dining etiquette

I remember the summer before my freshman year of college, I went to a Scholarship Dinner. I was excited about the dinner until I saw multiple forks, knives, plates, and spoons. I remember thinking to myself, “Why do I have so many utensils in front of me?”

Thank goodness for my older brother! He secretly guided me through which utensils to use at the appropriate time.

It was then, that I made a decision to teach my children or any group of kids I work with, about dining etiquette.  A field trip to a restaurant is a wonderful way to teach this concept.

I took a group of children to a restaurant to learn about dining etiquette and the American vs. European table settings. I had a volunteer consultant come to teach the class. If you can’t find a consultant, below is how you can execute this task!

  1. Plan a trip to a restaurant.
  2. Call ahead and tell them you would like your students to learn dining etiquette.
    • Call to inquire about the restaurant setting up an American or European table setting.
    • If not, you can educate your students about the table settings before and after they have eaten.
    • You can search images of the American vs. European table settings on the Internet.
  3. Before eating, review basic dining etiquette rules such as…
    • If dining out, place your napkin in your lap.
    • Keep the napkin in your lap until you are finished eating.
    • If dining out, wait until everyone in the group has been served before picking up your utensils.
    • With American and European table settings, start with the utensils that’s farthest from your plate and work your way inside.
    • Dishes should be passed counter-clockwise.
    • Please do not reach across the table for anything.
    • Do not use a toothpick or floss at the table.
    • Keep elbows off the table.
    • Do not talk with food in your mouth.
  4. After the meal, debrief with students…
    • What did you think of the dining etiquette rules?
    • Do you practice any of these rules in your home?
    • Which rule was the most difficult to follow?
    • Why do you think Dining Etiquette is important?

 

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