Always hold your silverware toward the handle, away from the tines, blade or bowl of the spoon. If you are eating American style (switching the fork to your right hand after cutting), cut two to three pieces at a time. If you are eating Continental style (keeping the fork in your left hand), cut one piece at a time. Put your silverware on the plate while chewing, not on the table, and never wave it in your hand.


The napkin should go on your lap once everyone has been seated. If it is a large napkin, fold it in half. If you leave the table briefly mid-meal, the napkin is placed on your chair. At the end of the meal, put your napkin to the left of your plate.

Rules to Dine by:

  • Dont clean your plate. It's okay to leave the parsley, carrot curls or other garnish.
  • Don't salt and pepper your food before tasting it.
  • Don't turn your wineglass upside down if you do not want wine. Either say "no thank you," shake your head or put your fingertips over the rim of the glass.
  • Never cut bread or rolls. Break off and butter one piece at a time.
  • When in doubt, use a utensil rather than your fingers even with foods you eat by hand at home. Cut French fries, bacon and any food with a bone - even chicken.
  • Use the edge of the plate to twirl pasta, not a spoon.
  • If you spill coffee or tea into your saucer, ask for another saucer. Do not dunk. Do not blow on your beverage to cool it.
  • Tuck paper trash-empty sugar packs, plastic cup from creamer, wrapper for the straw under the rim of your plate or on the edge of the saucer or butter plate.
  • Don't ask for a "doggy bag."
  • If you are not sure how to eat something that comes with what you've ordered, leave it or watch to see how others eat it and imitate them.