How to Present Yourself Well When Dining Out?

Table ethics are among the basic knowledge that you should know. Even if you rarely dine out, you may get into a situation where you need behave well inside a fine dining restaurant. Here are things you should do:

  • For men, a suit is recommended, while women should wear a skirt or dress. Fine dining restaurant is obviously different compared to typical fast food chain. When you are dressed up well, you will feel better about yourself.
  • Spread out the napkin: Once you are seated, you should spread out the napkin flat on your lap. If the napkin is quite big, you may fold it into halves. If the napkin is regular in size, you can open it full size.
  • Sit up straight: In fine dining restaurants, make sure that elbows are tucked in and you should stretch them outright. Avoid slouching while sitting, because it will appear that you own the whole area.
  • Don’t rush: You should look around the table. Wait for a while until everyone starts digging into their food.
  • Use silverware properly: When using silverware, you should take the farthest one from the plate and work your way in. When you are done using specific silverware, you can put on the dish that it belongs to.
  • Pass to the right: If you are in a buffet style restaurant, you should pass the food to the right.
  • Cut in small pieces: It won’t look polite if you behave like you are starved. For ethical purposes, you should cut meat in small, bite-sized chunks. You should chew slowly. In fact, by chewing small pieces slowly, you can better taste the food and it feels more satisfying.
  • Semi-fold the napkin: When you are done eating, semi-fold the napkin and put it at the left side of the plate.
  • Remove it properly: If there’s small fish or chicken bone inside your meat, you should remove it the same way it went in. Instead of using your fingers, you should use your fork to slowly spit out the bone and calmly put it on your plate. You should always eat chicken with knife and fork.
  • Eat oysters and clams properly: In fine dining restaurants, oysters and clams are often served in their shell. This way, you should hold the shell firmly with left hand and use the other hand to pluck out the meat with the provided oyster fork. Cocktail fork is also provided for eating crab, shrimp and lobster cocktails. If lobster and crab claws are served, a nutcracker is usually available on your table. Use it to crack the hard shell and use the fork to pick up the meat.
  • Use fork to apply butter: As an example, you can use a fork to put butter on baked potatoes. You can also use small knife.
  • Use fork to pick French fries: You can eat dry chips using your fingers. However, if the host serves French fries, you may use the fork instead. Don’t pick French fries with your fingers and then only bite part of it.
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