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table manners introduction

Table Manners 101: Essential Dining Etiquette

Table manners are fundamental to every public dining situation. And every essential skill has to be built on a solid knowledge base. That's what table manners 101 provides. If you've realized that dining is about more than just consuming calories, you probably understand why dining etiquette is so important.

After you've finished studying the basic table manners guide, you can learn the proper technique for eating everything from artichokes to watermelon; deal with challenging dining situations; read through our 100+ table manner tips; or find out what behavior to avoid at the table.

Serving Etiquette

dinner service

Most comprehensive guidelines for formal and informal dinner service.

International Dining Etiquette

globe cake

Our international dining etiquette section makes learning the dining etiquette rules of over 150 countries a piece of cake!

dining etiquette audio bookSocial Skills 101: An Essential Dining Etiquette Guide

Dining etiquette matters. Whether you are a new intern at your first formal business dinner, or a seasoned professional out for a power lunch, business meals are big business. A lack of manners is just plain bad business. Organized in five easy, enjoyable lessons, the Etiquette Scholar Dining Etiquette CD includes all the practical information you need to make a great impression at your next business meal or social engagement.

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Informal Place Setting - Dining Etiquette

Review this informal place setting diagram in conjunction with the table manners section. What you see below is what you would encounter at an informal dinner. Informal settings are used in 99% of restaurants you will dine at - even the expensive ones. At an informal dinner, the salad fork will be to the left of the dinner fork.

informal place setting

The general rule is "outside in". If you do not know what fork to use with the course you have just been served, start with the fork farthest from your plate. In this case, the salad fork. The same rule applies for spoons and knives.

wine etiquette audio book

Wine 101: The Best Wine Introduction

What is the secret to learning about wine? Buy a straightforward reference, use it, and go to a restaurant to apply your newly acquired knowledge. Organized in six easy, enjoyable lessons, theFood Scholar Wine Selection & Etiquette CD includes all the practical information you need, including information on wine terms, pairing wine with food, tasting, and ordering wine in a restaurant. Filled with information on wine making, grape varieties, and regions, the Food Scholar Wine Selection & Etiquette CD is the ultimate reference tool for anyone eager to learn more about wine. It is simply the best wine reference available for beginners.

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Welcome to Etiquette Scholar's dining etiquette web site! Plan your next dinner party, prepare for a business lunch, give a great toast, leave a proper tip for your waiter, be a gracious dinner guest in a Mozambique home, or order a great bottle of wine in a restaurant. It's all at your fingertips!

Business Dining Etiquette

Dining etiquette might be more important to your career success than you think. On a given day, a business professional may need to know how to seat important business guests at a table, how to make group introductions, or how to carry on appropriate conversations at a business lunch.

Invitation Etiquette

Offering an invitation to dinner can be more complex than simply picking up the phone. The occasion may call for formal invitation cards. Or maybe an email will do just fine. And business meal invitations have there own set of rules. Our invitation etiquette guides will walk you through the invitation process step-by-step.

When to Toast?

The first toast given during a dinner is normally offered at the beginning of the meal. Traditionally, the first toast is offered by the host as a welcome to guests. Toasts offered by others start during the dessert course. Toasts don't need to be limited to meals or special events. Spontaneous toasts are in order whenever they seem appropriate, as when someone raises his glass and offers good wishes or congratulations to his companions. Visit our toasting etiquette section for more etiquette tips and to scan our hundreds of toast examples.

Wine Etiquette.

Five easy steps to selecting and ordering wine in a restaurant.

  • Select the right wine
  • Ordering Wine in a Restaurant
  • Etiquette for Examing Wine
  • Serving Wine to the Table

Dinner Party Etiquette

The cardinal principle of etiquette is thoughtfulness, and the guiding rule of thoughtful entertaining is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. After all, the prime objective as a host or hostess is to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome, not hold them hostage to a ridge set of etiquette rules. The hosts are there to smooth any anxious wrinkles and infect the occassion with the spirit of hospitality and generosity.

We have assembled a dinner party etiquette guide for your use. Please see the sections that follow for all you need to plan and host the perfect dinner party.