These days, hardly anyone is going to be judged on whether or not they picked the stem off the asparagus and ate it with their fingers. These days, proper dining etiquette tips link directly to appropriate behavior.
For any number of reasons, correct conduct at the table is critical. Making a good first impression on a date matters, we all know that. What we may not realize is that there are other examples of where first impressions count. Often job interviews are held over lunch, especially if the job is in sales or marketing. Friends also like to introduce other friends or new partners over dinner. And whether or not this catch up is done at home or at a restaurant, the same good impression matters.
Dining etiquette usually involves a list of things to do and things not to do. On the To Do list is having only one glass of wine, making sure the conversation includes everyone at the table, giving thanks to the host or the hostess, and also thanking the chef and wait staff. Other tips include discreetly leaving the table to use the restroom.
Slurping food, talking with a mouth full of full, fidgeting in the chair, talking over the top of everybody, these are traits of ill mannered children. And the ill mannered dinner guest who picks meat out their teeth and slops red wine all over the tablecloth is just as likely to be considered childish for displaying their worst behavior.
It would hardly be called table manners without one very important ingredient. Table manners involve eating at the table. Poor eating habits are made easier if the sofa is where meals are shared. At a table, the back is straightened, the hands are positioned, and the attention is on the guests and not the television. It is not hard to learn proper eating habits. Many old movies are the epitome of excellent table manners. By mimicking the way ladies and gentlemen behaved, or by watching the way people eat at fancy restaurants, the road to learning proper habits can be an easy one to travel.
Eating with a knife and fork is one of the things that separate humans from the animal kingdom. It is important to remember this distinction as it helps when using good dining etiquette, especially for the first few times. Just as it is important to remain comfortable otherwise a dinner guest is likely to be too comical and clumsy. When in doubt keep quiet and match the behavior of other guests, particularly the host. If at a work function, match the behavior of the most senior person there.
Whether at home with friends or out at a restaurant, whether impressing a new boss or out on a date, good dining etiquette tips help to keep adult acting like adults.
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