STEPETIQUETTE DINNER S a r a h C r o c ket t s a r a h e c @ v t .e d u V i r g i n i a Te c h Career Services w w w. c a r e er. v t .e d u J u l y 1 3 , 2 01 1 5 4 0 - 2 31 - 6 241
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Many interviews and business meetings will involve a meal.Your table manners will leave a lasting impression - make it a good one!
TOPICS OF DISCUSSIONInvitationsReceptions and buffetsPlace settingsDining stylesOrdering food and beveragesCourses - soup to dessertDifficult foods
INVITATIONSRSVP (Repondez s’il vous plait) Respond either way -- yes or no.Regrets Only You only need to let the host or hostess know if you cannot attend the event.
RECEPTIONS AND BUFFETSAlways use a plateDon’t “camp out” around the buffet tableUse serving utensilsIf you aren’t sure of how to eat a particular food, or if it looks difficult, avoid it!Never double-dip
If you were an employer, what impression would this candidate make?
BEING SEATED Turn off or silence your cell phone Napkins Place in your lap as soon as you are seated At a formal dinner wait for your host Removing your suit jacket Remove it only if your host invites you to Good posture
PLACE SETTINGS What’s mine, what’s yours? Solids to the left, liquids to the right Use utensils from the outside first Position of coffee cup Cup is turned up when the table is set If you do not care for coffee, turn your cup over on the saucer.
DINING ST YLESAmerican Method The Zig Zag approach; eat tines upEuropean Method Eat using both utensils at same time; eat tines downOther cultures Learn as much as you can before you go
TIP: Follow the Lead of your Host or Hostess
ORDERING FROM THE MENUDo not order as if it were your last mealAvoid messy foods If it sounds difficult to eat, it probably is!Do not make a lot of substitutions
TIP: Keep it Simple!
KEEPING THE TABLE CLEANWhat do I do with… Sugar packets / creamer cups Lemon slices Used stirring spoons
ASKING FOR AND PASSING ITEMSNever reach across the table for an itemIf there is a community item in front of you, offer it to others before helping yourself Offer to the left, pass to the rightSalt and pepper always go togetherAlways pass items in their serving dish
GENERAL RULES Wait until everyone is served before eating Do not season until you have tasted Follow the lead of your host or hostess Pace yourself - don’t be first or last to finish Chew with your mouth closed Do not talk with food in your mouth
TIP: Avoid making other guests uncomfortable
BREAD May be served in a basket or placed on your bread and butter plate Tear off a small piece of bread, butter it (if you wish) and eat it The butter issue …
SALAD COURSE If the salad dressing is in front of you, offer to the person to your left, help yourself, and then pass it You may cut large pieces of lettuce or other vegetables with your fork only or with fork and knife One bite at a time! To keep your knife, place it on your bread and butter plate
ENTRÉELeave plate positioned as it is presented to youCut one or two bites at a timeDon’t care for it? Push it aroundWork around garnishes
DESSERT Utensils above plate are for dessert Work around garnishes If dessert is served in a dish or parfait glass, resting position of spoon is on service plate
DIFFICULT FOODS / SITUATIONS Try to avoid them in the first place If it went in your mouth with a fork, it should come out of your mouth with a fork Something in your food Work around it if possible Otherwise discreetly speak with server Food over or under cooked Discreetly speak with server Spills Blot with your napkin and then request another
LEAVING THE TABLEShould not leave unless absolutely necessary, for example: Excessive coughing or sneezing Need to blow your nose Need to use the restroom Grooming needsLeave between coursesPlace napkin in chair
MISCELLANEOUSI’ve eaten all my food, and I’m still hungryI couldn’t finish all of my food, but it would make a great lunch for tomorrow