- Call a day or two
ahead; or a week or two ahead if the restaurant and day are popular.
Reconfirm the reservation by calling
on the day of your visit.
Call the restaurant during meal hours
to speak to the official reservationist.
Table Manners Tip #22
- Hot Bever ages. To
test the temperature of a hot beverage, take a single sip from the side of
the spoon. When an extremely hot beverage is sipped, take a quick sip
of water to decrease
the effect of the burn.
Table Manners Tip #23
- Finger Food. When finger food is taken from a tray, place it on a
plate. Don't lick your fingers;
use a napkin.
When in doubt about whether to use
fingers or a utensil to eat a particular food, watch those about
you and proceed accordingly. If you're still in doubt, use a utensil, usually a fork.
Table Manners Tip #24
- Ready to Order. To show you are ready to order, close your menu and
place it on the table.
Table Manners Tip #25
- Paying the Check in a Restaurant.
If you are the host, inform the waiter or maitre d that you
are to receive the check. Once the
meal is finished, ask the waiter for the check.
If there is no established
host at a business lunch or dinner, the most senior professional is
generally responsible for the check.
Table Manners Tip #26
- Two Utensils. Food served on a plate is eaten with a fork, and
food served in a bowl is taken
with a spoon. When two eating utensils
or two serving utensils are presented together, such as
a fork and spoon, the fork is used to steady the portion, and the spoon to cut and convey
to the mouth.
Table Manners Tip #27
- Tasting Another Person's Food.
Either hand your fork to the person,
who can spear a bite-
sized piece from her plate and hand the
fork back to you, or (if the person is sitting close by) hold
your plate toward her so that she can put a morsel on the edge.
Table Manners Tip #28
- Dropped Utensils.
If you drop a utensil, pick it up
yourself if you can and let the waiter know you
need a new one. If you cannot
reach it, inform the waiter and ask for a replacement.
Table Manners Tip #29
- One Thing at a Time.
Do one thing at a time at the table. If you
want to sip your wine, temporarily
rest your fork or knife on the plate.
Table Manners Tip #30
- What to do with your Hands.
When holding a utensil, rest your other hand
in your lap. When
not holding any utensils, both hands remain in the lap. Do not fidget, and always keep
away from your hair.
Table Manners Tip #31
- Eating Soup. Spoon soup away from you towards the center of the
Table Manners Tip #32
- Spilled Food. At an informal meal, the diner quietly and quickly
lifts the food with a utensil and
places it on the side of his plate. If food is spilled on another guest, apologize and
offer to pay for
cleaning (but let the other person wipe up the debris).
Table Manners Tip #33
- Garnish on a Platter. When a platter contains a combination of foods, take
a moderate serving
of each, including the garnish. If a course is presented that contains another food
as toast or lettuce, take the entire portion.
Table Manners tip #34
- Gesturing. Do not gesture with a knife or fork in your hands.
Table Manners tip #35
- Servings from a Platter.
When a platter of pre-sliced food is
presented, take one serving. As
a courtesy to the last guest, make sure to leave enough food on the platter so he or she
choice from several portions.
Take the portion nearest to you.
Table Manners Tip #36
- Assisting with Service.
At an informal meal, the guests assist
with service by passing the
dishes nearest to them. To avoid
congestion, serveware is passed to the right.
Table Manners Tip #37
- Thanking for Service.
Each time service is provided at a
multi-course meal, verbal acceptance
is not necessary. But to refuse service, a verbal rejection of "No, thank you,"
is given. At a simple
meal when a serving bowl is passed upon request, say "Thank you."
Table Manners Tip #38
- Complimenting the Food.
A compliment on the cuisine is always
Table Manners Tip #39
- Holding Dinner for a Late Guest.
Rather than delay dinner for everyone to
arrival of a late guest, dinner is held no longer than 15 to 20 minutes.
Table Manners Tip #40
- Cocktail Glasses at the Dinner
Table. A cocktail glass is not
brought to the dinner table
because water and several wines are served with a multi-course meal. Leave the cocktail
in the room where cocktails are taken.
Table Manners Tip #41
- Guests Entering the Dining Room.
At an informal dinner, the guests enter the
dining room in
whatever order is convenient. When seating arrangements are not designated by place cards,
usually the hostess enters the dining room first to tell everyone where to sit.
Table Manners Tip #42
- 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.
Table Manners Tip #43
- Place Cards. Place cards identify the places people are to sit;
they are used to eliminate
confusion when more than six people dine together. At formal affairs, which usually
large group, individual places are
always designated by place cards.
Table Manners Tip #44
- Place of Honor. History accords the place of honor to the right side
of the host because most
people are right-handed.
Table Manners Tip #45
- A Purse at the Dinner Table.
Because a purse on the table crowds and
disturbs the symmetry
of the table setting, in a private residence it is left wherever the hostess suggests,
such as in a
bedroom or on a chair. In a restaurant or public place, it is held on the lap or placed
close at hand.
Table Manners Tip #46
- Lipstick at the Dinner Table. A lady should refrain from replenishing lipstick
before coming to
the table in order to prevent an imprint of lipstick on the rim of a glass or a napkin.
Table Manners Tip #47
- When to Begin Eating at a Banquet.
At a banquet, eating commences as soon as
either side of you are served.
Table Manners Tip #48
- When to Begin Eating at a Buffet.
At a meal served buffet style, begin eating
when you are
Table Manners Tip #49
- Eat Slowly. Savor the meal and eat slowly; it encourages
conversation and conviviality.
Table Manners Tip #50
- Asking for a Second Helping.
The circumstances determine whether or not it
is acceptable to
ask for a second helping. It is not proper table manners at a formal dinner but is
permissible at an
Table Manners Tip #51
- Smoking. A lighted cigarette is never taken to the table.
Smoking is offensive to nonsmokers
and dulls the palate.
Table Manners Tip #52
- Hats and Caps. Although frequently seen in casual restaurants, it
is not proper table manners
to keep a hat on when eating. Some etiquette experts may advise taking off a hat when
outdoors, too. However, wearing any type hat is becoming more acceptable in fast food
Table Manners Tip #53
- Doggy Bags. It is acceptable table manners to take leftover food
home from a restaurant,
except if on a date or business lunch or dinner.
Table Manners Tip #54
- Food on Your Partner's Face.
Your dining partner has food on his
face? If you notice a speck
of food on someone's face, you're doing them a favor by subtly calling attention to it.
signal silently by using your index finger to lightly tap your chin or whatever part of
the face is
Table Manners Tip #55
- Family Style Meals. Often, "family style" means that the host
or hostess serves the meat, but the
other dishes are passed around with each diner helping himself. These dishes, too, are
At a family meal, plates may be served in the kitchen and brought out to the table. It is
better not to
do this when guests are present, however. Guests should have the prerogative of serving
themselves. Exceptions: individually arranged dishes, such as eggs Benedict, that must be
together in the kitchen.
Table Manners Tip #56
- Soiled Utensils. In a private residence, rather than embarrass the
hostess by wiping a soiled
utensil clean, suffer in silence. But in a restaurant, if a soiled utensil is laid on the
table, ask the
waiter for a clean one.
Table Manners Tip #57
- Be at Ease. Being at ease at the table-whether for dinner,
breakfast, or lunch-means being able
to thoroughly enjoy the company and the cuisine.
Table Manners Tip #58
- Dignitaries Entering the Dining
Room. When the guest of
honor is a high-ranking female
dignitary, such as the prime minister
of a country, she enters the dining room first with the host.
The dignitary's husband follows with the hostess. If the guest of honor is a high-ranking
dignitary, he enters the dining room first with the hostess. The host enters the dining
with the dignitary's wife.
Table Manners Tip #59
- Leaving a Spoon in Your Cup or
Bowl. Don't leave your spoon
in your cup, soup bowl, or
stemmed glass. Rest the spoon on the saucer or soup plate between bites or when finished.
Table Manners Tip #60
- Restaurant Buffets.
When you are dining at a restaurant buffet,
never go back to the buffet for
a refill with a dirty plate. Leave it for the waitperson to pick up and start afresh with
a clean plate.
Table Manners Tip #61
- Sugar, Cracker, or Cream Packets.
If sugar, crackers, cream, or other
meals are served with paper wrappers or in plastic or cardboard containers, the wrappers
be crumpled up tightly and either tucked under the rim of your plate or placed on the edge
saucer or butter plate.
Table Manners Tip #62
- Coffee and Tea in a Restaurant.
If coffee or tea is placed on the table
without first having been
poured by the waiter, the person nearest the pot should offer to pour, filling his or her
own cup last.
Table Manners Tip #63
- Selecting Wine in a Restaurant.
Remember the following food-friendly
wines that will pair well
with almost anything and are generally available in several prices:
- If youd like to order a red wine,
choose a Pinot Noir. The Burgundy region of France and California
produce quality Pinot Noirs. Pinots from Washington and Oregon are also good choices.
- If youd like a white wine, select a
Riesling from Germany or the Alsace region of France. Drier
Rieslings pair especially well with most foods.
Table Manners Tip #64
-Ordering Wine by the Glass.
Most restaurants offer a smaller
selection of wines by the
glass. When ordering wine by the glass, you should be aware that you may be getting
a previously opened bottle. You may want to ask the server when the bottle was
opened. If it has
been open for one or more days, you may want to make another selection.
Table Manners Tip #65
- Decanting Wine in the
Bottle. Stand the bottle upright. Let it stand that way as
long as possible
so the sediment falls to the bottom of the bottle. A couple of days is ideal, but even
thirty minutes is
helpful. Remove the cork, let breathe, and pour without disturbing the sediment.
Table Manners Tip #67
- Sopping with Bread. Sop
up extra gravy or sauce only with a piece of bread on the end of a
fork; the soaked bread is then brought to the mouth with the fork.
Table Manners Tip #68
- Burps. When
a burp is coming on, cover the mouth with a napkin, quietly burp, and say, "Excuse
me." For an attack of hiccups, excuse yourself from the table until they have passed.
Table Manners Tip #69
- Yawns. In
some cultures the breath is associated with man's spirit. To prevent the soul from
escaping or an evil spirit from entering the body, the mouth is covered when a yawn cannot
suppressed. This custom prevails in our society today.
Table Manners Tip #70
- Hot Soup. If soup is too hot, stir it, dont blow.
Table Manners Tip #71
- Napkin as a Signal at
Meal's End. The host will signal the end of the meal by placing
napkin on the table.
Table Manners Tip #72
- Orthodontic Appliances. Keep
braces clean. Watch what you eat. Bring brush and floss.
Table Manners Tip #73
- Dunking Food. Dunked
food leaves crumbs on the rim of a cup or glass, and is frowned on at
a private party or in a public place.
Table Manners Tip #74
- Asking Questions. French, Italian, Chinese and other foreign
restaurants may have menu items
you are not familiar with. Unless you are fluent in these languages or have eaten at
these types of
restaurants before, youll probably need to ask questions about items on the menu or
Table Manners Tip #75
- Restaurant Ordering
Sequence. How to order will
depend upon whether youre the host or
guest, what type of meal youre going to be eating, how many people are at the table,
the guests are male or female. The host is the person that will be paying the
check. His order is
generally taken last. In a group, the server may decide how the ordering will
womens are taken first.
Table Manners Tip #76
- Time a Meal in a
Restaurant. If attending dinner before another engagement or are
schedule, its okay to speed up the pace of the meal.
- Let your server know you are on a schedule
and ask him to recommend something that can be
- If you want to lengthen a meal, let your
server know youd like to finish drinks before you order your
first course and that there is no need to rush between courses.