It’s hard to forget Julia Roberts’ character, Vivian, from the 1990 hit movie Pretty Woman. She quickly became in over her head when it came to traveling, fashion, and etiquette after she met the successful and wealthy businessman, Edward, played by Richard Gere.
The holidays are right around the corner and that means dinner parties, brunches, lunches and anything in between. Just like Vivian, it’s important to remember proper dining etiquette rules no matter the social setting. No one wants to be remembered for an embarrassing snafu that was completely avoidable, e.g. when Vivian flings her snail across the restaurant.
As the lovable leading lady quickly learns in the movie, dining etiquette is a cumbersome topic and the rules seem endless.
Below are some basic dining etiquette tips that everyone should know and follow:
- Dress appropriately for the event. A suit and tie or cocktail dress is appropriate for dinner at the country club, but not a catered lunch at the office.
- Give a nice, firm handshake to the host and greet others you know. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know using your first and last name. Feel free to shake their hands as well. No matter how popular the first bump or high five become, they will never replace a good handshake.
- Follow the lead of the host – sit when they sit, put your napkin in your lap when they do. If they order a drink, it’s safe to say that you can order one as well. If they order an appetizer, feel free to do the same.
- Sit up straight, don’t lean back on your chair legs, and keep your elbows off the table – it shows good posture and some self-control.
- When there are multiple utensils, work your way in from the outside. If you recall a scene from the movie where Vivian was getting a lesson on silverware – 4 tines is a dinner fork and sometimes there are 3 tines, a salad fork.
- If you are going to a restaurant that you’ve never been to, review the menu ahead of time. You don’t want to show up and have no idea what to order or end up like Vivian and not know what escargot is until it arrives at the table.
- Don’t talk with your mouth full and don’t chew with your mouth open. Whoever started the rumor that chewing with your mouth open is a sign of power is a liar. Trust us, it’s not true!
There are so many dining etiquette rules, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. The list above includes several of the most important ones. What else would you add to the must-know dining etiquette list? Leave us a comment!