Table Manners

Hi everyone! Today we’re talking about one of my favorite topics…eating!  Business networking, interviewing, and socializing often involves a meal.  Though this can be fun, it can also be super stressful if you haven’t had an etiquette course recently.  Here’s a refresher!

a beautiful table setting by the gals at  TOAST  Santa Barbara.

a beautiful table setting by the gals at TOAST Santa Barbara.

Napkin goes in your lap as soon as you sit down.

A large napkin should be folded.  If you leave the table, set the napkin in the chair.  Once you’re finished with the meal,  the napkin goes to the left of your plate, puddled but not folded.

Your bread plate is to your left, and your glasses are to your right.

Don’t steal your neighbor’s place setting by accident!  If there are wine glasses involved, the red wine glass will be closest to the water glass, followed by the white wine,  and then champagne glass (if applicable) after that.

Eat with your utensils from the outside in.

The outer set of fork and knife is for your salad, and the inner most set for your main course.  Should a soup and dessert spoon be required, they’ll be placed horizontally above the top of your plate.

Eat at the same pace as your host.

Look to your host to dictate the pace of eating and conversation.  You don’t want anyone to feel rushed, but you shouldn’t keep anyone waiting either.  In fact, if at any point you are confused, just follow your host’s lead.

Order something simple to eat and reasonably priced.

Spaghetti, ribs, or fried chicken (as much as we love it) is off limits for business.  And please, don’t order the lobster when your host is ordering a salad…that’s just not nice!

Eating out with your boss and colleagues can seem like a laid back activity, but remember that you’re always being observed.  It’s important to be polished and elegant.  Though etiquette seems unimportant in comparison to your resume, trust me, good manners are the something extra that will help you shine!

Do you have any other etiquette questions?  Did I forget an important basic?  Share with me!  Hope you’re all having a lovely week!

stay gold,