Master Basic Dining Etiquette

Table manners play a vital role in ensuring that you make a positive impression to people you are dining with. It is not a good look bearing witness to someone who lacks basic dining etiquette, especially in the company of prospective business associates or employers.

Table manners are visible signals that spotlight our manners and therefore are essential in contributing to professional success. Our manners can speak volumes regarding our professionalism. Learn how to master basic dining etiquette with these simple tips.

The Use of Napkins

When you are attending a dinner hosted by someone who invited you to their home, the meal will begin when the host unfolds their napkin, meaning all guests should follow suit. The napkins should be placed on your lap. If it’s a smaller napkin, it should be completely unfolded and if it’s a larger napkin, it should be folded in half.

The napkin should remain on your lap for the rest of the dinner. If you would like to use the restroom, place the napkin on the chair to signal that you’re returning to your seat. When the dinner is finished, the host will place their napkin on the table, and all guests should follow suit.


Do not be intimidated about asking your server about a particular meal you do not know; it is their duty to assist you wherever possible. Doing this will prevent ordering a meal that you do not like or worse, may be allergic to.

An employer will generally allow guests to order first, and they will order last. In some cases, the servers will be the ones to decide on how the ordering will proceed. Note that often, women’s orders are taken first, and then men follow. As a guest, try to order meals that are reasonable and avoid ordering the most expensive items on the menu, unless the host states otherwise.

Utilizing Silverware

One of the most intimidating parts about fine dining is knowing how to choose the correct silverware for each course meal. There are a variety of silverware in front of you but choosing the correct one is not as difficult as it may appear. When you start to dine, you will begin to utilize from the utensils furthest from the plate and work towards the utensil closest to the plate.

Starting with your knife, fork, or spoon that’s furthest from your plate, you’ll work your way in, using each utensil with each course. The salad fork will be on your outermost left side and then followed by your dinner fork. The soup spoon is on your outermost right side, which is followed by your beverage spoon, the salad knife and the dinner knife. The dessert spoon and fork will be above your plate or in some cases, brought out with the dessert. To master the silverware order, remember to always work from the outside in.

After Dinner

Lastly, after you finish your meal, don’t push your plate away so you can grab your phone to play at real money mobile casinos in Canada. Leave your plate where it is in the place setting instead. The proper dining etiquette to signal you’re finished with your meal is to lay your fork and knife diagonally across your plate.

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