20 Table Manners You Should Know Before You Embarrass Yourself in Public

While food is a central part of life, there are some important etiquettes that we must observe while serving ourselves, dining with others, or eating. And food served at events is important for the overall impression of the event. Basic table manners are a must.

  1. It is impolite to take more than one helping of the same dish unless you are with a large group, in which case the host can help divide portions up between everyone.
  2. It is considered impolite for children under 10 years old to leave the table without being excused by an adult, such as their parent or guardian.
  3. Be polite while eating. Don’t be the person that raises their voice while they are eating or that talks with their mouth full. If you see someone else doing this, speak up and tell them to be courteous and respectful.
  4. Don’t play with your food. It’s easy to get distracted when you are not hungry or when the food is not very good, but it’s rude to play with your food with your hands and then leave it on the plate. It might seem like we have all the time in the world, but there will come a time when we have no more time left at all. Let’s start thinking about others before ourselves so that we can feel good about ourselves as well as those around us. Show respect to the meal you are about to eat, oh yes please do.
  5. When you serve yourself, be sure to take from the closest dish and then take from one dish at a time. You do not need to pass the dish all around the table before you start eating your food.
  6. Once everyone has been served, never comment on what other people have taken for their meal as it is considered rude.
  7. When someone else serves you and offers a choice of dishes to choose from, always accept this offer instead of refusing it by saying “It’s okay”. Be a lady or a gentleman, even though it may be risky because you might end up not liking that offer; as some food may look good but tastes horrible.
  8. Make sure that you have a napkin or a serviette or some tissue next to your plate so you can wipe your mouth and hands during the meal.
  9. When you have finished eating, put down your utensil so it is parallel to the edge of the table, and don’t place it on top of your plate. This shows how hungry you still are and how much more you want to eat, without having to ask for more food from the waiter.
  10. Do not leave any food on your plate when you are done eating because it could be seen as rude or greedy if there is still plenty of food left on your plate whilst others would have loved to eat but for hygiene’s sake, they cannot.
  11. Place your napkin on your lap
  12.  Keep your hands visible and don’t place them in your mouth
  13. Do not lick or suck on utensils while eating.
  14. In a continental or formal setting, don’t bring food to your mouth with your fingers unless it is a local setting. But you can always ask for cutlery in a local setting. It’s better than embarrassing yourself.
  15. When at the dinner table, don’t point at people with your fingers but use a fork instead.
  16. When you want to get more food for yourself, ask for it using “may I please have some more?” instead of just grabbing it and asking someone else later if they can take it from you.
  17. The host should replenish all food on the table before serving themselves or others. It is not acceptable to serve oneself first and then offer others what’s left on one’s plate.
  18.  Don’t put your elbows on the table as that’s a sign of ill-mannered and gross disrespect even if you are with your age mates or friends. Do not compromise this etiquette on any day.
  19. Eating at the right pace. Do not eat too slowly or too fast. Eating way too fast would get you choked. You may die when a drink or water is not immediately available. Eating too slowly would get your food too cold and may get people around you so pissed off. I guess eating too slowly is also ill-mannered. I am an example of a slow eater but when I get my fufu…………enough.
  20. Always be seated in a polite and comfortable manner and as much as it is important to maintain that good posture, do speak in a soft voice. It is disrespectful to raise your voice at any moment in time at the table. And do not scold kids at the table; preferably talk to them as you would to a lover….. never mind!

I hope you took away something from the aforementioned post and will put it into practice the next time you go to a party or have dinner with friends or coworkers.

Enjoy your food with confidence.

Thank you for reading and do return for more articles.

Teddy Washington

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