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DINNING DO’S AND DON’TS

Friday, February 08, 2013

 

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and you may be planning on taking someone to dinner to celebrate the special day. Keep these tips in mind to make your dining experience more enjoyable:

  • If you are a man taking a woman to dinner, remember chivalry is not dead (in social settings anyway)! It is polite to hold a chair for a woman while she is being seated. You should also hold a door open for a woman as she enters a building.
  • If you ask someone to dinner you should pay for both the meal and the tip.
  • Choose a restaurant that is suitable to the tastes of your date. You wouldn’t want to take someone to a seafood restaurant if they are allergic to seafood.
  • If you are going to a high end restaurant, make sure you understand the place setting:
    • Use your forks from the “outside” first.
    • Your bread plate will be to the left of your dinner plate.
    • Your beverage glasses will be to the right of your dinner plate just above the spoon.
  • Fold your napkin horizontally and place it in your lap as soon as you are seated. At fine dining restaurants the server will place the napkin in your lap. Never wear it as a bib. If you need to excuse yourself from the table during dinner, place the napkin in your chair.
  • When you are ready to order your meal, close your menu and place it near the edge of the table.
  • If you are not paying for dinner, don’t order the most expensive item on the menu. A good rule of thumb is to ask your date what he/she is ordering and choose something comparable in price.
  • Put your cell phone away and focus on the person or people with you. It’s rude to check your voice mail or Facebook, or text while having a conversation with someone.
  • Don’t “check in” on Facebook or Tweet about where you are dining unless it’s okay with your date. Remember: some things should be kept private.
  • Make sure you say "Thank You" to the person who paid for your meal.

Remember, a successful date is more about the conversation, and not so much about being perfect. If you are not sure what to do, watch others around you. Most importantly, smile, laugh, and have fun!

If you would like to know more about dining etiquette, check out our course syllabus for either “Outclass the Competition” or “Dine Like a Diplomat”.

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