World Class Dining

"Eating is not an executive skill…but it is especially hard to imagine why anyone negotiating a rise to the top would consider it possible to skip mastering the very simple requirements…what else did they skip learning?" A Fortune 500 CEO

Yes, we're all judged by our table manners, and we judge others by their table manners. Follow these tips to be at ease as a guest or host/hostess and you'll be judged favorably. Bon appétit.

  1. Taking your seat. Move to the right of your chair and enter from your left side. Exit the same way. You always enter and exit as if you were a "passenger in a left-seat drive car."

  2. Resist the urge to touch anything on the table. Your elbows or forearms are never placed on the table. Continental style, wrists may rest on the table. American style, one wrist rests on the table and the other on the lap, or both rest on the lap.

  3. The host leads the way. Wait for the host to pick up his or her napkin before picking up yours. If there is no host, wait until at least three people are seated. Do not unfold the napkin until it is on your lap. Place your napkin on the chair when excusing yourself.

  4. Wait for the host to start eating. The host signals the beginning of each course.

  5. BMW. Your bread place is on your left, your meal is in the center, and your water is on your right. Knives and spoons are on your right; forks are on your left.

  6. Soup is spooned away from you. Sip the soup from the side of the spoon. Place the spoon on the under plate when you are resting and when you have finished.

  7. Keep your elbows close to your sides. Bring the food to your face, not your face to your food.

  8. Taste your food before salting. Pass from hand to table and do not use them first.

  9. When you finish a course, place your knife and fork in the 10:20 o'clock position. American style: tines up. Continental style: tines down.

  10. The host signifies the end of the meal by placing his/her napkin on the table. Place your unfolded napkin on the left side of your plate or in the center if your plate has been removed.
Protocol Plus provides seminars and consulting services in business and social etiquette, dining skills, techno-etiquette, and international protocol.

You may reprint this article with an attribution to Gloria Auth, Protocol Plus,

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