Bright Side

20 Etiquette Rules Even People Who Don’t Go to Fancy Restaurants Need to Know

The word “etiquette,” in its modern meaning, was first used in the court of Louis XIV of France. Guests were given cards with a list of behavior rules they were supposed to follow. Today, our behavior doesn’t have to be that formal but our knowledge of how to correctly eat burgers or remove a print of lipstick off a glass can help us to avoid many awkward situations and feel more confident.

We at Bright Side have watched videos featuring dozens of etiquette experts and we can’t wait to share the tips they talked about with you.

  • If you invite someone out for dinner or lunch, don’t put in your order first. Let the person you invited make their choice. If you order first, you may decide to order a salad and your companion will be left hungry because they won’t want to make an order bigger than yours.
  • If you know that someone might call you during your meal at a restaurant, warn the person you’re with in advance. During the conversation, it’s better to leave the room in order not to make the other person uncomfortable.
  • Despite popular opinion, a napkin can be put on the collar, but only in cases where you’re going to eat soup. And it’s best to tell your companion that you’re going to use a napkin to avoid getting a stain.
  • Don’t use a toothpick at the table, it’s better to do it in the restroom. You won’t find toothpicks in a good restaurant.
  • There are no special etiquette rules for left-handed people — they also have to hold a fork in the left hand and a knife in the right hand.
  • The Thai Tom Yam soup is supposed to be eaten with rice. You should take some rice with a spoon and put it into the soup. In Thailand, there’s no such thing as “soup,” it’s more of a sauce for the rice.
  • If you were served a salad with big leaves, you can take them into your hands, but only if you can use cutlery well and your companions know that.
  • Arugula and carpaccio should be eaten with a fork — they should be wrapped around it when eaten.

  • Being elegant means being appropriate. If you’ve come to a simple restaurant near the sea, you can eat shrimp with your hands. If you’re in a fancy place, use a knife and fork.

  • Japanese ramen should be eaten this way: start with the noodles, then the meat and other ingredients before drinking the broth. Noodles are to be eaten with chopsticks.

  • It’s rude to wear pajamas when you’re going to have breakfast in a hotel with a buffet. Don’t put hot and cold foods on the same plate and don’t take too much of anything. It’s not very polite to choose the best pieces on a platter, it’s better to take the one closest to you.

  • In order not to leave any lipstick imprints on glasses, it’s better to buy better, more stain-resistant beauty products. If you don’t have such a lipstick, you can use a little life hack: lick your lips before drinking. If you still leave a print, you can try to remove it with a paper napkin. It’s best to touch the glass with your lips on the same spot in order not to stain it all the way around.
  • There are different opinions on how mussels should be eaten. You can find recommendations that say they have to be eaten either with the hands or with cutlery. One way to eat them is to empty the shell and take it with your right hand. Then take the half-open mussels with your left hand and get the meat out with the empty shell.
  • Hamburgers are fast food, so they can be eaten with the hands. But if you’re in a restaurant, it is better to use a knife and fork. And in order to avoid the burger from falling apart, stick a toothpick in it to hold the pieces together.
  • If you’re served a meal and you don’t understand how to eat it, don’t be shy about asking the waiter. The chef might have designed an unusual-looking meal that could be hard to figure out.
  • If you order fried eggs in a restaurant, they might be served with a spoon. It is not very elegant to dip bread into the yolk, so you should eat the yolk with a spoon and then eat the rest with a fork.
  • It’s better not to cross your legs but to instead put the knees close to each other which will make it much easier to sit with a straight back.
  • Georgian khinkali is supposed to be eaten without cutlery but rather, with your hands. Take one by the “tail” and bring it to your mouth, take a bite, drink the broth, and then eat the rest. The “tail” should remain in your hand.
  • If you’re planning a business breakfast and your partner says, “Let’s drink some tea,” it means that the conversation will be less formal. And if they insist on drinking coffee, it means they are ready to discuss more serious matters.
  • In order to avoid getting in an uncomfortable situation with the bill on a date, the man that invited the woman can ask the waiter in advance not to bring the bill to the table so that he can pay it at the bar. If it’s more of a friendly meeting, it’s polite to ask the woman if she wants to “go Dutch” or pay the bill the next time they meet up.

What do you think — should a man always pay the bill on a first date? Or do you think that this rule is outdated?

Preview photo credit Spencer Davis / Unsplash