How to Avoid Bad Dining Habits

The top five dining etiquette tips

I was recently interviewed by a journalist for Investment Executive (a great resource for financial advisors in Canada) for some advice on avoiding the biggest dining etiquette mistakes people make at the business lunch.

Here are the top five table manners tips I shared:

Tip #1 – I think that’s my bread plate

Many people aren’t familiar with the basic table setting and large round tables can be particularly confusing. Your  bread plate is always to your left and your water glass is on your right. If someone inadvertently takes your bread plate (and someone invariably will) don’t make a big deal of it, just let it go.

Tip #2 – My that’s an “interesting” way to hold your knife and fork

Be mindful of how you hold your utensils when eating. Your table mates may not know all the table manners rules but they know what awkward looks like. Don’t grip your fork like a baseball bat or your knife like you’re going to stab someone.

Cut and eat small pieces of food because Murphy’s Law states that when you have food in your mouth, someone always asks you a question .

Tip #3 – A napkin isn’t a hankie

Never blow your nose into your napkin. Proper dining etiquette says if you need to leave the table during the meal, the napkin goes on your chair.

Tip #4 – When it comes to wine… get a grip

A glass of white wine should be held by the stem so as not to warm up the wine. If you get in the habit of holding every wine glass by the stem, you won’t go wrong.

Tip #5 – Signal your success at the table

To signal to the wait staff that you’ve finished eating, place your knife and fork together in the five o’clock position on the right side of your plate. Never scrunch your napkin up and throw it on your plate. Simply loosely fold your napkin and place it on the left-hand side of the plate.

The easy way to look good at the restaurant table

Our video and online dining etiquette training (which is rated #1 online business dining course by none other than the Wall Street Journal) is the easiest way to ensure you look great at the restaurant table. Click here to read the complete article by Fiona Collie on the Investment Executive website.

Posted by Joanne Blake – the Canadian corporate image consultant and dining etiquette expert

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