The ceremony of dining is conducive to sharing and usually, that comes with a multitude of etiquette mishaps. Dining is an important part of our lives. As important as it is, many faux pas are committed during meals and the knowledge of these errors will help you become a savvy eater when you are dinning over a deal, interview or hosting a client.
1. Using your napkin as a bib. The napkin is for the lap not on your shirt/dress.
2. Waving your napkin to get the attention of a waiter.
3. Using napkin as a substitute handkerchief. Avoid using your napkin to rub your nose, lipsticks etc.
4. Tucking napkin in your shirt, belt, waistband.
5. Using napkin to wipe your mouth (use napkin to dab not rub your mouth or face of your mouth)
6. Waving your cutlery in the air while engaging in a conversation
7. Drinking beverages directly from the bottle at a professional setting
8. Mentioning out loud when there is a strange object in the food. Comments like "There is hair in my food", "There is an insect in my soup" should be avoided. Simply ask the waiter to replace the meal without identifying the object.
9. Double dipping in sauces. This is commonly seen when food is shared among friends. It is both wrong and unsanitary.
10. Applying cosmetics (Retouching faces, applying lipsticks etc), taking your medicine at the table. These activities should be done privately.
11. Placing objects such as keys, purses, and glasses, cellphones on the table. If it isn't part of the meal, it shouldn't be on the table.
12. Not passing salt and pepper together. Salt and pepper move as a set regardless of what is asked for. They are a couple and should not be separated when responding to a request.
13. Clapping / snapping your fingers to get waiters' attention. Your waiters need to be treated with respect. Try making eye contact while trying to get their attention.
14. Making derogatory comments about a country's food custom.
15. Clinking glasses during a toast.
16. Talking with your mouth full. It sounds simple but as we get excited sharing our conversation, we forget to chew and listen, swallow then talk.
17. Arguing over the bill – bill splitting should be decided before the meal.
Note that the above list is just a few of the common mistakes that people make when dining out.
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