Have you ever sat at a dinner table and felt completely uncomfortable because you are not sure what the correct protocol is? Here are four tips to get you on the way to feeling confident and staying calm while dining with strangers, family and friends.
When do I start eating?
When there are fewer than 8 people at the table you may begin eating after everyone has been served. When there are 9 or more people, wait until at least the majority of the people at the table have been served before you start eating.
How do I know what utensils to pick up? This is a brilliant suggestion by Ray Angle who said make a “b” with your left hand, and a “d” with your right hand. The left hand with the “B” tells you it is the bread and butter, the “D” tells you that it is the drinks that are on the right hand side. So you will never pick up your neighbours’ water, coffee, or utensils again.
May I have the Salt and Pepper, please? The salt and pepper are passed together! One in each hand and you always pass them together, even if someone only requests the salt. They are passed and placed together to the person who wants them.
Which direction should I pass the food? Foodgoes around the table counter clockwise.If you are being served a bowl of vegetables and you take it in your hands, you pass it on to your right, on to the next person’s left.
The Etiquette Society International, Ltd/The Etiquette Institute