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Dining Etiquette

Updated on October 6, 2013
I did not make or take this photo. I found it online.
I did not make or take this photo. I found it online.
I did not make or take this photo. I found it online.
I did not make or take this photo. I found it online.

While we all know that chewing with your mouth open or talking with food in your mouth is a big ‘no-no’ there are certainly other ‘rules’ to follow that are just as important. Dining etiquette is easy to follow if you can remember just a couple of simple rules.

One, in some cases dining etiquette starts days before the dinner actually takes place. Making reservations is always a good place to start and remember that canceling is better than leaving a reserved table empty (Strauss, 2013).

Two, most dining etiquette revolves around the host. Strauss (2013) says that you should always appropriately greet and be respectful to your host. As with when to sit and when to start business discussions, it is unwise to start eating before the host starts to eat (McCormick, 2013). In general, if you are unsure about a certain behavior, use the host as an example.

Three, perhaps the most important and easiest, don’t order messy foods during a proper meal. Even though you might enjoy them, the other guests do not want to see the remnants of your meal on your shirt. If you simple must have a potentially messy meal such as pasta, choose the least messy version. Ziti or penne are great alternatives to messy spaghetti (McCormick, 2013).

Of course these rules don’t matter if you don’t know how to eat. What you would think should be one of the easiest things to remember, which fork to use and when, often ends with people shaking their heads and giving up. According to Editor Mike Lininger (Etiquette Scholar) most utensil uncertainties can be cleared up by following the "outside-in" rule (2011). For more information check out Eating Utensil Etiquette.


Lininger, M. (2011). Table manners. Retrieved from

McCormick, M. (2013). What is business dinner etiquette? Retrieved from

Strauss, E. (2013). Dining etiquette in the workplace. Retrieved from

Note: APA references should have a hanging indent but if Hubpages allows that, I don't know how to do it.

© 2013 info-overload


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