Eating with someone you don’t know well in is a delicate situation. On the one hand, you’re trying to get to know the person better, but you’re also concerned about what the eating habits say about you.
Modern decorum was born in the Western hemisphere when warriors and knights of the time found themselves requiring to set aside their more ruthless inclinations in order to get in the good books of their kings.
The next time you have a business deal or family gathering at a restaurant, ignoring any rules may ruin your probabilities to get the best results possible from the business deal or make a fool of yourself in front of you family.
Hence here are 11 of most important eating rules that you should not forget when going out next time.
Wait until everyone is seated and served before you start eating
You should wait until every member of your group have been served food, especially if you are eating out, before picking up your fork and start to eat.
However at a private dinner, keep an eye on the host/hostess and start to eat when he or she does. At a buffet you are free to start when there are other people settled at your table.
Use your utensils from the outside in
One of the most common problems that today’s diners face is which utensil to use for which course of food. A characteristic rule is to start using the utensil that is most kept the farthest from your plate and work toward the centre of your setting.
Your fork (four letters) is kept on your left; while your knife and spoon (five letters each) are always kept on the right.
Don’t use salt and pepper before you taste your meal
Taste your food before you add salt, pepper, or any other seasoning for that matter. If you add any seasoning before tasting it may be considered as an insult to the cooking abilities of the cook and the host/hostess.
The way you position your utensils sends specific signals to the wait staff
It is known as a silent service code for the wait staff to know when whether you are done eating your food or are just pausing in between eating.
The wait staff knows when you require more food or when it is time to clean up the table, just learn the code form the above image and you won’t have to call or yell for them to do their job.
Don’t keep your chopsticks standing in your rice bowl
It is extremely important to know the etiquettes of the culture of the food that you are eating. For example, you should never stick your chopsticks in the rice bowl and leave them standing upright, as it is considered offering the food to the dead.
Salt and pepper should always be passed together
Always pass salt and pepper together, even if a person asks for just one, pass both anyway. It is considered as being polite and also it is said that salt and pepper always go together.
Don’t talk with your mouth full
This is perhaps the most basic rule of eating at any sort of table, whether you eat at your home or in a restaurant. DO NOT talk while eating or with your mouth full.
Nobody wants to see food flying out of your mouth and landing on their plates or anywhere on the table for that matter.
Never pass food from chopstick to chopstick
Never ever pass food to someone using the chopsticks. It is a symbol of passing someone’s bones at a Japanese funeral. Use a plate instead.
Put the food on the plate in order to pass to someone and ask the person to pick up the food using their chopsticks.
This is considered an informal dining setting
The above image shows what a normal table is setting for a three-course meal in an informal dining situation. The plates that will come in use is placed last straight next to current plate you are using.
At an informal dining, the table setting is not disorderly and all the flatware is laid on the table at one time. It is the host’s option when the dessert and spoons may be carried to the table on the dessert plate.
Formal dining setup
The above image shows a formal dining setting. The general rule for any table setting is to contain no more than three utensils on either side of the dinner plate at a time. This is done to avoid cluttering at the table due to number of utensils present on it.
Always remember to tip
Tip on the pre-tax amount of the bill, not on the total displayed on the bill. Tip unnoticeably as tipping is a private matter. Also do check whether there is a gratuity added to your bill or not.
In some cultures like Japan and some places in India, tipping is not a prevalent culture. In India, however leaving the change is considered to be enough, but try and tip at least 10% of the amount as a tip.
Source : Internet
Edited By : Mir Niaz Morshed