Why Understanding Dining Etiquette is Important

By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

Perception. It is all about how you want to be perceived by another person in a business or even in a social situation. Your manners, etiquette and grace are being judged and perceived by the other person. Whether with a client, potential employer, colleague, or whomever, I hope you choose to bring the best you.

  • Have you ever asked yourself, “Which napkin is mine? Which water is mine?” My trick is simply ‘Wet right (wine, water, coffee, etc.), dry left’ (bread, salad, napkin, serviette, etc.).
  • Do you think it is professional to blow your nose in your meal napkin?  Of course not. Thanks to one of my readers for this: “When sneezing or coughing, the preferred method is to sneeze or cough into your elbow – inside part. That is now the ‘healthy’ steer if you do not have a tissue, napkin or cannot react fast enough.”
  • How do I hold my knife and fork? American Style: Knife in right hand, fork in left hand holding food. After a few bite-sized pieces of food are cut, place knife on edge of plate with blades facing in. Eat food by switching fork to right hand (unless you are left handed). Do not hold the knife like you are on the set of Psyco. And certainly don’t hold your fork like this.




fork wpe4E

  • Continental/European Style: Knife in right hand, fork in left hand. Eat food with fork still in left hand. The difference is that you don’t switch hands-you eat with your fork in your left hand, with the prongs curving downward.
  • Don’t stick your elbows out! Learn to keep them in against the sides of the body. Otherwise you might knock your neighbor!
  • Chopsticks – don’t try to use them unless you are comfortable with using them!
  • Another hint – don’t eat escargot (snails) unless you have practiced with the escargot tongs.  The first time I used them, the snail flipped in the air and went down the front of my sundress.  Not pretty not to mention the grease slick that was on my neck and dress. Lesson learned!


Please let me hear from you and what you have learned! Or better yet, what annoys you.

Cheers and happy eating!  Marsha

Please contact Marcia Snow if you would like more information on my customizing a program for you! MarciaSnow@MarshaPetrieSue.com


Or call me directly at:

Cell 602 418-1991
Bring Marsha in for your next meeting
Professional Speaker, Executive Coach and Best Selling Author
Connect on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *