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Helpful dining etiquette lessons for your dinner date

Dining etiquette By Vivianne Wandera

Table manners are essential for everyone at any age for two reasons; to make others comfortable and to keep us from embarrassing ourselves. For example, your water glass is always on your right and you are not to drink from another glass. By learning manners you will know that you are not to eat until the host begins eating.

Popular word RSVP which means “répondez s’il vous plaît,” or please respond is meant for one to send their confirmation for attending the mentioned event. The confirmation is usually to be sent without 24 hours of receiving the invitation.

However, most people ignore basic dining etiquette that must be observed. Below are some lessons that can be helpful while attending a dinner or going on a date.

1. The host should always be in charge

The host should pick an appropriate restaurant and make reservations ahead of time, which is important when having a business lunch or dinner when the restaurants can be busy. Once your guests are seated you should direct your guests to their seats or recommend menu items in various price ranges.

2. Do Not pull out someone's chair for them

It is okay to hold open a door for your guest, do not pull your guests chair out for them regardless of gender. In a business setting, the social gender rules should be left behind.

3. Have the same food options with your guest.

This means if your guest orders stake or soup you should follow suit. This makes your guest comfortable and they don't have to feel like they are eating the course alone.

4. Know the utensils' proper locations.

Always remember that "left" has four letters and "right" has five. Food is placed to the left of the dinner plate. The words food and left each have four letters; if the table is set properly, your bread or salad or any other food dish, will be placed to the left of your dinner plate. Drinks are placed to the right of the dinner plate, and the words glass and right contain five letters. Glasses and drinks are placed to the right of the dinner plate. Your fork which has four letters goes to the left; your knife and spoon which have five letters each go to the right.

5. Use "BMW" to remember where your plates and glasses are placed

Remember the BMW which is easy because of the car, which stands for Bread, Meal and Water. The bread and butter plate is on the left, while the meal is in the middle, and the water glass is on the right.

6. Always break bread with your hands

Never use your knife to cut your rolls at a business dinner. Break your bread in half and tear off one piece at a time, and butter the piece when you are ready to eat it.

7. Know and use the "rest" and "finished" positions

The rest position (knife on top of plate, fork across middle of plate) is used to let the waiter know you are resting. The finished position (fork below the knife, diagonally across the plate) is to indicate that you have finished eating.

8. Do not stack your dishes.

This is entirely meant for the waiting staff to do.

9. Do not use the napkin as a tissue

The napkin must only be used for blotting the sides of your mouth. If you need to blow your nose excuse yourself and go to the bathroom.

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