MOST of us love dining out but do we know the proper etiquette on the dinner table?
Whether it is at a fancy or simple restaurant or with friends, family or business colleagues, table manners play an important part in making a favorable impression - they are visible signals of the state of our manners.
Whatscookingamerica.net has listed several handy table manners that we need to remind ourselves of and never forget; from making reservations to how to use napkins, when to start eating and the right time to burp or excuse yourself from the table.
nMaking restaurant reservations: Restaurant reservations are like any other appointment. If you make a reservation, stick to it. Call ahead if you're going to be more than 15 minutes late, and cancel as far in advance as possible if your plans change so that someone else can get a table.
nHow to use napkins: In a restaurant, as soon as you are seated, remove the napkin from your place setting, unfold it, and put it in your lap. Do not shake it open. The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal. Don't clean the cutlery or wipe your face with the napkin. NEVER use it to wipe your nose! If you excuse yourself from the table, loosely fold the napkin and place it to the left or right of your plate. Do not refold your napkin or wad it up on the table either. Never place your napkin on your chair. At the end of the meal, leave the napkin semi-folded at the left side of the place setting. It should not be crumpled or twisted; nor should it be folded. The napkin must also not be left on the chair.
nWhen to start eating: In a restaurant, wait until all are served at your table before beginning to eat. At a private dinner party, when your host or hostess picks up their fork to eat, then you may eat.
nBurping and noise: Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite. The number one sin of dinner table etiquette!
nWhen to excuse yourself: Say "Excuse me," or "I'll be right back," before leaving the table. Do not say that you are going to the restroom.