A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO YOUR FINE DINING ETIQUETTE
Manners maketh man as the old adage goes, as a proverb said. Make a lasting impression with these guides to your fine dining experience.
There are probably some people who disregard basic dining etiquette and it's okay, especially when going out with their families. But, if you are here on a mission to impress a business associate or investor, making a long-lasting impression is important.
When dining out in a posh establishment, there are particular manners that you might not be aware of. The first essential thing is punctuality. While you are seating at your table, here are some of the do's and don'ts to nail your business-purpose interaction.
Before the meals
Wait to be seated. If you are invited to the dinner, then waiting for your host will be the most appropriate thing to do. Additionally, upon ordering the beverage choice, it is wise to let your host make it. On some occasions, your host might already have a pre-selected menu. In this case, you should respect the meal and avoid ordering an entirely new menu.
On the other hand, if you are the host, then it is totally neutral to be waiting at your table, in case your guest is late. It is always more professional to do a handshake upon greeting your guest, especially a business associate.
In a fine dining experience, it is inappropriate to wave around your hand to call the waiter. Instead, make eye contact with the waiter and slightly raise your hand to signal them that you are ready to make an order or about to ask questions. One thing surely, avoid asking about the prices that might make your guest feel uncomfortable.
Place your napkin on your lap and begin eating only when everyone else's dish has been served. It is always better to let your host initiate the start of the course. Upon eating bread, break them and use the bread plate. In a case when you are not done eating, but taking a break, rest your cutlery on the plate so that the servers do not remove the plate. You can do so by putting the fork's tines on the plate as its body rests on the table.
Meanwhile, for the knife, you can put its entire body on the top-right corner of the plate with its handle off the plate. Once you are finished with your dish, the cutleries should be joined together gently while signaling the waiter and allowing them to clear that plate.
Some tips to remember not to do during your fine dining with a guest is not to put your elbows on the table. Avoid leaning or hunching back as you eat your dish. Instead, bring the food to your mouth. In case there are food particles stuck on your teeth, do not use toothpicks in public. Instead, excuse yourself to the restroom. Additionally, do not take calls at the dining table.
After the meal
A simple tip of fine dining etiquette is when you know you are done with your meal, place your knife and fork vertically on the center of the plate. This will not only indicate to the waiter that they are good to clear up, but it will also let either your host or your guest know that the evening is closing in. In this case, it is an appropriate time to discuss future plans. Another handshake won't hurt as an expression of gratitude as you leave the table.