Table Manners and Etiquette

Table Manners and Etiquette – The MUST READ Guide

~Purnaa Negi (@purnaaanegi)

The feeling of a satisfied stomach makes you feel high-spirited and happy. It is the best feeling in the world to have the ability to eat what you desire and share it with others.

But oh! It comes with hurdles and jumping above them may require you to have a stronger appetite. The stronger appetite is not your edibles but your manners which will make you different from others.

What are Table Manners?

Table Manners are considered as the conventional way of behaviour that should be maintained while eating at a table, in public places or when one has company.

But it is more than that. It is not just being socially presentable but also having the ability to be graceful and appreciating the food and people at the table.

Table Manners portray your class

Why do we need to learn about Table Manners?

Your behaviour at your table is a determinant of your perspective on things. It also portrays how seriously (or chaotically) you handle things. A decent and delightful portrayal of table manners displays an ethical human being.

“A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Table manners may help you realise how to behave in a timely fashion but to others it shows your self-worth. These manners are learnt to present the civil and polite side of a person.

Among other things, a proper sense of etiquette differentiates us, the humans, from other beings. Humans can be called so (in the truest sense of the term) only if they have a proper sense of etiquette and table manners.

Furthermore, a person with a courteous approach and a heightened sense of civility and grace is often likable in society and social gatherings.

How To Exhibit Good Table Manners and Etiquette?

Food Etiquette

  • The first and foremost thing when it comes to Table Manners is to not talk while eating or with food in the mouth. Furthermore, chewing loudly is a BIG NO! NO!
  • When it comes to ordering food, it is best to NOT order the most expensive three course meal. Perhaps somebody else might be paying and it does not look the most appropriate on your side.
  • As soon as the food is served do not dive into it. WAIT and LOOK AROUND to see if people have started eating. A cold food is always better than a colder look.
  • Under any circumstances, NEVER mix your food and beverage together. Only when you are done swallowing the food, sip your beverage. DO NOT take both the things together.
  • Lastly, a fine little tip is to not use salt a lot. In some cases, This can be disrespectful to the chef. Moreover, will look shabby on your behalf.

The Napkin Dilemma

  • Before the food arrives, unfold and place the napkin on your lap.
  • If you’re leaving your table temporarily, place the napkin on your chair.
  • At the end of the meal, while leaving the table, fold the napkin and place it on the left side of your cutlery, on the table.

Mobile Phones and other ‘Distractions’

  • The first and the foremost thing to do is keeping these distractions AWAY from you (if possible in your pocket or purse)
  • Frequently checking the mobile for texts or calls during a meal is considered to be rude and disrespectful. So steering clear of such actions is the best policy.
  • Keeping the electronic devices on silent or away from your reach is a way of showing your interest in the gathering.

Behaviour and Actions

  • Not only in case of Table Manners, but also in general, showing gentle behaviour is always appreciated.
  • Always be polite towards the waiter. At the end of the day we are all humans and kindness is always accepted. Thus, being kind will show your positive demeanour at the forefront.
  • A conversation is always an ice-breaker. Having a light conversation about vacation or work can always help people open up easily.
  • During a conversation, it is presentable to not point your cutlery at people.
  • Always try to listen to the other person(s) without having the haste to finish your meal.
  • If you feel the need to use the restroom or leave the conversation, use the words “Excuse me, I will be right back” or other related phrases. This politely indicates your drift away from the conversation.
  • Last but not the least, it is very important to stay with the host until they have paid and not leave before. Stay till all the guests are there and leave only when everyone has completed their meal.

Must Read: On-time, Sir! Punctuality – The importance & benefits

Why do we need to learn Table Manners and Etiquette?

  • In a world full of clones, be someone different. To be that different you need to act different which can be only achieved by behaving in a certain polished way that displays respect and class.
  • Maybe a lot of people may choose to behave ethically but the fact that you are one of them shows your efforts towards your own personality development.
  • The advantage of learning table manners and etiquette is that it avoids the feeling of awkwardness and uneasiness in social situations. Thus it makes you look more confident.
  • A person who is open to the idea of giving respect is the one worthy enough to have it reciprocated. Giving your attention and respect to someone at the dining table will make sure they do the same to you as well.
  • A decent perception of proper manners and etiquette shows professionalism. The act of behaving in a socially acceptable manner is always best for displaying a hint of professionalism.
  • Etiquette help you portray your quality and morals. Even if the situation goes downhill, your etiquette will always save you from sinking.

Good behaviour always elicits more opportunities. Your behaviour may impress someone. This can help you be in the forefront when it comes to being chosen.


“The test of good manners is the ability to put up with the bad ones”

Solomon Ibn Gabirol

A well-mannered individual is not the one who portrays it but also knows how to actively help the bad one slide away. After all, humans are known best by their activities, so it is always better to put your best forward.

If at the end of the day your behaviour justifies your position in the society, then you don’t have to worry. You have your table manners and etiquette to cover you up.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Anupam Kundu
A professional blogger and an IT freak. The atypical combo of a Civil Service aspirant and a Tech enthusiast.