Etiquette When Dining Out

When invited for dinner or hosting a dinner party, make sure that you know the different foods to expect so that you can handle these well without embarrassing yourself. You should make the necessary preparations as well as spread information so that all attendees will know what to expect and avoid any trouble and misunderstanding. Here are some tips.

First Things First

Assume the number of people you are expecting. You may divide the check among all attendees evenly by talking to the host of the restaurant. Always ask for a separate check when dining with other couples. You should also consider drastic differences between orders. For example, even if the check should be divided evenly among all attendees, if one couple only ordered a salad, while the rest finished 3 courses, you should make the pair pay less, or just for their order. Do the same for non-alcoholic drinkers if you are having wine.

Tipping Tips

It is always considered proper dining etiquette to leave a tip at a restaurant. Tips can range anywhere between 15% and 25%. Waiters should be given 15% to 20% of the total bill. You can add more for excellent service. The bartender should be provided with 10% to 15% of the bar bill. The wine steward can be given 15% of the wine bill. The car attendant can receive 1 to 2 dollars, while the coat check can get 1 dollar per coat. If the owner is the one serving, you can still leave a tip.

The Different Foods

When eating artichokes, pluck the leaves off using your fingers then use your fork and knife to cut bites from the heart to eat. Asparagus can be eaten whole using your hand. At restaurants, it is more proper to use a fork and knife. Avocado served in its shell should be eaten using a spoon. Avocado without the shell is eaten using a fork. Very crisp bacon should be eaten by hand, while flat ones can be eaten using a fork and knife. Always eat berries using a spoon, with or without cream.

When eating bread, break slices. Butter each bite one at a time. Never cut a roll using a knife. When bread baskets are passed, take one bread then pass the basket on to the next person. Use mother of pearl utensils when eating caviar. Chicken should be eaten always with a fork and knife. Crab, lobster and shrimp cocktails are eaten using a cocktail fork. Clam out oysters and clams in a half shell using an oyster fork. Use a nutcracker to break the shell of crabs and lobsters open before clamming out with a fork.

Olives are considered finger foods, so use your hands freely. When eating pasta, twirl the pasta around using your fork. When eating salad, cut one bite at a time. Sandwiches can be picked up using your fingers. Sandwiches with gravy or rich sauces should be eaten using a fork and knife. Sushi can be eaten using your fingers or chopsticks. Aim to eat bite size pieces whole.

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