Things You Should NEVER Do On A Dining Table


When dining at a table there are certain things you should avoid doing to maintain proper etiquette.

Here are some of the things you should never do on a dining table:

  • Wear your napkin as a bib: Instead place it across your lap and use it when necessary.
  • Use the table as an elbow rest: Keep your elbows tucked into your body especially when lifting food into your mouth.
  • Chew with your mouth open: Eat as quietly as possible.
  • Bolt your food: Eat at a moderate pace and avoid rushing through your meal.
  • Speak with a full mouth: Wait until you have swallowed your food before speaking.
  • Reach over someone else’s plate or across the table: If you need something politely ask for it to be passed to you.
  • Stuff your mouth full of food: Take small bites and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Fidget: Avoid adjusting your flatware playing with your napkin or your hair or any other distracting behavior.
  • Wave away service: If you do not want something politely decline by saying “No thank you” instead of waving away the server.
  • Push your plate away or announce that you have finished eating: Wait until everyone at the table has finished eating before pushing your plate away.
  • Slouch: Sit up straight and avoid stooping to eat your food.
  • Talk about unpleasant things: Avoid discussing topics that could make someone lose their appetite.
  • Gobble your food: Eat at a moderate pace and avoid rushing through your meal.
  • Place your used utensils in the wrong position: When you are finished with your meal place your utensils side by side on your plate.

By avoiding these behaviors you can ensure that you are practicing proper dining etiquette.


What are some specific examples of table manners that should always be avoided during a meal?

Here are some specific examples of table manners that should always be avoided during a meal:

  • Passing food in the wrong direction: Always pass dishes to your right. The counterclockwise order is essential when there are multiple dishes.
  • Talking with your mouth full: Do not speak with food in your mouth and keep your mouth closed when you eat.
  • Eating too fast: Pace yourself with fellow diners. Don’t stuff your cheeks full of food and don’t take exceedingly large bites of food.
  • Slouching and placing elbows on the table: Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating.
  • Using utensils improperly: Set the utensils on your plate not the table when you are not using them. Do not talk with your utensils and never hold a utensil in a fist. Remember the guideline to “start at the outside and work your way in” when presented with a variety of eating utensils.
  • Making noise while eating: Scraping a plate or loudly chewing is unpleasant to listen to and considered impolite. Smacking and slurping food are major mistakes and a sign of bad table manners.
  • Blowing on your food: Avoid blowing on your food to cool it down.
  • Approaching two people with both hands full: Keep at least one hand free. If you are standing have only a drink or food in one hand never both.

Remember that proper table manners are essential for making a favorable impression at both lunch/dinner interviews as well as in social business situations.

How can parents effectively teach their children proper dining etiquette and ensure they understand the importance of good table manners?

Teaching children proper dining etiquette and good table manners is important to instill social skills that will help them succeed in various social situations.

Here are some tips to help parents effectively teach their children proper dining etiquette and ensure they understand the importance of good table manners:

  1. Wait until everyone is served before eating: Teach your child that they should not begin eating until everyone is seated and served.
  2. Turn off devices: Collect all devices before the meal starts and stick to it. This is not only polite but respectful to the people at your table.
  3. Chew with mouth closed: Teach your child to chew with their mouth closed.
  4. Use polite requests and refusals: Teach your child to use polite requests and refusals.
  5. Stay seated and sit up straight: Teach your child to stay seated and sit up straight while eating.
  6. Keep elbows off the table: Teach your child to keep elbows (and other body parts!) off the table while eating.
  7. Say “please” and “thank you”: Teach your child to say “please” and “thank you” when asking for or receiving something.
  8. Use napkin properly: Teach your child to place their napkin on their lap when they sit down and use it to wipe their mouth not their sleeve.

It is important to make learning manners a positive experience for children and parents can do this by practicing good table manners themselves and praising their children when they use proper manners.

Parents can also sit down with their children at a time other than dinner and explain what is expected of them write it down or draw pictures and ask them to remind you of the rules when they come to the table.

When children use proper manners parents can thank them and when they slip up parents can cue them with a polite reminder.

In different cultures table manners can vary significantly.

Could you provide some insights into cross-cultural dining etiquette and highlight some universal principles that apply across most cultures?

Cross-cultural dining etiquette can vary significantly across different cultures.

However there are some universal principles that apply across most cultures.

Here are some insights into cross-cultural dining etiquette:

  • Table manners: It is important to avoid inciting repulsion and disgust in the people around you wherefore the edicts against eating with your mouth open.
  • Chopsticks: In many Asian cultures it is considered rude to cross lick or stick chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice. Passing food using chopsticks is also considered impolite.
  • Burping: Burping at a Chinese dinner party is the ultimate compliment but it is considered rude in many other cultures.
  • Dress code: In some cultures dressing conservatively is important while in others it is acceptable to dress more casually.
  • Seating arrangements: In some cultures seating arrangements are important and may be based on hierarchy or age.
  • Tipping: Tipping practices vary across cultures. In some countries tipping is expected while in others it is not.
  • Respect for the host: It is important to show respect for the host and their customs. This may include bringing a gift or complimenting the host on their home.
  • Cleanliness: Keeping your hands and utensils clean is important in most cultures.
  • Wait for the host: In many cultures it is considered impolite to start eating before the host has begun.

It is important to note that these are general guidelines and specific customs may vary across different cultures.

When dining in a different culture it is always a good idea to observe and follow the lead of your hosts or local customs.