Do’s and Don’ts Of Dining At A Fancy Restaurant

written by Winnie Wangui 7th May 2015

Dining etiquette is something we all think we have but you could be surprised to find out there’s a lot about it that you actually do not know. In this post, we shall reveal some of the tiny things we do when dining at a fancy restaurant that are not supposed to be done. Leave alone the usual ‘don’t talk with food in your mouth’, ‘don’t burp in front of other diners and if you do, excuse yourself’ rules of dining. These are pretty much common sense to everyone and are practised even in our homes.

Here are a set of rules, some hidden, that you should follow when dining at a fancy restaurant.

1) Don’t put your cell phone, purse or keys on the table

phoe dining etiquette

We are all culprits of this one. Having any of these items on your table distracts your dinner companions and even the waiter. Many a time have we gone to restaurants and we cover up all the table space with these and other items including newspapers, only for the waiter to bring your meals and starts moving things around to make room. Give the waiters a break and keep smaller items in your pocket. For ladies, most restaurants usually have a place underneath the table to hang your bag. Use it.

2) Let your guest be the first to order

For the business meetings that are held over dinner or lunch, make sure you let your guest order first. This comes off as respectful and courteous. If you are a woman and you are hosting a man for dinner, request the waiter to serve him first when asked for your order.

3) As the host, set up payment before time 

It should go without saying that the person who invites is the one who pays. However, to avoid confusion, you could opt to give your credit card before sitting down or call the restaurant before time. It may be a bit tricky for women who often travel as you may find yourself in a male-dominated country and if your guest is a man, it may be difficult to convince him that you will settle the bill. To avoid this, give the waiter prior notice that you will be the one to settle the bill early into the dinner.

4) Know where to place your napkin


During dinner, make sure you wait until your host makes the signal and picks the napkin to place on his or her lap. Should  you want to visit the rest room, leave your napkin on your seat and pick it up from there when your get back. After dinner, place the napkin neatly on the left-hand side of your plate.

5) Don’t place the utensils at the side of your plate when you are done eating


There’s a silent code of communication between diners and waiters at a restaurant. When you are done with your meal, place your utensils on the plate with the fork tines facing up to signal the waiter that you are done and he or she can clear your plate.

So there you go, next time you go to a fancy restaurant follow these etiquette rules and you will surely look like you know what you are doing.

More interesting reads:

Office Party Etiquette

10 Italian Meal Etiquette Mistake To Avoid

Fingers or Chopsticks:How To Eat Sushi


You may also like