Tips On Table Manners

Tips on table manners. Learn table manners including tips on cell phone etiquete,napkin etiquette, eating soup correctly, and excusing yourself from the table properly. Table manners are vital to everyone...

Table manners are vital to everyone from children to adults. It is never too early or too late to start improving the skills of good etiquette. Many of the tips outlined in this article are simple and easy to practice. There is no reason that anyone who wants to follow these ideas would have any trouble understanding and practicing them every day.


Many basic table manners begin with common sense. You should not chew with your mouth open, talk with food in your mouth, stuff food in your mouth too quickly, grab things with your hands, make a mess while eating, say "Yuck!" to anything you are offered, or eat off anyone else's plate. Things that are good to do include using your utensils properly, saying "Please" and "Thank You," being respectful of others, speaking softly, and sitting up straight.


When you sit at a table and prepare to eat, you should always place your napkin in your lap and use it to wipe your mouth and fingers as needed. Gloria Starr, President of Global Success Strategies Inc., suggests, "Wipe the corners of your mouth prior to taking a sip of your beverage so the crumbs don't go from your mouth onto the glass. Pick up your napkin and dab either side of your lips and then set the napkin down and then have a sip of your beverage." Women often leave marks of their lipstick on drinking glasses and should take care to drink from the same position of the glass each time so as not to coat the rim of the glass with excess lipstick.

While eating you may find yourself with an olive pit, piece of gristle, or small bone in your mouth that you do not wish to swallow. This is quite understandable and the item may be removed discreetly with no problem. Never spit the item into your hand or back onto your plate as that would be very rude and highly offensive to other diners. It is best to remove the item using your fork and return it to your plate. If the item is unsightly Starr says, "You can cough the item into your napkin by turning your head, but ideally it's only going to be one or two light coughs."

Leaving the table should not be done unless absolutely necessary as you want your companion to have your full attention during the meal. Starr advises that when you leave the table, "Stand up and just say 'Excuse me'. Do not say 'Excuse me I am going to the washroom' or 'Excuse me I am going to make a phone call'. Just say 'Excuse me' or 'Excuse me, I will be back in a moment'. It is not necessary to explain your departure, but it is a good idea to indicate that your absence will be brief." Starr adds, "When you leave the table, set your napkin either in your chair or on the left side of your plate to indicate that you are only leaving the table for a break, and are not permanently finished with your meal. Your cutlery should be on the outside edges of the plate." By placing your utensils in this manner it alerts the wait staff not to remove your plate while you are gone. When you are finished with your meal, you should place your utensils horizontally across your plate.

Courtesy should always be exhibited while eating with others. This includes such things as not interrupting others when they are speaking, not using your cell phone during a meal, not using crude humor or offensive language, and not making any inappropriate sounds such as slurping or burping. Standards are often higher for the etiquette of those being interviewed, during a business meal, or other gathering of dignitaries, but we should all strive to use our best manners at every meal we consume.

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