People need to visit the restaurant once in awhile. However, you need to master a number of etiquette and social manners to fully enjoy the experience and avoid getting embarrassed in front of other guests and the host. You will quickly pick up the rules as you practice these time and again. Here are some more tips on how to look your best while dining.
Always arrive 5 to 10 minutes early. Never come to an event late. Once seated, position your table napkin neatly on your lap. Place it beside your plate whenever you need to be excused from the table. Instead of passing any item hand to hand, set these on the table. Examples of the items to be passed are the bread basket, salt and pepper shakers and butter plate. Do not intercept a pass. Do not snag a roll out of a bread basket or use a shaker when still en route to another person at the table. Food should be served from the left, while dishes are taken out from the right side of the diner.
Before you eat or spread dips, butter and spreads, transfer these from the serving dish onto your plate first. Do not turn your wine glass upside down just to decline wine. You should allow the wine to pour to avoid drawing any more attention. You can also hold your hand over the wine glass to indicate that you do not wish to be served any more wine. Scoop food away from you at all times. Before you season the food, give it a little taste first. Try a little bit of everything on your plate. If your food is too hot or cold, wait for it to cool off. Do not blow on the food.
More Basic Manners
Keep your elbows off the table at all times. Also keep your left hand on your lap, until you need to use it. Chew with your mouth closed and do not talk with it full. Cut only food that is enough for your next mouthful. Eat in small bites slowly. If you’re eating steak, do not cut the meat into several pieces.
Slice one piece at a time then chew. Do not clean up spills using your napkin. Do not touch things that have dropped on the flour. You can use the napkin to keep spills away from you. You can wait for the server to clean up any mess or bring you a replacement of any item that has fallen on the floor.
Switch your cell phone off before entering the restaurant. Never answer your phone during the meal. If it is very important, you can excuse yourself from the table then take the call outside the restaurant. Do not use a toothpick, comb your hair or apply makeup while still seated on the table. When a women leaves the table or comes back to be seated, all men at the same table should stand up. Avoid pushing your dishes away from you once you are done. Do not stack them, but wait for the server to remove these.