international dining etiquette
Dining etiquette for toasts. The most common toast is skøål, although toasting by making eye contact without speaking is not uncommon (raise the glass, look your contact in the eye, raise the glass to them again, then drink never breaking eye contact until the glass is back down on the tabletop).
At the end of a dinner party, the male guest of honor is usually obligated to thank the host or hostess, acting as a spokesperson for all the guests. The guest of honor usually precedes the thank-you announcement by tapping his knife gently against his water glass, and then saying, tåkk før måten (thank you for the food).
Dining etiquette for utensils. Norwegians cross their knife and fork across the center of the plate when they are finished with their meal: this is a sign that the plate can be removed.
Dining etiquette for passing food. Food is usually passed around on platters, so one is free to take as much or as little as one likes.
Dining etiquette for business discussions. Lunches will be the more likely setting in which business will be discussed over food. If you are dining with your Norwegian client in the evening, allow him or her to set the tone of the conversation.
Dining etiquette for tipping. Typically, restaurants will include a 15-percent gratuity in your bill.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
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