Gulp. You’ve been invited to dinner at a swank restaurant, but rather than be excited, you find yourself surprisingly nervous. How will you make a good impression? How will you know what’s appropriate? A lot of life's important events take place at a restaurant table—business deals, first dates, meeting the future in-laws. Regardless of the occasion or the company, good manners can help ensure everything runs smoothly. Here’s a quick rundown of common expectations at the table.

Do a bit of preparation before you arrive. Call the restaurant to find out the dress code, and dress appropriately. Find out directions and plan for both driving and parking so you won’t be late. Find out if you will be meeting your party at the restaurant or elsewhere. Take care of situations such as babysitters, dog walkers, and any other obligations so you can focus your attention on your experience at the restaurant.

If a cloth napkin is included in the place setting, unfold it and place it across your lap just after sitting down. In some higher end restaurants, a server or host may unfold the napkin for you—if this is the case don’t be surprised, just graciously accept the napkin with a nod of thanks. If you need to get up during the meal, neatly fold your napkin and place it on the table, traditionally to the left of your fork. At some restaurants, a staff member may refold or replace your napkin while you are gone.

Table Manners - Etiquette Scholar

Table manners - Wikipedia

Posted by 2018 article