Food and Drink:Bon Appetit
Some would say somewhere along the way we lost our table manners and have digressed to the days of men and his cave, eating with our hands and attacking the food as if it were still alive. While some can make a valid argument that this is true I say how can it be when this generation never learned the proper techniques of table dining? You can’t lose something you never had and I think it’s this lack of teaching and awareness that has landed this generation into the debacle it’s in. So in an attempt to restore some of the ways of old I’ve compiled a list of table etiquette that every young and elder adult should know. It’s important to touch base here because eating is something we do everyday so this is a practice that must be utilized daily. A lot of this material is things that you may already know or do so excuse me if I sound like a broken record but it never hurts to refresh the memory. So with that being said let’s get in to the basics first and then we’ll get into some intermediate and then advance methods.I hope you all brought an appetite to learn, let’s start.
- Remove your coat and hat before you even enter the dining room or at the entrance if at a restaurant.
- Approach the table swiftly and be sure to pull out the seat for any ladies that may be dining with you.
- If at a restaurant double-check to make sure your order is correct before the waiter/waitress tends to you. If at home check to make sure the table is completely prepped.
- Bow your heads for grace(This is optional for obvious reasons.)
- Maintain an upright posture and chew with your mouth closed.
- If you need a sip or your drink please do so when you have swallowed your food.
- Refrain from smacking and slurping, it’s just rude.
- Please keep your hands out your mouth and don’t pick your teeth at the table.
- Excuse yourself if you inadvertently sneeze or cough at the table, excuse yourself from the table altogether if it’s problematic.
- Use your napkin and keep your elbows off the table at all times.
- Do not speak with your mouth full, I mean really nobody wants to see food boulders casting their way across the table and into Aunt Sally’s soup, don’t make Aunt Sally upset with you.
- Ask for food to be passed to you if it’s out of reach, DO NOT reach across the table. This isn’t a finish line your stretching for..it’s a dinner table.
Now that you have the basics down pact it’s time to tap into that inner etiquette you have and expand it. This intermediate section will provide a deeper and more in-depth tutorial than the one listed above. Things get a little more detailed in this part but it’s detail that separates good from great, Let’s take it a step further and enhance your form a little more.
- If your dish requires you to use a fork/knife/spoon please do. Eating with your fingers is acceptable for finger foods but any other time use your utensils.
- Refrain from mixing your food together, it’s served separately for a reason.
- Do not over stuff your mouth with food because you’ll never know when you’ll be asked a question. A small amount of food allows you to swallow quickly and speak, plus an abundance of food in your mouth can choke you.
- When drinking try not to suck in the liquid,rather,let it flow to you at a gradual speed. Impatience when drinking can result in slurping and spillage.
- Be mindful of your handling of utensils when food is running low on your plate, clanking and scraping can occur if you’re treating morsels as full meals.
- This pretty much goes without saying but DO NOT smoke at the dining table during a meal.
- If you spill your drink or drop your dish at a restaurant inform the waiter/waitress immediately, if being hosted alert the host of the accident. If the spill stained someone next to you offer your napkins and allow them to cleanse themselves.
In the final section we will highlight more advanced techniques for dining etiquette. The form you will learn here shall showcase your in-depth knowledge of food, drink, and cutlery. This advancement in dining should solidify yourself as a master of the dining room and all its composites, so let’s take a look at what you need to know to achieve mastery.
- For the more advanced gentleman bringing a parcel to a Host/Hostess dinner experience is considered top-notch etiquette and is a technique that is rarely practiced in today’s society. Practice it.
- Refrain from grooming or touching yourself while dining.
- There is a wide array of forks/knives/spoons that are made for specific meals, salad forks and soup spoons come to mind as examples, drinking glasses and dining plates and bowls also serve different dishes on occasions. While it is important for the gentleman to know these types of cutlery there are far too many to name and explain in this section so with that being said know your cutlery and use them accordingly when presented to you. I shall get more into depth on those dining utensils in my blog and vlogs so as to show visuals and functions of each and every one.
- If your audience is a special one than congratulations sir, this means you are a guest of honor which earns you a special seat. When this occurs you are to be seated to the right of the host or hostess. However if your audience is a normal one than expect either an alternate seating sequence or assigned seating, whichever one it is show humility, no one’s integrity is more important than the next persons.
- When passing dishes or pitchers do so where the recipient can grab it without spilling or dropping it, handle first towards them is appropriate for this.
- If you’re unsure of how to tip when eating at a restaurant use the service and hospitality as your base percentage. Personally, if my service was great and hospitable I’ll give a 25% tip but I understand everyone is different, the bare minimal should be 10% so depending on your experience you should be tipping from the 10%-25% range. When dining during the holidays be generous and throw in an extra 2%, they will remember that and go the extra mile for you and yours next time you are in attendance.
- When performing a toast stand tall and lightly tap your glass and speak in a clear tone and loud enough for the audience to hear you, be meaningful and convincing in your toast. Be sure to cheers.
- And most importantly of all thank the Host/Hostess for their hospitality when you’re done. If at a restaurant alert the waiter/waitress/management of their excellent service.
This wraps up our take on dining and food etiquette in today’s society. There are some things that I purposely left off such as standing when a lady enters and leaves a room. I left these off not as a sign of ignorance or disrespect but as nonconformity to some who may not be comfortable to standing and seating while eating. It can be very difficult to keep up with the amount of times a lady leaves and enters a room especially if a new and unexpected woman enters to dine. Also if the amount of women greatly outnumber the male attendance prepare for an exercise,however, it is something a gentleman can and should add to his repertoire. If we here a Perfect Gentleman left something off that you all feel should be added please let us know in the comments below, we are striving for perfection after all. Thank you for choosing us for your etiquette accommodations, have a perfect evening.