17 Dining Mistakes You’re Making That You Never Knew About

Going out to dinner isn’t just about the food or the company. You might think it’s all about sitting at the table, eating delicious food, and that’s it, but that’s only just the beginning. Eating out at a restaurant is an experience that involves manners, social graces, and really, what it all boils down to: respect. In fact, you could be acting totally rude at the dinner table without even knowing it.

Right now, you’re probably asking what it is you’re doing wrong. Well, here’s exactly how to fix the 17 dining mistakes you’re making that you never knew about!

1. Wait until everyone is seated and served before you start eating

waiter serving food
via FitDay

2. Use your utensils from the outside in

utensils
via Chasing Boon

3. Don’t place items on the table that are unrelated to the meal

no phone on table
via The Protocol School of Washington
Keep your phone, keys, and whatever else off the table.

4. Don’t use salt and pepper before you taste your meal

salt
via List Crux
Doing this is an insult to the chef.

5. Rubbing your chopsticks is considered rude

chopstick
via Asian Fusion
It’s a sign that you think the establishment is low quality or that their utensils are cheap.

6. The way you position your utensils sends specific signals to the waitstaff

cutlery arrangement
via I Waste So Much Time

7. Resting your chopsticks across your bowl is considered a breach of etiquette

chopsticks resting on bowl
via Best American Arts

8. How to properly eat soup

9. Letting your chopsticks stand in your rice bowl is considered an offering to the dead

chopsticks in the rice
via Just Hungry
It’s an absolute no-no.

10. There is a proper way to hold and place your utensils down

utensils on plate
via The Art of Doing Stuff

You shouldn’t hold your knife like a dagger or place the cutlery back on the table once you’ve picked them up.

11. The salt and pepper should always be passed together

salt and pepper
via flickr / Joe King

12. How to eat lobster properly


Your best bet is probably to not eat lobster in public.

13. Don’t talk with your mouth full

woman eating and yelling
via E!
This should go without saying, but sadly, it needs to be said.

14. Never pass food from chopstick to chopstick

choptick with food
via tumblr / curiositychronicles
It is too close to symbolically passing someone’s bones at a Japanese funeral. Use a plate instead.

15. This is considered an informal dining setting

picture of cutlery
via Etiquette Scholar

16. And this is what a formal dining setup looks like

picture of table and cutleries
via Etiquette Scholar

17. Always remember to tip

tips
via peerTransfer
They say the standard now is 20%. If your meal was bad, don’t take it out on the server’s tips. Always bring up problems when they happen so the server can rectify the situation.

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