Whether you are eating at home, a restaurant, an event or a buffet at an occasion, there are proper table manners one must exhibit and ignorance is not an excuse. To avoid embarrassing yourself, the following are 17 table manners that might help;
1. Place your napkin in your lap immediately upon sitting down. Unfold it while it is in your lap.
2. If you have more than a few words to say, swallow your food, rest your fork on your plate, and speak before you resume eating.
3. Make sure the mouth is free of food and blot the lips with a napkin before taking a sip of a beverage.
4. White wine glasses are held by the stem, not the bowl. Red wine glasses may be held by the bowl.
5. If you are served with an unfamiliar food, Wait until someone else starts to eat and follow suit, ask how the food should be eaten (fingers or fork, for example) or avoid the food altogether.
6. Eat quietly; Scraping a plate or loudly chewing is unpleasant to listen to and considered impolite. Smacking and slurping food are major mistakes and a sign of bad table manners.
7. When food is caught between your teeth and its making you uncomfortable, wait to remove it privately.
8. When sneezing or coughing at the table is unavoidable, cover your nose or mouth with a napkin and proceed as quietly as possible. Except in an emergency, don’t use a napkin to blow your nose. Leave the table and use a handkerchief instead.
9. To test the temperature of a hot beverage, take a single sip from the side of the spoon. When an extremely hot beverage is sipped, take a quick sip of water to decrease the effect of the burn.
10. When finger food is taken from a tray, place it on a plate. Don’t lick your fingers; use a napkin.
11. Don’t leave your spoon in your cup, soup bowl, or stemmed glass. Rest the spoon on the saucer or soup plate between bites or when finished.
12. When a burp is coming on, cover the mouth with a napkin, quietly burp, and say, “Excuse me.” For an attack of hiccups, excuse yourself from the table until they have passed.
13. If soup is too hot, stir it, don’t blow.
14. In some upscale restaurants, steamed hand towels are brought to diners at the end of the meal. Use the towel to wipe your hands and, if necessary, the area around your mouth. (Wiping the back of your neck or behind your ears is best not done in a restaurant.) Most waiters will take the towel away as soon as you’ve finished. If not, leave the towel at the left of your plate, on top of your loosely folded napkin.
15. When someone offers a toast to you, do not drink to yourself.
16. Sending a dish back is entirely appropriate if your dish is not what you ordered, if it isn’t cooked to order, if it tastes spoiled, or if you discover a hair or a pest in the dish. You should discreetly inform the waiter of the situation and ask for a replacement.
17. Take only enough food to chew and swallow in one easy bite.