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Learn Proper Table Etiquette

My Family’s Seasonings in Lakeland, Florida, offers table etiquette tips for proper manners from everyone at your table. Following our simple steps will be a good start to excellent behavior at the table. Then, learn all about the nutritional information as it relates to our seasonings.

Cutting Food

When you are at the table, assuming you are right-handed, hold the fork in your left hand and knife in your right. With the tines facing downward, curving towards you, hold down the food you are cutting. Do not hold the knife or fork like a dagger. Place your index finger along the top of each utensil, holding each at the end. Gently, using a sawing motion, cut the food near the tines of the fork, so that you have one bite-sized piece. Lay the knife down, without allowing it to touch the table, and switch the fork, complete with food, to your right hand. Bring it up to your mouth, chew quietly, and swallow.

Proper Posture

Maintaining proper posture is a key factor while dining. Always sit straight up in your chair, never leaning forward or backward. Never let your elbows touch the table. When eating, do not bring your face toward the plate, but bring the utensil up to you. What if you drop something? You should suavely signal a waiter so that they may replace the item. Don’t pick up the dirty fork and put it on the table. Leave it on the floor. However, if you drop your napkin, just excuse yourself as you lean down, pick it up, and continue with whatever you were doing.

Salt and Pepper Use

If someone asks you to pass the salt, pass both the salt and pepper (even if only one of the two were asked for). Do not use the salt first and then pass it, pass the salt then politely wait until the person has finished and ask them to pass it back. Never use salt or pepper on your food until after you have already tasted it. It’s a huge insult to the cook if you try to add flavor before even tasting it. Don’t season a dish that everyone is supposed to share. Take your portion and make your additions on your own plate.

proper table setting

Foods You Can Eat With Your Fingers

If you’re not sure whether or not you can eat something with your fingers, just use a utensil. As for foods that you can eat with your fingers, some are listed here:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus (Only If Pickled, Not Cooked)
  • Bacon
  • Cookies
  • Corn On the Cob
  • French Fries and Potato Chips
  • Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
  • Pickles
  • Sandwiches
  • Small Fruits Or Berries With Stems

Ending Properly

You only have one chance to make a good impression. Ending with a good impression is also important. Place your knife and fork on the plate so that they are parallel to each other, at the eleven o’clock position, diagonally from bottom right to top left, with the points facing away from you. This is different from the “X” position, with the knife and fork crossing like an X over your plate, which indicates that you are not done with the plate, but merely resting between bites. To correctly use the “X” position, the fork bottom should be on the left, and the knife bottom on the right. Place your napkin next to your plate on the table, wait until everyone has finished eating and drinking. Place it loosely, not twisted or crumpled, on the table. Whatever you do don’t place it on the chair or plate. After the bill is paid, stand up, make sure you have your belongings, and thank your server or hostess as you leave. These are just a few simple steps to take to show respect for the people you are dining with.