Proper Dining Etiquette – Do we still need it?

Proper dining etiquette is an art in itself and as time goes by, people seem to forget about the important behavioural elements of eating out. Such etiquette would obviously apply for high-end restaurants and not to your village takeaway! In this article, we will discuss good table etiquette to ensure you will make the best of impressions.

Dress code

One of the most important things to ensure you are prepared. You don’t want to end up at a high-end restaurant where everyone on the table is wearing blazers and formal shirts. Imagine that! You being stuck there with a pink t-shirt! Not being dressed properly can ruin your night making you feel ridiculous and underdressed.

Wait for seating

If you are dining at a high-class restaurant you should expect to wait before you are seated. Behaving as if you can sit on your own, choosing which table you like will make you appear primitive.

The phone and other belongings

In a formal setting, you will need to avoid putting your phone and other belongings such as car keys on the table. Doing so will give the impression that you are more interested and distracted with your device rather than the people in front of you. Any email or text can wait until you finish dinner. If not, excuse yourself before using your phone.


A lot of people make mistakes with their napkins. The napkin should be placed on your lap and if you are going to the bathroom, it should be set on your chair. When you have finished from your meal, it is fine to put your napkin back on the table.

Waiting for everyone’s food to be served

Need I say more? It is not ok to start eating just because your food has arrived. Make sure that everyone’s food is served before you start indulging. If for some reason you will need to ask for your food to be cooked properly, you must insist that the others continue on with their meal.

Communication with waiter

You should avoid calling out the waiter. The best practice is to make eye contact and a silent signal. If you still cannot get his or her attention, you should raise your hand. It is important to treat the waiting staff with respect.


It would be ideal to reach an agreeable compromise as to how the bill is paid. If everyone’s food was of a similar price range, it would make sense to split the bill equally.

Ready for your next fancy dinner? I am!

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