Become A CPA

Become A CPA

D is for Dining Dos and Taboos

by Kimberly D Scott | Aug 25, 2010

My first real job, outside of babysitting the neighbor kids, was working in a restaurant my parents owned.  That job taught me a lot about customer service and interacting with people.  It also taught me that not everyone learned manners!


Hopefully, you have heard these rules before and follow them, “chew with your mouth closed,” and “do not talk with food in your mouth”.  They may seem simple, but it is amazing how many people do not follow them.   


As a business professional, you may find yourself at a function where food is served.  How you handle yourself is very important.  My first piece of advice is: treat the staff with respect.  Just because they are serving you currently, does not mean they are subservient to you.  (Keep this advice for dating, too. I have heard from many women and men that treating staff with disrespect is a turn-off.)


If you are watching your calories, try to avoid making everyone around you feel guilty for not doing the same.  Other comments such as “do you know what kind of life that cow had?” or “gross, is that sauce supposed to be green?” are not appropriate.  If you do not want something that is served simply say “no thank you” or leave it on your plate.


When seated for dinner, your napkin should go on your lap and not be worn as a bib.  An easy tip for place settings is “BMW” (Bread, Meal, Water).  Going from left to right this means your bread plate is first, then meal plate, then water glass.  If you drop something on the floor, apologize, but do not pick it up.  You are likely to cause a bigger mess if you do.  If you spill something on someone else, do not try to mop it up.  This can be a bit personal and inappropriate. 


Things to leave the table for: a cell phone call (but better if you do not have your phone on), putting on lipstick, and removing something from your teeth.  If you can, leave for a sneezing fit, and definitely leave for blowing your nose.


The list of tips goes on: do not take ice out of your water glass to cool your coffee, do not blow on your soup, do not keep your arms on the table when eating, do not use your personal utensils as serving utensils… and so much more.  Just remember when you are at a business function to use manners. And if you are uncertain about protocol, just be respectful. 

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