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Dining Etiquette

Etiquette affects almost every aspect of dining. Dining etiquette rules apply before you ever take your seat and continue after you excuse yourself from the table. This dining etiquette reference is divided into six (6) sections: Table Manners, Table Setting, Restaurant Etiquette, Business Dining Etiquette, Wine Etiquette and International Dining Etiquette. Under each section heading, you will find a link to take you to more detailed rules on each dining etiquette subject.

Table Manners

The Basics

For almost all meals, if you are wondering what utensil to use, start from the outside and work your way in. So, if you are served a salad first, use the fork set to the far left of your plate.

Your water glass is the one above your knife in your place setting.

Don't chew with your mouth open.

For the rest, visit our table manners section. The following links will take you to more detailed information to help refine your dining etiquette skills.

Restaurant Etiquette

restaurant etiquette

Sometimes, proper dining etiquette, whether in a restaurant or at home, is not obvious. Making a dining etiquette mistake, and everyone's attention is drawn to that mistake. Most of us need a dining etiquette refresher from time-to-time.

Business Dining Etiquette

business lunch

Dining etiquette and table manners might be more important to your career success then you think. Proper table manners are associated with professionalism. Bad table manners are associated with a lack of professionalism.

Wine Etiquette

wine etiquette

Despite all its apparent complexities, wine is essentially fermented grape juice. In our wine etiquette section, we try to make wine tasting, selection and serving as easy as possible by providing step-by-step guidance.

International Dining Etiquette

Dining etiquette is based on courtesy, comfort, and common sense, providing a tool to help us interact with each other. But the prevailing customs in the West might not be appropriate behavior in the East. In the West, finger food may be taken with either hand, but in the East, it is always taken with the right hand. While an audible belch is poor dining etiquette in Western countries, in Asia it praises the host. In China, smacking your lips is an expression of appreciation, but in the West the sound is considered impolite. See the international dining etiquette section to avoid falling into an international dining etiquette pitfall.


- , Editor, Etiquette Scholar

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