Table Manners & Etiquette

Table Manners & Etiquette: Most Important Dos and Don’ts

Basic Table Manners

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Table Manners & Etiquette – You can do whatever you like privately but when in the ‘public’ eye certain behaviour is expected of us and certainly when we eat. Be it you might be out by yourself grabbing a bite at a street vendor, out with friends at the mall’s food court, with family at a restaurant or attending a special event like a wedding function – the ‘public’ eye is constantly on you, and moreover creating ideas of who you are. Having good table manners and etiquette are a highly prized concept of a well-groomed personality. If you’d like to be associated as such keep on reading.

By practicing these ‘Dos’, you show that you value the experience, food and the company of the people you are with. Imagine what a great person you would be. 🙂


1 – Start eating when others (especially the host) starts/suggest to start so as not to look like the odd one out. Also, this shows that you are respectful towards others and others won’t feel left out too.

2 – Offer your company food before you start eating. Once again, others won’t feel left out and feel welcomed and a part of the group.

3 – Layout the napkin on your lap so not to spoil your clothing and to make use of it since it is there for your use. Once done place your used napkin next to your plate. Not on your seat where others would sit and not on top of your used plate that may still have remnants of what you ate.

4 – Complement the chef and/or acknowledge that you enjoyed the food. The people who made and/or picked out the food feel appreciated for their efforts as often a lot of hard work is placed on the food that was prepared for you.

(Table Manners & Etiquette)

Basic Table Manners

5 – Eat small portions at a time. So you can manage your food comfortably. Also eating large portions doesn’t look all that appealing to others.

6 – Ask someone to pass a dish to you if you cannot reach it yourself. If you would reach across for a dish you may interfere with others eating or unintentionally touch another dish.

7 – Use basic manners of please and thank you. Ignoring such a basic will surely disgruntle someone in your company even if they do not state it.

8 – Excuse yourself discreetly if needing to go to the restroom. Again this is totally unnecessary to point out while others are eating.

9 – Excuse yourself if uncontrollably needing to cough, burp, sneeze or blow your nose.

(Table Manners & Etiquette)

Basic Table Manners

10 – Sit up straight. It looks proper, as slouching shows that you uninterested and disrespectful.

Avoid these common 10 ‘Don’ts’ to ensure you act and look proper in the presence of your company.


1 – Eating with your mouth open. Just the sight puts off others around you.

2 – Make interrupting type noises such as slurping and banging utensils. Such sounds are disruptive and bring unwanted attention and reactions.

3 – Talking loud, ‘creating a scene’ and uncontrollable laughing. Again is disruptive with the people among you and who surround you eating at nearby tables.

4 – Don’t pick food out of your teeth at the dining table. This appears to look ‘dirty’. If you must discreetly go to the restroom to clean your teeth of food.

(Table Manners & Etiquette)

Basic Table Manners

5 – Talk with your mouth full. People will be so offended that their attention would be taken away from what you had wanted to say.

6 – Rest elbows on the table. This gives the same idea as if you would to slouch. It shows that you are careless.

7 – Use your mobile phone at the table. You are really that more interested in your phone rather than the experience, food and people you are with? Unlike. 🙂

8 – Wave utensils in the air. Its looks and it is dangerous. Instead place your utensils down before talking. Or light hand gestures is ok, but I repeat very lightly.

9 – Eat less or more than others. If you eat less the people around you may question that you do not like the food. And if you eat more people may believe that you are greedy.

10 – Don’t eat faster and/or slower than others. This suggests that you do not have time for others and/or take up too much of others time.

(Table Manners & Etiquette)

Could you improve on any of these? Have you caught any others out? Even adults are not perfect. 🙂 I hope this can be a little reminder of the importance to mind our Ps and Qs.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.


Table Manners & Etiquette

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