21 Mistakes We Often Make at Fancy Restaurants

“Etiquette” is a word of French origin that refers to a set of rules that control accepted behavior in particular social settings. Be it a diplomatic conference, a theatrical performance or a dinner at a fancy restaurant — you’ve got to follow the code of conduct to fit in.

A fancy restaurant with delicious cuisine and great service can all be ruined if you forget about your table manners.

Here at Smiles Tv, we’ve made a list of the things you shouldn’t do to avoid losing face at the dinner table.

Mind your manners.

  • If you’re a guest and you were invited to dine with a group, don’t sit first. It is polite to ask the host for their recommendations on where to sit.
  • Don’t chew with your mouth open and don’t speak in a loud voice. Respect the atmosphere the restaurant staff has created for you and let others enjoy it.
  • Don’t reach for food across the table disturbing other guests. Ask your neighbor to pass you the dish. When passing the food to others do it from left to right.
  • Don’t cut all the food on your plate at once. Cut as you eat.
  • Don’t be rude to the waiter. They are there to make your dinner the most enjoyable experience and they do try their best.
  • Don’t raise your voice to get the waiter’s attention. Use eye contact or put up the index finger of your right hand instead.
  • Make sure you are dressed for the occasion. You should never come to a fancy restaurant in jeans and a T-shirt. It’s always good to check the dress code in advance.
  • Don’t talk about the prices. Even if they are ridiculously high, it’s not a reason to point them out.
  • Don’t stick your pinkie in the air when you drink wine. This is considered unclassy.

Utensils say it all.

  • Once you pick a utensil, you should never place it on the table — utensils should always stay on your plate. The manner of placing the utensils on the plate, however, is specific and depends on what you want “to say”.
  • If you take a pause as you eat, place your fork and knife parallel to each other on either side of the plate, or just at the sides of the plate. The fork and knife will also help you indicate that you have finished your dish and even show whether you liked it or not. For this part, you may follow the instructions in the scheme above.
  • Don’t place the napkin on your chest. The purpose of the napkin is to wipe food away from your mouth, so whenever you need to do this, wrap a section of it around your index finger and remove the food. After a meal, place the napkin to the left of your plate.
  • Never place the napkin on top of your plate after the meal. When your meal is finished place the napkin to the left of your plate. If you want to leave the table mid-meal, place the napkin on your chair.
  • Don’t use your utensils at random. Any plate to the left and above your main plate and any glass to the right is for you to use. If you are confronted with multiple utensils and have no clue how to use them, remember a simple rule — use them from the outside in.
  • Don’t use your personal utensils to serve yourself. Use serving utensils.
  • Don’t push your plate away from you when you’ve finished the course. The waiter will remove it.

Enjoy your evening.

  • Dining at a fancy restaurant is a social event. Don’t get distracted by your smartphone and focus on the conversation instead.
  • Never put your smartphone on the table and don’t answer any calls at the table. You’d better just switch off your phone.
  • You’d better not arrive at the restaurant starving, as a multi-course meal at a fancy restaurant takes long. If you come to the dinner with an empty stomach you might be starving while the rest of your company has a nice chat and enjoys the atmosphere.
  • Don’t host a dinner in a restaurant that you have never been to before. If it is an important occasion, don’t risk it and make sure that the food and service are the best. Besides, you will know what dishes to recommend to your guests if it’s a restaurant you’re familiar with.
  • Don’t eat faster than your companions. Order the same number of courses as the people you are dining with.

Have you ever found yourself in an awkward situation at a fancy restaurant? Share your stories in the comments!

Preview photo credit Warner Bros.