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The Do’s and Do Not Of Proper Table Etiquette

Updated on January 1, 2020
kmackey32 profile image

Kristie has worked in a nursing home for the last 12 years. She has held titles such a director and assistant director of activities.

Proper Dinning Etiquette

Table manners is an important role in making a good impression. Whether you are having lunch with a hopeful employer or business dinner with a coworker, manners can play an important role in the type of person you are. Many people where not taught proper etiquette because this is the fast food era, and we are all in a hurry. But, what if it means whether you get the job or someone else does who has better manners.

The Invitation

If you receive an invitation always respond within a week after receiving it. Always be punctual and it is also polite to bring a gift.

1. First things first. Remember what your mother always told you? Keep your elbows off the table and don't talk with your mouth full. I am always informing my children to please keep your mouth closed when you are eating, it drives me crazy. Do you know why she always told you to keep your elbows off the table? Because doing so creates a risk of flipping over bowls and cups.

1. Always place your napkin in your lap.The napkin is there to wipe your mouth as needed.

2. Always be polite saying "please" and "thank you"

3. My grandmother always taught me how to use the utensils. Start from the outside and work your way in. Your salad fork will be on the far left and then your entree fork next to it. Liquid utensils are on the right and solids are on the left.

Ordering You're Meal and Manners

1. Always remove your hat when entering a restaurant

2. Do not order the most expensive thing on the menu. This is a very bad idea. It would give me the impression you are just trying to impress me and I find it very rude.

3. If you need to get up and leave the table, put your napkin on the table.

4. If you do not like the food be polite an at least eat a small amount.

5. Do not make your plate so clean as if you have not ate in months.

6. Do not text while at a dinner. You would not want your guest to think whomever is on the phone is more important.

Remember to Leave a Good Impression

1. Always make it a point when leaving to thank the hostess

2. Always tell the person who made the dish, "That was good", or "It was delightful", even if it was not that good.

2. Remember to always send a thank you note.

Some people do not realize their behavior can be offensive to others. With good proper dinning etiquette and manners, you will be sure to leave a good lasting impression.


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    • profile image

      bella \ 

      10 years ago

      aaawww such a nice article or tips its awesome!!!!

      i just follow some of the rule lol now i willfollow each and every rule

    • salt profile image


      10 years ago from australia

      Wonderful writing. I used to live with someone who had over immaculate table mannners. I could feel as if I was at a royal banquet - I actually spent 6 months with my knife and fork held upwards to create a more casual dinner setting as if he dropped a knife or fork, you might well think that some major disaster had just occurred, so I worked on creating a comfortable dinner space.

      Good table manners are wonderful. I just had to work through this form of over formality and it did help!

    • kmackey32 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Thank you. I am trying really hard. :)

    • Tamarii2 profile image

      Dr Francis 

      11 years ago from NEW YORK

      Great hubs. You've soared in 4 months.Wow..157 fans and 32 or 33 hubs.And your hubs captured my attention.Great work.Just stopping by to say hello. >peace 2 U.

    • Paul Profitt profile image

      Paul Profitt 

      11 years ago from England

      So I suppose that leaving the restaurant with the chicken leg bone still in my mouth is out of the question?

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great hub!!! I have a few more things to add that are personal pet peeves of mine. lol I was going to write a hub about this, but you saved me the effort!

      Disclaimer: My mother was perhaps unhealthily obsessed with my table manners growing has resulted in some major pet peeves for me. lol

      -No chewing or talking with your mouth open. (I once had to break up with a great guy for this. I couldn't get past it...seriously bothers me lol)

      -Never, ever use a used piece of silverware to get condiments such as butter from a communal dish. I once saw a guy do this and the butter already had a knife. He used his own, DIRTY knife. This was at a business breakfast meeting. The rest of us were gaping (and did not use the butter! lol)

      -Never place a crumpled, soil napkin on the table if you have to excuse yourself. Try to fold it neatly, with the clean side exposed and place to the left side of your plate.

      -No purses or wallets on the table...they belong on the floor or in an unoccupied chair.

      -Always hang up your coat or jacket on a coat rack...not on the back of your chair.

      -For business events, do not drink more alcohol than the other members of your party. You can 'match' them (2 glasses if they have 2 glasses, but no more.)

      -For social dinners out with friends, if someone offers to pick up the tab, firmly offer to pay the tip. (not applicable in date settings)

      Dining etiquette is so important, many people judge based upon it, especially in business settings. I have seen people lose promotions or other job opportunities over poor dining etiquette!!! Again, great hub.

    • kmackey32 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Thanks everyone. Your all so kind. :)

    • Haunty profile image


      11 years ago from Hungary

      Thank you, kmackey. Rated up. :)

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      11 years ago from Queensland Australia

      yes very good tips & a good reminder...

    • dohn121 profile image


      11 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I've not learned how to set silverware...Is there more than one way? I'll take your advice in either case. Thank you.

      I appreciate your support and hope to read more of your hubs;) !

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Excellent advice! Thanks for publishing a needful Hub. It's good.

    • kmackey32 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Wow thats cool. Do you write here too? And I just posted it. :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Cool article.. I found this on Twitter.. followed you already :)

    • kmackey32 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Lmao oh that is so true. I guess I need to stop doing that. ha. And no hats either. I added it just for you. :)

    • Drew Breezzy profile image

      Drew Breezzy 

      11 years ago from somewhere in my mind

      Are hats ok for dinning?

    • Drew Breezzy profile image

      Drew Breezzy 

      11 years ago from somewhere in my mind

      Good tips. You could also add don't text while at dinner. It appears that whoever the person is texting is more important than your actual company.

    • kmackey32 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I plain on writing a full hub about table settings. :)

    • BrianFanslau profile image


      11 years ago from Eagan, MN

      Great etiquette :) I've flipped over so many bowls it isn't funny. I like the tips on using your utensils as I have only had this explained to me once by my grandmother too when I was little and never really remembered it until you brought it up. These tips would leave a good impression on anyone thanks :)


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