Useful Tips

How to behave at the table


I remember at school I had classes on etiquette. We learned to sit at the table, arrange plates and all that jazz. I don’t know why we were taught this. No one asked, everyone said that they did not have such an item. But now I am pleased to participate in various official eating habits.

I understand that compliance with the lunch protocol allows you to relax at the same time, do everything right, not paying attention to your actions, and have fun. When you know the rules, you don’t feel awkward and biased at the table, you are spared the need to ask stupid questions from the series “What to do about it?”. You can just enjoy your meal.

Why it is necessary to observe etiquette

When I began to periodically need to eat food in public places, I noticed that many do not have the slightest idea about the rules of behavior at the table. It surprised me so much that I don’t even know how to express it. The rules of conduct at the table have been a given to me since school days. We still eat three times a day, and we must do this in such a way as not to depress others around us.

At least follow these four rules:

Follow the owner of the house

If you do everything exactly like him, it will help you avoid shame in 95% of cases. It is not so difficult - to start eating when everyone starts, to use the same cutlery - this is a guarantee of success. However, constantly staring at others is not the most pleasant option. So you can’t relax and enjoy your dinner.

Chew with your mouth closed and don't talk with your mouth full

Yes, there is still such a problem. Some types chew without covering their mouths and showing their contents to others. If you need to say something, first swallow what is in your mouth. To always be ready for a conversation, do not fill your mouth, let it contain quite a bit of food - literally for one bite. The days are over when people stuffed their mouths to quickly get enough. Your food won't run away from you anywhere

Bring food to your mouth, not mouth to food

Do not bend to the fork, much less to the plate, raking food in your mouth, almost like a scoop. Carry food to the mouth - this distance is not more than 20 cm, it is easy to overcome. Sit straight, do not bury too much food in a spoon or fork and bring the cutlery directly to your mouth. And never drink from a soup cup.

Say thank you, please, and sorry

These little words are truly magical and should be used freely.

The first rule of etiquette is to know who you are having dinner with and your guests

You need to be prepared. If you were invited to an official reception, you need to find out how many people will be there and what to expect in general. Dress appropriately, decently, if this is a working meeting, it is important to look professional. This shows respect for the owner of the house, besides the impression made can be very important.

If you go to someone’s home, bring some small present: flowers or a bottle of wine. If you go to dinner with a close friend, you should find out how you can help. Maybe he will ask you to buy a cake for dessert or something like that. Come on time, but not earlier than ten minutes before the appointed time: the last preparations are made.

Informal lunch

This means that there is no specific time when a group of people should sit at the table and start sharing food. For example, picnics and barbecue: people come, eat and leave at any time. Here, the rules of behavior at the table are much more relaxed, but there are a few points that you should pay attention to.

1. Take a medium-sized portion

It’s unpleasant to find that you are able to eat only half of the food that lies in front of you on a plate, and someone because of your zeal did not get any dish. You can take an additive at any time: in bulk, moreover, it is always a compliment to the person who prepared everything.

2. Do not dunk a piece twice in a common sauce

If you like it so much, put yourself the sauce on a plate so as not to spread your bacilli.

3. Do not chop all the meat at once

If you fried something really big, cut yourself and everyone around the pieces only once, then cut them off again. Otherwise, the meat will be dry.

4. Clean up after yourself

Need some reason?

Rules of conduct at the table

Remember M. Bulgakov’s famous story “A Dog’s Heart”, where Polygraph Poligrafovich Sharikov couldn’t be taught to use a fork and a knife?

Do we know how to do this? Most will answer: of course yes! Well, why then do not? Don't we know how to behave while sitting at the dinner table? Are we not familiar with good manners and simple rules of etiquette? Of course we know, and of course we know each other. But we do not do it because we are not accustomed.

I want to remind you the basic rules of behavior at the table in the presence of friends and strangers. To do this, just read and remember a few simple recommendations, which I will list below. And in order not to forget them, you need to try to observe them always and everywhere, regardless of whether you eat alone or in a company, at home, in a cafe or in an expensive restaurant. Only in this way will you learn to behave tactfully, culturally, with respect to others.

Knowing the rules of etiquette will make you feel comfortable during any feast

Our etiquette is not as strict as English. Nevertheless, the rules of good form at the table should not be neglected. They exist for people who want to feel comfortable during any feast. No wonder it is considered: good manners - the hallmark of a true lady or gentleman.

The basic rules of table etiquette

  • After all the guests have taken their places at the table, lay a napkin on your lap. It will be very good if you wait for the owner to do this first. To deploy a napkin, you do not need to shake it. This must be done quietly and not noticeably. In elite establishments, the waiter unfolds and puts the waiter on his knees.
  • If you need to leave the table for some time, fold the napkin and put it on the back of the chair. At the end of the feast, the napkin is placed to the left of the plate.
  • If you accidentally drop a napkin, do not put it again on your lap - ask for another.
  • The napkin should lie next to the plate while eating. Do not fiercely rub your lips with a napkin, it is only applied to the lips.
  • Before you take a sip of the drink from the glass, be sure to wipe your lips with a napkin, so as not to leave greasy marks on the glass and, especially, the remnants of lipstick. Believe me, dear women, you will look much more attractive with not made up lips than with a glass in your hand, smeared with lipstick.
  • Before filling your glass or glass, first offer a drink to your table neighbors.
  • Sitting at a table, do not put your elbows on it. It is allowed to lean on its edge only with the wrist. But, to the weaker sex, these rules are more lenient - they are allowed to lean their elbows on the table for a short time.
  • You need to sit at the table without stooping or hunched over, but only leaning forward slightly. Try to never bend low over the plate. It doesn’t look very beautiful, it seems that you are eating right from the plate.
  • Do not stretch your legs under the table in full length, so you can hurt someone and stain them. You can’t take off your shoes under the table. Crossing legs under the table is also a sign of bad taste.

  • Having taken the bread from a common vase, transfer it to yourself on a plate specially designed for this. Do not break off a piece of bread from yourself and do not put the remaining bread back in the vase.
  • If you took bread from a vase, then it is already yours and no one else's.
  • Do not cut bread with your knife in your plate. You need to eat it, breaking off pieces.

  • When using a knife and fork, the knife is held in the right hand, and the fork in the left.
  • While waiting for the next dish or during a table talk, you need to completely put the fork and knife on your plate. You do not need to put them so that one end is on the table, and the other on the plate.
  • Crossed on a plate, a knife with a fork (knife to the right and fork to the left) means that you have stopped eating temporarily and will soon continue.
  • If you put the knife and fork on your plate parallel to each other with the handles to the right, then this will mean that you have finished eating.
  • Do not raise the cutlery too high above the plate and do not need to gesticulate with it. You can not point out any of those present, cutlery, especially a knife.
  • For some dishes such as pasta, vermicelli, hodgepodge, various cereals ... a knife is not needed at all. If you eat soup, then a special soup spoon should be in your right hand and should be brought slightly obliquely.
    In general, it is customary to hold all devices not in the way we are used to - in the middle, but by the tip of the handle (unless, of course, your hands are shaking).
  • Putting food from a common dish on your plate, you don’t need to dig into it and, at all, are not acceptable, choose the best pieces for yourself.

  • When you eat the first dish, it is not recommended to tilt the plate either on your own or on yourself. So you exclude the possibility of staining the tablecloth or your clothes with splashes.
  • After the first is eaten, leave the spoon in the plate in which it was served. If the cup with the first dish was placed on a serving plate, put a spoon on it.
  • It is considered the height of indecency to slurp while eating, sip, smack or talk, with stuffed food, mouth.

  • No need to salt the dish or sprinkle it with pepper if you have not tried it.
  • If one of the guests asked you to hand over the salt, hold the salt shaker by the base with a pepper shaker, if they are nearby. Salt and pepper should always be shared together, regardless of what you have been asked.
  • If there is an open salt shaker on the table, take salt out of it only with a clean spoon or knife.
  • When serving sauce in a common dish to the dish, take it with a serving spoon and place it on the edge of your plate. You should never dunk your piece in a common gravy boat. Do not scrub your plate with a piece of bread.
  • Having taken a plate with cold cuts (or with bread), do not rush to lay the contents on your own. First offer it to your table neighbors, wait for the cuts to return to you, and only then take them yourself.
  • Eat everything on your plate using cutlery, even if at home you always ate it with your hands.
  • Do not raise your glass, cup or plate, thereby helping the waiter fill them. This should only be done if asked to.
  • Gently place empty plastic containers of milk, cream, or sugar on the edge of your plate.
  • Seafood dishes such as crab, lobster, shrimp ... during a friendly lunch or lunch, you can eat with your hands.
  • In order to squeeze a lemon onto a seafood dish, cover it with your hand to avoid splashing onto you and others.
  • Dirty fingers must be rinsed. Dip them in a cup of water specially designed for this, and then wipe them with a cloth.
  • You should not talk at the table before you fully live and swallow food. Otherwise, your conversation runs the risk of becoming an "eloquent fountain."
  • Watch carefully who is contacting you. Try not to interrupt the interlocutor (no matter what nonsense he carries and no matter how long it lasts).
  • In an unfamiliar company, talking about religion, money, and politics should be avoided. And, in no companies, it is unacceptable to talk about their diseases.
  • You should not hold a cup of tea or coffee with both hands, they need to be held by the ear.
  • Do not blow on hot coffee or tea, wait until it cools down by itself.
  • No need to dip cookies, gingerbread, sugar in a cup of tea ...
  • If you accidentally spilled coffee or tea on a saucer, do not blot it with a napkin - ask for a clean one.
  • Do not prick too large pieces on your fork, cut them with a knife.
  • No need to eat too fast, thereby pretending that you may be missing something. Eat calmly, without rushing.
  • Keep your hands on the table, not under the table. You never know, someone will think.
  • Do not tap on the table. Also, it’s not nice to knock on the table with forks, spoons, knives ...
  • And, in conclusion, about smoking at the table. It is allowed after all the dishes have been eaten and the dessert has come, when unnecessary plates and cutlery are taken away.
  • You can drag on a cigarette while drinking coffee at the end of a meal.
  • If the room does not have adequate ventilation, and guests who cannot tolerate tobacco smoke are present at the table, smoking is allowed only in a place specially designated for this.

Video on how to behave at the table

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Informal meeting at the table

You sit at the table, eat and at the same time communicate. Business meetings, Easter and Christmas dinners and similar things. Here, places have already been thought out for everyone. The basic instruction is this: all the pieces are arranged and laid out around the plate: forks on the left, spoons and knives on the right. They start using cutlery from the outside to the inside: first you take the last device, then the one that follows, etc. A glass of water is usually larger than a glass of wine.

Formal lunch

When you come to a formal dinner, you must wear a suit and, in many cases, a black tie. I will not spread too much: you can find this information on other sites. Just tell you: don’t worry if you are invited. You can learn all the basics in practice in just half an hour. The picture is attached.

A napkin is placed on your knees for the first minute after you sat down at the table for lunch. Do not cling to the corner of the shirt collar or tuck it into the belt. Just spread it on your lap (you can only open it by half, usually this is enough). This will protect your pants from splashes and various crumbs, and you can also wipe your mouth with this napkin. When you eat or are forced to leave, put it gently to the left of your plate.

When to start eating?

The safest and easiest answer is when others start. It is often not clear whether it is possible to eat: the hostess and her assistant are still in the kitchen, a couple of guests have gone away somewhere, and they cannot be reached. In this case, if the hot has already been served and at least two people are left at the table, you can proceed. If they brought food and everyone was sitting, and already served three or four people, you can also start (if, of course, you have more than four people. If less, wait until everyone is served). The main thing is never eat alone, but you need to eat hotter while it is still hot.

If the house has a tradition of praying before meals, the master of the house should read the prayer, and anyone can take the initiative. The main thing is to declare this desire even before everything is served and laid out on plates. Toasts can be pronounced at any time when glasses are filled, and, with the exception of formal dinners, they can be pronounced by anyone. Often guests make a toast to the host hospitality.

Elbows, distant plates, and table troubles

As you know, it is best not to put your elbows on the table, but there is nothing special if you put them on the table while talking with someone during a meal or at tea or coffee. It is forbidden to reach. If you can’t get any plate easily (you need to get up and reach for the dish) or it is in someone’s personal space, ask the nearest person to give you this. If something spills, first make it stop pouring, and then ask the hostess to help you wipe. Then forget about the incident and enjoy lunch.

What if you don’t want something

If you just don’t want to try it. You have not tried the dish, how can you know if you will like it? Always try a little of all the dishes on offer. Sometimes even the smallest piece is enough, let the rest remain on the plate - but the hostess will not be offended.

You are on a diet. Depending on the severity of the diet, you can warn the hostess in advance so that she cooks something personally for you. You can eat something before this dinner, so as not to be hungry and try a little of what you can.

You do not drink. Until recently, I didn’t drink at all and had difficulties at some dinners: they were still expected to drink alcohol from me. They can persuade you and even almost force you. How to be I’ll offer you a compromise: toast, sip, and then barely touch the liquid with your lips. This usually works. When people know that you don’t drink in principle, after some time they stop bothering you with this question. Just be steadfast, do not give in to persuasion, and all will lag behind.

How to say that you are finished

The best way is to put the fork and knife across the plate, as if the clock shows 4:20. The fork lies closer to you with its teeth up, the knife with the blade to the fork. This is the most convenient position of the cutlery for the waiter to remove the plate from the table and not to drop anything.

Before leaving, thank all the owners of the house. Если это было большое мероприятие (более 30 людей) и тебе нужно срочно уйти, а хозяева где-то в гуще толпы беседуют с другими гостями, можно уйти по-английски и не прощаться. В таком случае лучше попросить друга попрощаться за тебя. Однако в течение 24 часов обязательно позвонить хозяевам дома и объяснить причину своего поспешного ухода.

Финальные советы

one.Have fun and allow yourself a couple of drinks, if you so want, but do not get carried away too much, do not ruin the evening to the owners. Often at a party there is a dude who went over and started arguing loudly with his girlfriend or making ambiguous jokes.

2. Communicate with people. Listen to them, delve into what they say, be careful. If during the last ten minutes you are the only one who spoke, then this is not a conversation, but a presentation.

3. Turn off your phone and enjoy the moment. Do not put it on silent mode: this way you will check it every five minutes and let others know that you have more important things to do. You can live one evening without twitter and instagram.

4. The best way to acquire good manners is practice. Make them your habit. Teach your children to them, and you will never get in the wrong.

Table etiquette rules: serving appliances

At home, we usually get by with a minimum of cutlery. For example, we often dine without a knife. Another thing is a meal in a restaurant. All the brilliant serving elements - knives, spoons and forks - are placed there in the same order in which they fulfill the order. First they bring soup, then chicken, then fish and finally dessert dishes. Knowing this rule, the first to take the device farthest from the plate.

Each table item has its own location and purpose. Before dinner, there is a knife and a spoon on the right side of the snack plate. On the left side, it is customary to put a pie, as well as put forks and a disposable - paper - napkin.

Dessert devices are supposed to be laid out in front of a plate. Behind them is exposed crystal - glasses and glasses. On a snack plate lies a rolled-up tissue napkin and there is a glass.

10 golden rules of ethics for a restaurant feast

  1. In Russia, at the end of the toast, it is necessary to thank a congratulator with a slight nod of his head. In Germany, they always look into the eyes of the one with whom they clink glasses.
  2. Moveton is considered to bring a cocktail from the bar to the dining table.
  3. Do not try to lay out personal things on the table: wallet, cosmetic bag, keys. Elbows should also be removed from the table.
  4. Do not blow over a hot meal at dinner, the way it will cool itself.
  5. To remove lipstick from the lips, do not use a tissue towel. She decided to cover her knees and wipe her mouth from the remnants of food. After eating, they put it on their left, and used paper on a plate.
  6. Proper use of a knife and fork, according to European etiquette, involves the constant presence of them in your hands while eating. In America, you can cut off a piece of meat, lower the knife and take the fork with your right hand.
  7. You should try to chew food silently: champing, talking, or laughing with your mouth full is a taboo in a decent society.
  8. If the cartilings were in the steak ordered for dinner and you felt one of them with your tongue in your mouth, you should take it out with a fork. But the bone from the olive can be removed from the mouth with two fingers.
  9. No need to move the plate and cup away from you after eating. Leave all appliances in place.
  10. After eating, do not put a knife with a fork on a plate cross on a cross: this is how restaurant customers in some countries make it clear that they did not like the dish. Arrange these devices on the diagonal of the plate parallel to each other.

How to behave at a party

A visit is a kind of test for the ability to behave in any society. Despite the informality of the environment, all the rules of etiquette should be observed. By the way, an invitation to dinner for the whole family is an occasion to teach dining ethics to your child. Still at home, it is necessary to teach children the correct behavior at a party and the handling of cutlery.

It would be nice for adults to recall the basic requirements of table etiquette:

  • the invitation to start the meal should come from the hosts, before that the guests are sitting quietly at the table, holding their hands on their knees,
  • cutlery at dinner is transferred from one guest to another in a counterclockwise direction,
  • you should not reach out for a salad bowl that is far from you - just ask a neighbor to pass it to you,
  • if donuts and jam were served for dessert, you need to break the donut with your hands into small pieces and alternately spread them with jam, sending one by one into the mouth,
  • just swallowing food and wiping your lips with a napkin, you can drink water or wine,
  • according to the rules of etiquette, you can’t paint your lips at the table after eating: it is extremely unpleasant to see a girl or a woman engaged in a marathon where they eat food.

After going on a visit, some people send an SMS message with thanks to the owners.

The nuances of a table conversation

Proper conversation at the table should be pleasant to everyone present. About affairs is allowed to speak only at the end of the meal.

When eating, the forbidden topics are:

  • disease
  • anatomical features of men and women,
  • intimate problems
  • income
  • production conflicts
  • religious and political topics.

Do not get involved in a monologue, it is better to demonstrate your listening ability. It is not recommended to be interested in the social status or age of the interlocutors. Subtle humor, relevant comments about the weather, art or culture, but without going into the subject, are welcome.