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dining etiquetteWhy rock your dining etiquette? Because people need a brush-up course on table manners post-Pandemic.

Business lunches and dinners came to a standstill during the Pandemic. Nor, of course, did people gather at restaurants for social meals.

But now, post-pandemic, my etiquette business has skyrocketed! Most bookings are for my popular dining etiquette training called “The Art of Business Dining.”

It seems everyone wants to brush up on their table manners again, whether with business colleagues or for a formal wedding reception dinner.

To rock your dining etiquette right now, there’s help!

Read below for 5 easy ways to polish your table manners:

  1. ✅Don’t begin eating until everyone at the table is served. And, if there’s a designated table host, wait to begin until the host begins. Note: If someone’s “special meal” (ex: gluten free, vegan, etc.) is delayed, the person without the meal shows courtesy by saying, “Everyone, please go ahead and begin.” And, if wine is served, don’t take a sip until the host does.
  2. ✅Start with the outer silverware in the place setting and work your way in for each course. The silverware above the plate is for dessert; it’s not an extra one in case you drop a utensil on the floor. (If you drop a utensil on the floor, politely ask the server to bring another one.)
  3. ✅Bring food to the mouth, not mouth to the food. In other words, avoid bending down over the plate to eat. Often people don’t realize they’re doing this, especially when eating soup. It’s okay to lean your head and upper body slightly forward, but not to hover over the plate.
  4. ✅Use proper napkin etiquette. Place it in your lap after the host does. Use only the top half to blot your lips versus wiping your lips like using a washcloth. If you need to leave the table briefly during the meal, place the napkin in the seat of your chair. Place it loosely folded to the left of the plate when you are ready to leave the table.
  5. ✅Make polite conversation with other diners. Engage in conversation with the person on your right and left. Ask open-ended questions to learn about them. At a business meal, the host will initiate business conversation after everyone orders and the server collects the menus.

So, why rock your dining etiquette?

Because people do notice the dining etiquette and table manners of others. And there’s probably no better or worse place to make an impression than when attending an important business meal or formal dinner. These five tips will help you feel more polished at any meal, business or social.

For more information on Rachel’s “Art of Business Dining” training session, contact her at Rachel@Etiquettetrainer.com or call 918-970-4400.

You may also like to read Downton Abbey Dining Etiquette for Today or How to Dine with Your Boss.

Photo source(copyrighted): Rachel Wagner
Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer, and speaker. She is the owner of the Oklahoma-based business etiquette firm Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. 
Rachel provides onsite and LIVE virtual training presentations on business and dining etiquette topics. She has corporate clients from many industries around the country. As an etiquette expert, she is interviewed and quoted in a variety of local and national media outlets. These include The Washington Post, MONEY, Forbes, and many more. She is also credentialed as a Virtual Event Professional and Zoom Producer.