international dining etiquette
Dining etiquette for toasts. The toast in German-speaking Switzerland is Prost; in French-speaking Switzerland, a votre santé or just santé: and in Italian-speaking Switzerland, salute. If possible, take the time to clink glasses with everyone at the table (without leaving your seat and moving around the table, if you are already seated at the table).
Dining etiquette for utensils. A particular Swiss variant on the German, French, and Italian rules is that one shows that one is completely finished eating by placing the knife and fork parallel to each other and pointing to the right directly on the middle horizontal of the plate, usually with the fork above the knife. During the meal, if you have finished everything on your plate and would like seconds, merely cross your fork over your knife, making an X on your plate (the fork points up toward the left and the knife points up toward the right).
Dining etiquette for seating. The place of honor is in the middle of the table (usually down one side) and not at the head or next to the host or hostess (who usually do stay at the head).
Dining etiquette for tipping. Restaurants usually have the 10 percent tip included on the bill.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
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