Bad Table Manners

People who do offensive things at the dinner table generally don't know their behavior is offensive. Here is a list of things to avoid.

1. do not chew food with your mouth open

People that chew food with their mouth open are not aware they are doing it. The next time you eat, pay attention to whether you are chewing with your mouth open. If you are, please stop.

Smacking and crunching. Eat as quietly as possible. For many, other people's smacking noises are cringe-making.

2. do not bolt your food

Eat your food slowly and enjoy it. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the company of your dining companions.

3. never speak with a full mouth

A mouth full of food is unpleasant to see and makes conversation difficult to hear.

  • Make sure not to talk with even a little bit of food in your mouth.
  • Wait before your dining companions have finished chewing before asking them a question.

  • 4. reaching

    Reach for something only within the invisible boundary that separates your personal space from the other diners'. If something is outside this area, ask for the item to be passed to you.

    5. don't stuff your mouth full of food

    Don't stuff your cheeks full of food and don't take exceedingly large bites of food.

    Don't form food into a ball in one cheek or take a sip of anything while chewing.

    6. don't blow on your food

    Avoid blowing on your food to cool it down. At an informal meal, you may use an ice cube to cool a hot beverage.

    7. don't take a half-bite

    Eat every bite completely. Don't eat 1/2 of what you have placed on your fork or spoon.

    8. don't wave utensils about

    Never gesture with an eating utensil in your hand.

    9. don't fidget

    Don't fidget with your tie or jewelry, adjust your flatware, play with you napkin or your hair. Keep still and calm.

    10. don't "wave away" service

    Do not wave away a server if you do not want something, just say, "No thank you."

    11. don't push your plate

    Don't announce to the table that you have finished eating or push your plate away when you are done with the meal.

    12. don't slouch

    Sit up straight and don't stoop to eat your food.

    13. sopping

    Using a piece of bread to sop up the sauce left over from a dish is fine-but only when the bread is speared by the tines of your fork.

    14. picking your teeth

    Toothpicks should be used only in private, not as you walk out of the restaurant or at the table. Also don't noisily clean your teeth with your tongue at meal's end.

    15. grooming at the table

    Avoid a primping routine at the table. Don't rearrange your hair or put your hands to it wherever food is served.