Good dining etiquettes reflect an individual’s personality and upbringing. How to use your cutlery is of paramount importance as it is a key constituent of good table manners.
When you use knife and fork, the knife is held in the right hand for cutting and the fork in the left hand and while using a fork with the knife, the tips face downwards. Please hold the knife covering the end of the knife with your palm and rest the index finger about 1 inch down the handle to help you cut the food with firmness.
Your cutlery should be used to only cut a mouthful of food and do not resort to cutting the entire food in small bits before eating. For a sit down meal, many pieces of cutlery are laid down but only two pieces are used at a time. A thumb rule that needs to be followed is never wave your cutlery in air to emphasise any point or to gesture at somebody, because it is considered to be offensive.
Please put your fork and knife in the centre of your plate with the tips facing each other in an inverted V or rest your knife on the top of your plate with the fork nearby when you take a break from eating. These two resting positions are recognised by trained waiting staff that you haven’t finished eating yet.
When you have finished eating each course, place the knife and fork parallel with the handles in the four o’clock position on the right rim of the plate. The tips rest in the well of the plate in the 10 o’clock position and the blade of your knife should face inwards. The tips of your fork could be either upwards or downwards. This position signals to the server or waiting staff that you’ve finished eating your meal and it prevents the cutlery from falling off your plate when it is cleared.
If soup or dessert is served in a different crockery such as bowl, cup or another plate, place your crockery on the under plate that’s provided with when you have finished eating.
For soups, leave the spoon in the bowl indicating that you are done. Soiled cutlery are laid on the plate or bowl it is provided with; never rest them half on the plate and half on the table. Whenever you want to pass on your plate to the server for a second helping, please make sure that the fork and knife are centred vertically in the six o’clock position towards the middle of the plate. This placement will prevent them from falling off and not create any embarrassment for you.
These are a few dos and don’ts of cutlery etiquettes on the dining table that you must keep in mind the next time you have a meal.
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