If you thought that the need for social skills and table manners have long gone out the window, think again, because it’s certainly not the case. Proper table etiquette – those much-expected manners, aren’t only very much alive, but also of the utmost importance for becoming a success in the dating, social, and business arenas. When it comes to any list of etiquette faux pas, one reigns supreme: table manners. If you ace these top 7 dining etiquette gaffes, you’ll be well on your way to being the toast of the party.
1. Not holding cutlery properly
Instead of holding your fork or spoon in a full-fisted way, the right way to hold your cutlery is to balance them between the first knuckle of the middle finger and the tip of the index finger, while using the thumb to support the handle. When using a knife, the tip of your index finger should rest on the upper blade of it. Use the utensil that’s farthest away from your plate first, then work your way in. Use one utensil for each course, so don’t keep your salad fork to use with the main course.
2. Taking phone calls during a meal
Smartphones shouldn’t be used during a meal – it’s sheer rudeness. In the event of an emergency, apologize beforehand for having to use or answer your phone, then leave the table and talk outside of the room. Preferably, your phone shouldn’t even be with you at table, and certainly shouldn’t be placed on the table. The same rule applies for purses, keys and wallets.
3. Chewing with your mouth open
This is one of the most repulsive things to do, and it isn’t really about etiquette faux pas, as it is about basic civilised behaviour. Always keep your mouth closed while you chew and don’t make loud noises. It’s acceptable to talk with a small piece of food in your mouth, provided you apologise and keep it to the side of your mouth, but don’t attempt it if your mouth is full.
4. Cutting your food up into tiny pieces
Etiquette faux pas dictates that you should only cut a few pieces of meat/food at a time, or, better yet, cut only the piece you plan to eat. As for people who choose to cut their food up all at once, it makes you look like you are about to feed a baby.
5. Acting rude to waiting staff
Acting rude to waiters and waitresses is a good way to embarrass yourself and others at the table. While it’s fine to ask questions about the menu, or point out if you receive the wrong dish, it’s important to always be polite to everyone around. While their job is to serve you, this doesn’t mean you have the right to be disrespectful towards them. As the saying goes: it’s the tune that makes the music.
6. Picking your teeth with your fingers!
If food gets stuck in your teeth, ask for a toothpick, and if you must remove it at table (generally, it’s best to simply excuse yourself from table and fish it out while in the bathroom), be sure to cover your mouth while doing so.
7. Using fingers to push food onto your fork
Always use a napkin to remove food from your fingers, and a knife to push food onto your fork. If the situation were reversed, would you want to shake hands with, or take a bread from, someone after their fingers have been on their plate? And whatever you do – no matter how delicious the food tastes – don’t ever lick your fingers!
Good table manners are visibly powerful tell-tale indicators of one’s level of politeness and use of proper etiquette – or lack thereof, hence etiquette faux pas. One thing we’re pretty sure you’ll agree with us is: manners matter! They matter to us and they matter to virtually everyone else you come into contact with. So it’s a good idea to learn the above rules of table etiquette and be sure to follow them to a T!
We hope you’ve found the above tips insightful. And remember, if you’re looking for the best steak in Malta, come on over to the Malta’s best steakhouse, and let our team at Sciacca Grill ignite your senses. Contact us, to book your table today!