Eating With Manners: A Short Guide To Food Etiquette
Some things are not taught in school. Let’s say, for example, table manners and food etiquettes. Sometimes, these things make or break your image, especially during that first dinner with your date, your boss or your partner’s family. Being the foodie that we are, we’ve done some research and compiled Ten Important Things To Remember to share with our readers:
10. ALWAYS say “Thank You.”
Always be polite and say “thank you” to your host or to the one serving you. Being appreciative is highly appreciated.
9. NEVER lick your fingers or any utensil (and plate). If you think this is okay, well, IT IS NOT!
8. When to begin eating: Check if the whole table has been served. Wait for the host to start or initiate an invite to “dig in” before you start eating. During huge parties where the host is usually seated elsewhere, you may start eating only when everyone in the table has been served their portion of food.
7. How to properly eat bread or dinner rolls on a dining table (especially at a formal event): cut or tear a small piece on your plate, you may or may not spread butter/jam on the small piece while on the plate, then eat. NEVER slice it open, spread the butter and eat the whole thing like a sandwich.
6. NEVER chew with your mouth open. This also goes with NO TALKING WHILE CHEWING. Nobody wants to see how you grind those food and nobody would like to hear those chomping sounds either. *CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP* Eating noisily is a HUGE NO-NO. Slurping? Again, it’s a NO, not unless you’re in Japan, which is considered okay to let the host know that you’re enjoying the soup. Otherwise, then NO.
5. Table napkins are normally placed on your lap. You may use it to DAB your lips from excess sauce but NEVER use it to blow your nose. If you must, then please excuse yourself and go to the washroom.
4. Dress appropriately. Do some research on the restaurant and see if it’s casual dining or fine dining. If it’s the latter, then wearing sando, shorts and slippers would certainly be considered rude. Be responsible – dress your part, especially if it’s a business meeting or “meet the parents.”
3. With the digital age, it has become a norm for customers to put their phones or cameras out to take a picture of the food before eating. This is usually ONLY okay if everyone on your table is “okay” with it or if you really HAVE TO. For example, you’re there to promote the food. If you must, please do it discreetly, without annoying other tables. But it is still of course, NOT RECOMMENDED for you to take pictures of your food especially during formal events or during a client meeting. Also, it is best for you to keep your gadgets inside your bag, AWAY from the table. Remember, the table has been set up for your food and drinks, not for your gadgets.
2. Sharing is caring but unless your friend asks you to get food from his/her plate, NEVER reach out to another person’s plate to sample their food.
1. Serving spoons are there for a purpose. USE THEM and NEVER use your own utensils to get food from a shared plate. When eating with chopsticks and there’s no serving spoon on your shared meal, use the opposite ends of your chopstick to get food from the shared plate and put in in your bowl. DO NOT use the same end you put in your mouth.
And the list goes on and on. I’m sure we all have pet peeves that relate to food etiquette.
Feel free to comment below for additional guidelines on table manners :)