Modern Guide To Dinner Party Etiquette


  1. Electronics: Turn off or silence your electronic devices and never place them on the table.
  2. Cocktail Glasses: Do not take the cocktail glass to the dinner table.
  3. Napkins: Upon sitting unfold and place your napkin in your lap.
  4. Passing Salt & Pepper: When asked to pass the salt or pepper pass both.
  5. When To Eat: Never begin eating until everyone is served or the host has picked up their silverware.
  6. Using The Proper Utensil: As a general rule, use the utensils on the outer edge of your place setting and work your way in.
  7. Elbows: Elbows off the table.  Resting your hands in your lap or your forearms resting on the table is acceptable.
  8. Eating: Take small bites, eat slowly and savour the meal.
  9. Cutting Food: Only cut your food into one or two bite size pieces at a time.
  10. Bread: Never butter the entire piece of bread.  Tear off bite size pieces and butter as you eat them.
  11. Seasoning: Taste the food before seasoning with salt and pepper.
  12. Speaking While Eating: Never speak with food in your mouth.
  13. Conversation: If speaking for longer than a few seconds rest your silverware on you plate.
  14. Reaching; Only reach for an item that is an arms length without leaning.
  15. Red Wine: Hold a red wine glass by the stem or by the bowl.  
  16. White Wine: Hold a white wine glass only by the stem.
  17. Pinkies: Do not crook your pinky finger when holding a glass.
  18. Spoons: Never leave a spoon in a cup or a bowl.
  19. Eat Quietly: Avoid scraping, smacking or slurping.
  20. Something In Teeth: If something is caught in your teeth wait to remove it privately.
  21. Drinking and Eating: Rest your silverware on your plate as you sip your wine.
  22. Soup: Scoop your spoon away from you when eating soup.
  23. Hand Gestures: Do not gesture with a utensil in your hand.
  24. Serving Yourself: When serving yourself from a platter take the piece nearest you.
  25. Courteous: Compliment the food.