Social graces. Table etiquette. These are some things that many people tend to forget when they're eating out with other people. Apart from these, there are plenty of other etiquette rules that need to be pointed out, since many have already started to forget about them. The reason why these are important is because they can help you avoid leaving a bad impression on your date or your friends.
Rule #1: Keep your things off the table
When you're dining at a formal restaurant, it's important to keep your things off the table. This means you have to get your phone or clutch away from the table. You should also avoid doing your makeup at the table. Ask your server if they have any hooks available for you to hang your purse from.
Rule #2: Be fair when splitting the bill
If you drank more than the fair share of wine you split with your friend, it is only customary that you offer to pay for more. You should also avoid splitting the bill equally with a friend who did not order any drinks.
Rule #3: Know where you should place your table napkin
If you are leaving the table to go to the comfort room, you have to put your table napkin on the right place. Put your napkin on your chair's seat so that the waiter will not think you are already finished with your meal. If you are done with your meal, you may leave your napkin on the left side of your plate.
Rule #4: Keep your phone away
Unless you're an Emergency Room doctor, there's no reason why you should have your phone on the table. It is generally considered rude to speak on your phone while you're having dinner with someone else, unless the call is a life and death situation.
Rule #5: Don't hold utensils when you're making gestures
If you tend to make gestures with your hand while you speak, see to it that you place your utensils on your plate before using your hands. This is considered rude in some cultures.
Rule #6: Decide how to handle the bill before ordering
Before you start ordering, you should decide how you would like to split the bill. Since people have different cultures, you need to decide how you would like to split the bill so you avoid any awkward conversations when it's time to pay.
Rule #7: Be mindful of other people in the table
Dining out is a social activity. You should not scarf down food while the other people in your table are trying to hold a conversation. The best way you can do this is to pace yourself so that you can end your meal around the same time as your companions do too.
Although these rules are a no-brainer for just about any occasion, they do not really apply to every scenario. You just need to observe these rules when you're out for a formal dinner. Of course, you still need to use your best judgment to decide whether it's the right time to practice these rules or not.
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