24 Basic Dining Etiquettes

Table manners and dining etiquettes play a pivotal role in making a favorable impression. They are the visible signals of our manners and are essential for our personal and professional success. This etiquette guide is intended to make you and others around you comfortable with your dining experience. Even if you are alone or at home and you eat like a slob,  it just means that you don’t appreciate the dining experience.

dining etiquette


  1. Place napkin on your lap once seated. Napkins should never be tucked in your collar.
  2. Use silverware from the outside towards the inside. The big fork is for the entrée and the big spoon is for soup.
  3. Silverware placed horizontally above your plate are meant for desserts.
  4. Glasses are always on right and bread is always on the left.
  5. Acceptable finger foods are bread, crispy bacon, pizza, corn on the cob, asparagus (unless its not dripping with sauce), fried chicken, French fries and tacos.
  6. Bread shouldn’t ever be cut. Use your fingers to tear a bite-sized piece.
  7. Never cut more than two bites at one time.
  8. While passing main dishes, always pass to the right. They are always passed around the table and not across.
  9. Pass salt & pepper as a set.
  10. Pushing food on your fork with a bread slice is unacceptable just like using fingers is.
  11. Remove foreign objects like fish bones using your thumb and fore finger and place them on your butter plate or on the side of your plate.
  12. Chew with your mouth closed.
  13. Don’t clean up spills with your napkin and don’t touch items dropped on the floor. Ask the server to clean up and bring you a replacement.
  14. Say ‘Excuse me’ or ‘I’ll be right back’ before leaving the table. It’s inappropriate to say that you need to use the restroom.
  15. Hold your wine glass by the stem and never the rim.
  16. Wait for everyone to be seated before starting to eat.
  17. Never put silverware on the table after it has been used. Place them on the butter plate instead.
  18. Do not season food before tasting it.
  19. Transport food to your mouth and not mouth to your food.
  20. Once you have completed your dinner the napkin should be placed tidily but not refolded on the left side of your plate and never on your plate.
  21. When two people are dining, sit opposite and never along the table.
  22. If you leave the table during your meal, place the napkin on the table to the left of your fork.
  23. Avoid burping or making unpleasant sounds at the table.
  24. Instead of reaching across the table for a dish, ask the person closest to the dish to pass it you.

The best way to apply table manners is to practice them at every meal. Make them a habit so that when you need them they will be there. Try and avoid the dinner disaster mentioned here.





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