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proper eating etiquetteProper eating etiquette – post-pandemic – is essential to give a good impression and to show respect to others.

During the pandemic, when restaurant and business meals were mostly non-existent, proper eating etiquette may have gotten a bit rusty.

So, now as dinner parties, restaurant meals, and business dinners have resumed, let’s look at some timeless table manners to show you’re on top of your dining etiquette game, post-pandemic.

Here are 10 tips for proper eating etiquette – post-pandemic.

  1. The protocol is that guests always follow the lead of the host (the one who invited you). That includes placing the napkin in the lap, starting to eat, and taking a sip of wine only after the host does.
  2. Make conversation with persons seated on both sides of you. It would be rude to only chat with one and avoid the other. Keep small talk topics on the lighter side such as pop culture, sports, and movies. And it’s even fine to talk about the weather, a lovely view out the window, or comment about the beautiful artwork on the wall.
  3. Take small bites so you can more easily join in the conversation and answer questions.
  4. Pace yourself with other diners. You don’t want to be the first one finished or the last. If you’re the host, pace yourself with your guests so you aren’t finished before them.
  5. Cut and eat only one bite at a time.
  6. Break the roll open with your fingers into two halves; do not use the knife to cut it apart. Then butter and eat only one bite-size piece at a time.
  7. If you need to leave the table briefly during the meal (for a phone call, to get spinach out of your teeth, etc.), place your napkin in the seat of your chair, exit the chair from the right side, and push the chair in.
  8. If eating American style, the hand you’re not using goes in the lap versus on the table.
  9. Use the outermost silverware first, working your way in for each course. Place the silverware in “finished position” on the plate at the end of each course.
  10. Mobile phones, keys, and sunglasses are not part of the place setting. Place handbags at your feet or under the chair. Small evening clutches may go in your lap under your napkin. And, if you removed a face mask before eating, place it under your napkin or in a handbag or pocket.

Giving a Good Impression

Proper eating etiquette post-pandemic is essential to give a good impression and shows respect to other diners. If your business meal manners are a bit rusty, use these ten tips to feel and look more confident and competent again.


You may also like to read Dining Skills Still Relevant in Pandemic.

Additionally, you might be interested to read How to Make Small Talk Again – post-Pandemic


Image sources: Unsplash and 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. www.EtiquetteTrainer.com. Rachel provides onsite and LIVE virtual training presentations on a variety of business and dining etiquette topics for corporate clients 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 newly credentialed as a VEP, a Virtual Event Professional, and Zoom Producer.