The Place


Dining etiquette tips that might surprise you

Posted at 1:28 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 15:28:40-05

Etiquette expert Ellen Reddick shares tips on how to make your next dinner date a success. Whether it's for business or personal purposes, she says the meal should always be about the person you are with, not the food.

Here are some helpful hints for dining:

  • Never place anything on the table; purses, glasses, cell phones, briefcases, papers or accessories.
  • It is rude to brink a drink or food with you from another establishment.
  • Never rearrange your place setting or turn over coffee cups or drinking glasses.
  • Never chew ice, it is noisy and unprofessional
  • Do not touch your hair or face
  • Do not lick fingers or utensils
  • Do not wipe off silverware before you use it
  • Do not grip the silverware incorrectly. Knives are meant to cut, not saw. The fork and knife should never teeter half off the plate onto the table. Don't wave your silverware in the air while talking. Silverware placed at the top of the plate is for dessert. Place only the silverware that you have used on the plate when finished. Place your silverware down between bites.
  • There is a simple rule to remember: liquids to the right, solids to the left. Your butter plate will be near your fork, not your knife.
  • Improper use of the napkin:  napkin comes off the table only after everyone is seated. It is used to dab the lips, not scrub the face. If leaving the table temporarily mid-meal, place the napkin on your chair. At the end of the meal, place it on the table next to your plate, never on the plate, however.