Q. Is it considered rude to take a sip of your drink while still chewing? A. It is considered good manners to wait until you have finished chewing and have swallowed your food before taking a sip of your beverage.
Q. What is the correct position for a coffee cup in a formal place setting? A. The coffee cup and saucer is placed to the right of the place setting, to the right of the furthest utensil. Since most people are right-handed, the handle should face to the right.
Q. After the completion of a formal dinner, where do you place your utensils? A. Place the knife and fork parallel to one another across the plate with the knife blade facing inward toward the plate. Position the knife and fork in the position of ten o’clock to four o’clock. For more information on dining etiquette, please consult the Manners 2000 Volume 1 Social Graces and Table Manners Video.
Q. How should I fold a large napkin before placing it in my lap? A. Large dinner napkins should be folded in half after opening and before placing on one’s lap.
Q. Is it proper for a woman to apply lipstick at the table after a meal? A. It is appropriate for a woman to excuse herself and apply lipstick in a private area such as a restroom.
Q. When should the host/hostess of a dinner party be served? A. The host hostess of a dinner party should be the last one served. If the meal is getting cold, the host/hostess may state something to the effect, “Please begin while the food is still warm”.
Q. At a formal dinner party, how do I properly serve and remove the dishes and glasses? A. When entertaining formally, dishes are presented or served at guest’s left and removed from the right side. Glasses are filled from the right.
Q. When dining at a fine restaurant should you eat different types of food on your plate individually or eat all the food groups together? A. It is appropriate to eat all items together as the different foods complement one another.
Q. When eating meat, should you cut one piece, put your knife down, then eat the piece, or should you cut all of your meat up first, and then eat the meat? A. When eating meat, should you cut one piece, put your knife down, then eat the piece, or should you cut all of your meat up first, and then eat the meat? When eating meat, always cut and eat one small piece at a time. If you are eating American style, you may put your knife down, switch your fork to your other hand and eat your bite. If you are eating continental style, you may cut the piece of meat and eat it without putting setting your knife on your plate. Continental Dining Style is becoming more prevalent today and is considered the preferred method of eating.
Q. What direction should food be passed at the table?
A. Food should be passed to the right, or counter-clockwise, For additional information on dining etiquette, please consult Manners 2000 Volume I Social Graces and Table Manners Video.
Q. Is it wrong to stand when a lady excuses herself from the table? What is the proper etiquette when the woman excuses herself and returns? A. What is the proper etiquette when the woman excuses herself and returns? Answer: In a social setting, it is always appropriate for a male to stand when a female is taking her leave. However, in a business setting, it is not always necessary for a male to rise whenever his female coworker(s) leave the table.
Q. Should you dismiss yourself from the table if you need to sneeze or blow your nose? A. Yes, excuse yourself from the table, and at no time should you use your napkin as a handkerchief.
Q. When dining out, is it okay to share your food with the others at the table for tasting purposes? A. Yes, it is appropriate to share when others at the table are also willing to share. However, always request additional small plates and clean utensils for dividing the shared food.
Q. Where do I place my napkin when briefly excusing myself during the meal? A. Place your napkin on the chair when excusing yourself during the meal as it is not appropriate to place a soiled napkin on the table while people are still eating. At the completion of a meal, carefully place the napkin at the left of your place setting or if the plates have been cleared, place the napkin in the center without actually refolding to original state.
Q. Who pays the bill when dining out?
A. When entertaining a guest, such as when out for dinner or cocktails, the person who extended the invitation (regardless of gender) is responsible for paying the bill.
Q. When do I use the salad fork?
A. When served a salad as the main entrée, use your dinner fork or entrée fork. Also, if your salad is served as a side dish on your main entrée plate, use your dinner fork. Otherwise, use your salad fork for your salad!
Q. What is the correct way to butter bread or a roll?
A. When served bread or a roll on a bread/butter plate; break the bread with your fingers into pieces small enough for one or two bites; butter a pulled apart piece and then eat it. Do not butter the entire roll or piece of bread at one time.
Q. Which side of the guest should I pour wine from at the dinner table? A. Pour wine and all beverages from the right, while standing behind and to the right of the guest.
Q. When should charger plates be removed from the dinner table? A. The charger plates should be on the table when the guests are seated. The soup, fish or salad course are served on top of the charger. It is customary for the charger plate to be removed prior to the serving of the entree or dinner course. Some people however, prefer to leave the charger plate on the table during the entree because they enjoy the appearance of the charger. Regardless of if you remove the charge after the soup, fish, salad or entree, the charger plate should always be removed before the dessert course.
Q. What is the correct way to serve yourself a portion of brie cheese? Do you just cut a piece from the soft part or try to cut off a portion including the hard skin? A. Do you just cut a piece from the soft part or try to cut off a portion including the hard skin? Serve yourself an entire piece of cheese neatly and then you may cut away the crust on your own plate.
Q. When you have some food in your mouth that you don’t want to swallow, what should you do? A. Move the food forward with your tongue onto the fork and place it back on the side of your plate.
Q. Where do I place the finger bowl after cleansing my fingers? A. When using a finger bowl, after cleansing your fingers, place the finger bowl and the doily on the upper left side of the place setting; this clears the dessert plate for the dessert.
Q. Where are the dessert utensils placed in a formal table setting? A. When setting the table, the dining utensils (or flatware) used for eating dessert should placed using one of the following options: 1) At the top of the place setting with the fork (handle pointing left) placed above the plate and the spoon (handle pointing right) placed above the fork. 2) The dessert spoon placed to the immediate right of the plate. 3) The dessert fork and spoon placed on the dessert plate along with the finger bowl and presented immediately before the dessert.
Q. What do you do when the salad has big pieces of lettuce? Can you cut them with your knife? A. Years ago, when knife blades were still made of silver, this was true, as the vinegar harmed the blades. However, today, most knife blades are stainless steel and therefore, may be used to cut lettuce into smaller bites.
Q. Should a child stand or sit while the adults are being seated at the dining table? A. When at a dining table, a child should stand behind his/her chair until all the adults have been seated.
Q. Where should I put my napkin at the completion of the meal? A. At the completion of a meal, carefully place the napkin at the left of your place setting or if the plates have been cleared, place the napkin in the center without actually refolding to original state.
Q. In a family setting, which direction should food be passed for serving? A. Food is passed to the right, or counter-clockwise.
Q. What should you do if you spill a beverage on yourself while dining? A. Clean up the spill at the table or excuse yourself to the restroom if needed. Apologize to anyone your slight mishap may have inconvenienced.
Q. When a fellow diner asks to “please pass the salt,” is it standard etiquette to pass both the salt and the pepper? A. We recommend first passing the salt and then inquiring if the other guest would also like the pepper.