O.K., so table manners might not be the coolest thing to talk about, but nothing feels less cool than feeling clueless at the dinner table with a mouthful of sandwich.
So here are a few tips I picked up during my shoot with the Eatiquette program that will definitely help up your dining swag.
Chew with your mouth closed. Alright, so this time Mom was definitely right. It’s probably the simplest dining rule but it’s also the most important. So keep that mouth closed when eating and avoid slurping, lip smacking, blowing your nose, and picking your teeth. Your best bet is to try not to do anything that involves loud, messy eating and you should be all set!
A few tips for cutting your food: Use your fork and knife to cut your food. Cut it into small enough pieces so you’re not shoveling huge hunks of food into your mouth. And only cut one piece of food at a time before you eat it (you can rest your knife on the edge of your plate while you’re eating).
The elbow conundrum. You’ve heard “don’t put your elbows on the table” a million times, so here’s the deal. No elbows on the table while eating, but it’s okay to rest your elbows on the table between courses. Just avoid slouching and getting too relaxed and you should be okay!
Be careful reaching for food across the table. A slight lean is okay, but avoid crossing over people. Instead – just ask! Normally food is passed from your left to right, but during a casual dinner it’s okay to just ask your friend to pass the ketchup on over. But don’t intercept a pass – nothing angers a fellow diner like stealing the last piece of bread when it’s being passed over the table!
Silverware — this gets a little tricky but let’s give it a shot together.
• First – when setting the table, I always use this rule: a fork has four letters, and so does the word left – so it goes on the left!
• Knife has 5 letters and so does right, so it goes on the right! If there is a little fork and a big fork, use the little for salad and the big for dinner.
• That small, flat, rectangular shaped knife is for butter and not cutting food.
• The biggest spoon is for soup, and the smaller one if for dessert. Use serving utensils to serve from the shared bowls, never use your own personal silverware.
Whew! Got all that?! We can do it.
Put away the phone, at least most of the time. When you’re out to dinner with adults, parents, bosses, etc. I would avoid using your phone except for emergencies. When you’re out with friends, it’s definitely O.K. to be more relaxed and check your phone sometimes – I mean I’m gonna need to take a photo of my meal to instagram – amiright?!
Really, try to make sure the phone doesn’t become the focus of the meal.
Those are just a few tips on dining etiquette I picked up while shooting with the Eatiquette program. But the number one thing I learned is that lunch time is chance to catch up with friends, chat about your days and have fun!
And if the only rule you can remember if to just have a great time with your friends, I think you should be all set.