Dining etiquette refers to a set of rules governing socially acceptable behavior when one is to have a meal at any formal, semi-formal meal or dinner.
Below are the key lessons I learn from the listed types of etiquette:
I learn to always respond to an invitation within a reasonable time in order to help the host or those preparing the meal to adequately plan on the quantity of food they will prepare or purchase in order to avoid wastage.
I also learn to dress appropriately for the occasion. If there is any dress code set by the host or organizers, it must be followed. If no dress code is set, one must dress appropriately in decent attire.
Dining etiquette also demands for punctuality. One should never go late if invited for a meal. Probability of late coming should be notified to the host in advance
If one makes a reservation with a restaurant, they should stick to it. Call ahead if you’re going to be more than 15 minutes late, and cancel as far in advance as possible if your plans change so that someone else can get a table. In case there is payment for the cancelled reservation, it must be effected.
It is proper and fitting to bring a small hostess gift, one that the hostess is not obliged to use that very day.
One should not smoke at the dining table.
One should not ask to taste someone else's food. Similarly, and should not offer a taste of their food to someone else.
For hard to scoop items like peas, one should use a knife or a piece of bread to push the items onto the fork and should not use your fingers.
One should not talk with his/her mouth full of food.
One should cut only enough food for the next mouthful.
One should chew with the mouth closed.
If soup is too hot to eat, let it cool in bowl. Do not blow on it.
Practice good posture. If not eating, place your hand in your lap or rest your wrists on the edge of the table. Do not put your elbows on the table.
If hot food is burning your mouth, discretely drink something cool to counteract the food. One should not spit out the food.
One should not blow their nose at the dinner table. He should Excuse him/herself to visit the restroom and wash hands before returning to the dining room.
If one coughs, he/she should cover their mouth with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise. If your cough becomes unmanageable, excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room.
This refers to the kind of socially acceptable behavior, conduct or practice while at the dinner table. It includes:
Wash hands before eating.
As soon as one is seated, remove the napkin from the place setting, unfold it, and put it on their lap. One should not shake it open.
The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal. Don't clean the cutlery or wipe the face with the napkin. It should NEVER be used to wipe the nose!
Sit up fairly straight. Keep elbows in and not on the dining table.
One should wait until all are served before beginning to eat.
Pray before eating.
Eating begins When the host or hostess picks up their fork to eat,one should not start before this unless the host or hostess insists that they start eating.
Food is served from the left. One should not stretch across the table, crossing other guests, to reach food or condiments.
Dishes are removed from the right.
Use the silverware farthest from your plate first. Glasses should be on the right, fork in the left hand, knife in the right hand. Hands should not be used except for particular foods
One should always say please when asking for something and be sure to say thank you to the server/host.
Do NOT talk with food in your mouth! This is very rude and distasteful to watch! Wait until you have swallowed the food in your mouth.
Always use serving utensils to serve yourself, not your personal silverware.
Don't blow on your food to cool it off. If it is too hot to eat, take the hint and wait until it cools.
One should cut only enough food for the next mouthful (cut no more than two bites of food at a time), eat in small bites and slowly.
One should not "play with" your food or utensils. Never wave or point silverware and not to hold food on the fork or spoon while talking, nor wave your silverware in the air or point with it.
One should eat a little of everything on the plate. If one does not like the food and feel unable to give a compliment, one should just keep silent. It is acceptable to leave some food on the plate if you one is full and has eaten enough.
One should pace their eating so that they don’t finish before others are halfway through. If you are a slow eater, try to speed up a bit on this occasion so you don’t hold everyone up. Never continue to eat long after others have stopped.
Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite. The number one sin of dinner table etiquette!
I learn to Turn off my cell phone or switch it to silent or vibrate mode before sitting down to eat, and leave it in your pocket or purse. It is impolite to answer a phone during dinner. If you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table and step outside of the restaurant.
This is a set of written and unwritten socially acceptable mannerisms that make business interactions go on smoothly. They include;
One should be courteous and thoughtful to the people around him/her, regardless of the situation. Consider other people’s feelings, stick to your convictions as diplomatically as possible.
One shouldn’t differentiate by position or standing within the company. He/she must associate with all whether the junior or senior staff.
If a subject is important enough to call a meeting, one should be considerate of the participants’ time and ensure that it is well prepared. Communicate beforehand the objectives, expected duration of the meeting and the agenda.
I learn to always return calls. Even if I don’t have an answer to the caller’s question, I have to call and explain what I am doing to get the requested information, or direct them to the appropriate place to get it.
If you have a new employee, guest, or consultant working at your company for a day, week, or longer, be sure that that person has the resources and information that he or she needs to do the job.
One should be smart in appearance. Put on well pressed clothes, and unnecessary casual wear should be avoided. Address and sign mails and correspondences in a formal way.
Refers to socially acceptable conduct in the process of inviting people for events like parties or meetings.
Invitations should always reflect the comparative formality or informality of the occasion.
The following should always appear in the invitation
I learn not use abbreviations in invitation letters and also use proper formal English.
I learn to send invitations early enough. Traditionally, it is advised to send out invitations eight weeks before your event.
It is considered extremely socially incorrect to make any mention of gifts on invitations on the theory that we should expect nothing from our friends except their presence.
If an RSVP has yet to be received by the deadline - call the guest to ask if they will attend as they might have simply forgotten or assumed they needn't RSVP if they couldn't attend.
If you decide against having children at your ceremony or reception simply include a line that states 'adult-only ceremony' or 'adult-only reception' inside your invitations.
Guests that attended your bridal shower, introduction (Kwanjula) or engagement party will be expectant of a wedding invitation.
Clearly outline the dress code if it is an unusual or casual party.
Best friends and relatives should also be sent invitation cards.
Mainly focuses on manners for the corporation and for its individual players. It has to do with the way an individual interacts with customers and other businesses. Ethics include;
Politeness in interaction with others.
Smartness in physical appearance. I should be well groomed, with properly pressed clothes, good scent, combed hair, well shaven.
One should be a good listener and accept criticisms in the right spirit. In this way you will create a healthy relationship with your seniors that will help you during appraisals and securing a good reference when you finally quit the company.
One should be punctual as far as possible. If late for work for some unavoidable reasons, inform your reporting manager about it.
One should maintain proper table manners while on a business lunch.
During interactions at the workplace one should not over yawn or keep glancing at the watch. These indicate that you are not interested in the work.
One should maintain eye contact with speakers or presenters. It shows confidence and interest in the transactions.
One should always sound courteous and professional on the telephone. Return calls promptly to whoever it might be. You should also be meticulous while writing emails. Make the subject line precise and choose your words carefully. It is good to use the spelling & grammar checker before you click the send button. Do not speak in your mother tongue with any of your colleagues specially if there is a third person who cannot understand it. It may be interpreted as back biting.
It is the responsibility of the Human Resource professionals to educate the freshers on work etiquette as part of their induction programme as the majority of them are not industry- ready products.
One should always travel with a notebook and a pen to record the contacts he/she makes and also carry some of his/her business cards as well.
One should note engage in disrespectful behavior like over touching female co-workers and customers, talk loudly or be rude and impolite. The corporation is judged by the people who represent it.
When I visit somebody’s office, I should not roam around and bother the receptionist with a lot of queries.
This is the socially acceptable behavior which should govern the use of bathrooms, washrooms and toilets.
One should flush and check to make sure everything went down after using the toilet.
One should wash their hands after using the toilet.
One should never use the bathrooms or washrooms as a toilet or urinal. That is to say, one should never urinate in the wash rooms.
Users should limit the stink. Bring in an air deodorizer to keep in the bathroom and spray an air freshener after use to avoid bad smell.
One should always knock before entering the toilet, wash or bathrooms.
We should not sing, talk or eat from toilet rooms. It’s so unhygienic.
We should be mindful of the time we spend in bathrooms, toilets and wash rooms because there may be other people who want to use the facility.
In case of urinals, we should always pay attention and “time” the exact urinal spot to avoid wetting the whole place.
We should always clean the toilet seat before we use the facility.
We should always clean the toilets, wash and bathrooms incase we find them dirty. We should always endeavor to leave those facilities cleaner than we found them.
In a nutshell, the above are the proper kinds of etiquette we must exhibit when dining, at a meal table, while we are at corporate meetings, while we are using bathrooms, urinals, toilets or washrooms, and when we’re inviting guests.
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