3. Dining Etiquette
A set of rules that govern the expectations of
social and dining behavior in a workplace,
group or society.
Table manners are visible signs that you are a
polished and knowledgeable professional.
4. There are four steps used in American dining
rather than the two steps in Continental
The United States was founded on the
premise of living life in a unique, independent
manner. And the way we eat is no exception.
5. The Four Steps of American Dining
With fork in your left hand and
knife in your right hand, cut your food.
Keeping your fork in place, lay the knife
at the top of the plate.
( Make sure the blade is facing you.
It is an affront to other diners to point
Your blade at them.)
6. Step 3
Now that your right hand is free,
Use it to take hold of the fork.
Bring the fork to your mouth
and take a bite.
7. If you need to pause during the meal - maybe you have a
story to tell everyone at the table, or you need to leave the
table for a moment - you will need to place your utensils in
resting position on the plate to indicate your pause.
With your knife at the top of your plate, place your fork in the
four o'clock position on the plate.
This tells the wait staff that you are not finished with your
meal, and they should not remove your plate.
8. When you are ready for your plate to be
removed from the table, there is a utensil
placement that signals this as well.
With your fork in the four o'clock position,
move your knife down to meet it.
This is the close-out position for American
11. Continental dining consists of two steps
instead of the four steps in American
Used in most countries around the world, this
dining style is simple to learn and is easily
adapted for left- or right-handed people.
12. Step 1
With fork in your left hand
and knife in your right hand,
cut your food.
Keeping your fork in your
left hand, bring it to your
Mouth and take a bite.
13. If you need to pause during the meal - maybe you
have a story to tell everyone at the table, or you
need to leave the table for a moment - you will
need to place your utensils in resting position on
the plate to indicate your pause.
Lay your fork and knife at a diagonal position on
either side of your plate.
This tells the wait staff that you are not
finished with your meal, and they should not
remove your plate.
14. When you are ready for your plate to be removed from the table,
there is a utensil placement that signals this as well.
Lay your fork and knife side by side at the four o'clock position
on your plate.
This is the close-out position for Continental dining (and
American dining as well). Wait staff often report that placing the
fork, tines up, makes it easier to pick up the plate. Either way
signals that you have finished.
If you are left-handed, it is appropriate to close-out with utensils
in the eight o'clock position if this is easier for you.
17. You switch your fork and
knife between hands so
the utensil being used is in
the dominant hand. For
example, if you are right
handed, you switch the
fork to your left hand so
you can cut with your right
hand. Once you cut a piece
of food, you switch the
fork back to your right
hand and take the food to
your mouth with the fork
in your right hand.
You keep the fork in your
left hand with the
down and your index
finger on the back of the
fork. Your knife is held in
your right hand with the
blade facing down and
your index finger
extended along the back
of it. Once you cut a piece
of food, you keep the fork
face down and your wrist
flat as you bring the food
to your mouth
18. Your wrists/hands do not
touch the table.
Wrists always remain on
the edge of and above the
table, both when you are
eating and when you are
19. The resting position is
the fork, tines facing
up, in the 4 o’clock
position and the knife
resting along the
top corner of your
plate. Once finished,
place your knife, with the
blade facing towards you,
next to your fork, tines
facing up, both in the 4
o’clock position on the
plate. This signals to the
server you are finished.
: The resting position is
in the middle of the plate
as if you simply placed
the silverware down
exactly as you were
holding them. The knife
blade faces towards you
in the 4 o’clock
position and the fork
tines face down over top
of the knife in the 8
21. : Typically dessert is served
with either a fork or a
spoon. If you are given
both, you may choose which
utensil you prefer
A fork and spoon (rarely a
knife) are used. Hold the
fork in your left hand and
the spoon in your right
hand and proceed to eat
in the same manner as
your main course
23. ◦ In both styles, you cut one bite of food at a time.
Put that piece in your mouth then cut the next.
◦ The side of your fork should not be used to cut
◦ Always use your knife (not your fingers!) to get a
piece of food onto your fork.
24. ◦ Do not place your elbows or forearms on the
◦ Same rules for your napkin! Place your napkin
neatly on your chair if you will be returning to the
table. Place the napkin neatly on the table if you
are finished and exiting the table.