- Posture: Sit up straight at the table, never lean backward, nor forward and also never let the elbows touch the table. This makes a good impression. When you are not eating, keep your hands on your lap or rest on the table.
- “Please” and “Thank you” are basic manners at the table: Say “Please” when asking people to pass you something and “Thank you” when you receive something.
- The best way to use a napkin: The napkin should be placed on the lap to catch crumbs or drips while eating food and should be kept back on the table neatly, after the meal is finished.
- Food is passed at a family meal by the head of the family or the host/hostess: It is often passed in a counterclockwise movement around the table.
- Wait for others to start eating. In many homes they say a prayer first.
- It is best to order foods that can be eaten with a knife and a fork. Finger foods can be messy and are best left for informal dining.
- The only way to eat is slowly and quietly. Chew small bites of food and swallow with the mouth closed.
- Smoking should not be done while dining out.
- One should avoid touching nose, teeth and combing hair while dinning.
10. The table and tablecloth should be kept clean. Do not put bones or any other morsels on the table.
11. Avoid spitting anything out. If there is something in the mouth, which can’t be swallowed, quietly put it in a paper napkin and then continue. (e.g. bones, seeds, etc.)
12. End the meal properly. When a person has finished eating, the fork and the knife are placed diagonally crossed across the plate, this is the best way to inform the server that you have finished eating.
13. When you have finished eating, express appreciation for the meal. You can perhaps say “What a delicious meal! Thank you so much.” And then wait for all to be finished before leaving the table.
To handle some of the unfortunate and embarrassing moments while eating food, following are some tips:
- If some beverage or food is spilled on some guest while eating: The best way is to handle the situation with a calm and quiet frame of mind. Apologize first and then using the cloth napkin and water wipe it gently or else gently guide the guest to the wash room.
- When a bug appears: If a bug or anything of that sort appears in your salad etc. quietly send it back but do not point it out because it might ruin the entire dinner for the rest of the people.
- To remove a distasteful food item from the mouth: The food should be removed in the napkin discreetly and the food morsel should be kept out of view from others.
- If a piece of silverware falls onto the floor: It should be picked up if one can reach it and the server should be told to replenish it with a clean one.
- Some food items can be eaten with fingers: Some food tastes better when eaten with fingers. So you can eat with your fingers provided you use just the first two segments of the thumb, the index and middle fingers to pop the food into the mouth. Avoid licking fingers after finishing the food. Food should be always eaten with right hand.