Dining Etiquettes! Create & build a professional Edge for leaders!
| Brig. (Dr) Sunil Kumar Moudgil (Retd) - 01 Jan 2020

Dining etiquettes are social skills and good manners which differentiates and help selecting front runner professionals for leadership roles. Dining etiquettes can be well-defined as social conduct at the dining table, as per the conventions prevalent in the society that one lives in. During interview process or networking interaction, at times, it is likely that one may be invited over dinner at a common place or a restaurant to take the ongoing discussions a step beyond. Significant points of dinning etiquettes if followed, can help create and build a professional edge over others. Let’s see some of them: -
• Always respond to an invitation through an appropriate communication
•  Dress according to recommended dress code, if any. If no dress code is mentioned, it’s always good to wear formals. 
•  Be punctual. A few minutes before the designated time. 
  It is advisable to know how a table setting / table layout is done in a restaurant for the ease of eating food. 
•  Plate is in the center
•  Knives and spoons on right
•  Fork on the left
•  Napkin in the plate or on the left
•  Liquids go to your right
• Bread plate goes on your left
• Posture: Sit with your back touching the chair back, hands on laps, when discussing & not eating the food
• Please & Thank you are two basic etiquettes, when requesting to pass a dish 
• Napkin, the best way to use it to put in on lap and use occasionally to wipe hands or lips 
If you are invited at a family meal, remember:
• Good idea to bring a gift for the host/hostess 
• In some cultures, a blessing is said before start eating. Even if you don’t follow the beliefs of the prayer, show respect and be silent.
• Food is passed by the head of a family or the host/hostess
• Food is passed in counterclockwise direction
• When you have finished eating, express appreciation for the meal
u Thank you so much! 
u What a delicious meal!
• Wait for all to finish before leaving the table
• Wait for everyone to fill plates and then start eating
• Eat slowly and quietly
• Smoking is not done at the dining table. Completely excused if offered 
• Avoid touching nose, teeth & combing hair while dining
• Table and tablecloth should be kept clean
Avoid embarrassing 
• Avoid spitting anything out
• To remove a distasteful food item from mouth, remove it in a napkin discreetly, keep it out of view of others
• If food is spilled while eating, stay calm, apologize and then use cloth napkin & water to wipe it
• If a bug appears, quietly send salad/dish back without making too obvious
• When eating finger food
u avoid licking fingers
u and always use right hand for eating
Buffet Set up & Service
• Plates stacked at the end of table
• The entire cutlery along with crockery, placed next to it
• Do not start eating salads etc. as you are still filling the plate
• Do not leave anything in the plate, once you have done
Do’s of ‘Dining Table 
• Turn off your mobile or put it on silent before sitting down. It is rude to talk on your phone or text while dining
• Wait to sit until host has indicated the seating arrangement
• Napkin, use occasionally
• To hold knife & fork, handle in palm, fore fingers on top and thumb underneath
• Rest knife & fork on side by side in the center of plate
• Always use serving utensils and not your own plate to lift food from the serving dish
• Never blow on your food. If it is hot, wait a few minutes for it to cool off
• Desert can be eaten both with a spoon & a fork
• After you finish eating, partially fold your napkin and place it to the left of your plate 
• Send a personal, thank you note/mail within a day to one, who has invited you for dining
 Don’ts of ‘Dining Table Manners’
• Stretch across the table
• Put your elbows on the table, it is generally considered rude 
• Pick teeth
• Make loud eating noises. Its impolite
• Talk with one’s mouthful, not pleasant to watch
• Do anything until the host does it first, sit, eat, put your napkin on the table, leave
• Forget to make polite conversation, it’s a social occasion apart from any other agenda
• Bring topics of discussion on religions and politics on table 
Happy Dining to create favorable impressions!

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