electronic Devices: Turn off or silence all electronic devices before entering the restaurant. If you forget to turn off your cell phone, and it rings, immediately turn it off. Do not answer the call. Do not text and do not browse the Internet at the table.
Reaching: Items are within reach if they are within easy reach of your arm when you’re leaning only slightly forward. Don’t lean past the person sitting next to you
Finger Food: When finger food is taken from a tray, place it on a plate. Don’t lick your fingers; use a napkin.
Unfamiliar Food: (1) Wait until someone else starts to eat and follow suit. (2) Ask how the food should be eaten (fingers or fork, for example). (3) Avoid the food altogether.
Speaking While Eating: If you have more than a few words to say, swallow your food, rest your fork on your plate, and speak before you resume eating.
Posture: Do not hunch your shoulders over your plate. Likewise, slouching back in your chair (which makes it look as if you’re not interested in the meal) is bad table manners.
Elbows: The “no elbows on the table” rule applies only when you are actually eating. When no utensils are being used, putting your elbows on the table is acceptable.
Something Caught in your Teeth: When food is caught between the teeth that is annoying or uncomfortable, wait to remove it privately.
Parcel Bags: It is acceptable table manners to take leftover food home from a restaurant, except if on a date or business lunch or dinner.