It is important that you know some of the tips for dining etiquette as it is crucial for earning a favourable impression at both lunch/dinner interviews as well as in social business situations. Although common sense is often your best guide, here are some suggestions that will help you stand out as a polished professional.
Tips for Dining Etiquette
Here are some of the tips for dining etiquette that you must follow –
Keep at least one hand free. If you are standing, have only a drink or food in one hand, never both. Hold a drink in your left hand so that you have a dry hand to offer a firm, not crushing, handshake. You can eat and drink while sitting, but it is always better to stand and greet.
Another important tip for dinning etiquette is to Make eye contact. Ask people questions about themselves and the work they do.
Always offer your contact information and know when it is time to go. Move on to the next group or individual, follow up with promising contacts, and assess how you can improve your performance.
As for dining etiquette, arriving on time is very important as it puts a good impression and if by chance anything happens to call ahead to inform you will be late. It is also important to keep in mind that one is not supposed to place any bags, purses, sunglasses, cell phones, or briefcases on the table. Having a proper posture and keeping your elbows off the table is another important thing that one must remember.
Waiting 15 minutes before calling to check on the arrival status of your dinner partners shows decency and is considered the proper etiquette.
When presented with a variety of eating utensils, remember the guideline to “start at the outside and work your way in”. For example, if you have two forks, begin with the fork on the outside. Do not talk with your utensils and never hold a utensil in a fist. Set the utensils on your plate, not the table, when you are not using them.
Typically, you want to put your napkin on your lap (folded in half with the fold towards your waist) soon after sitting down at the table but follow your host’s lead.
The napkin should remain on your lap throughout the entire meal. Place your napkin on your chair, or to the left of your plate, if you leave the table as a signal to the server that you will be returning.
When the host places their napkin on the table, this signifies the end of the meal. You should then place your napkin on the table as well.
Another tip for dining etiquette is, you must not order the most expensive item from the menu, appetizers, or dessert, unless your host encourages you to do so. While it is best not to order alcohol even if the interviewer does, alcohol, if consumed, should be in moderation. Avoid ordering items that are messy or difficult to eat (i.e. spaghetti, French onion soup). Wait for everyone to be served before beginning to eat unless the individual who has not been served encourages you to begin eating.
Another important yet common tip for dining etiquette is to Eat slowly and cut only a few small bites of your meal at a time.
Chew with your mouth closed and do not talk with food in your mouth.
Pass food items to the right (i.e. bread, salad dressings). If you are the individual starting the passing of the bread basket, first offer some to the person on your left, then take some for yourself, then pass to the right.Pass salt and pepper together, one in each hand. If someone has asked you to pass these items, you should not pause to use them.
Thus, if you follow these tips for dining etiquette, you will be able to make a good impression.