Unfold your napkin and place it on your lap within 1 minute of sitting at the table to dine. When you are finished with your dinner, place it loosely on the table, not on the plate and never on your chair.
Keep elbows off the table. Keep your left hand in your lap unless you are using it.
Do not talk with your mouth full. Chew with your mouth closed.
Guests should do their best to mingle and make light conversation with everyone. Do not talk excessively loud. Give others equal opportunities for conversation. Talk about cheerful, pleasant things at the table.
Don’t clean up spills with your own napkin and don’t touch items that have dropped on the floor. You can use your napkin to protect yourself from spills. Then, simply and politely ask your server to clean up and to bring you a replacement for the soiled napkin or dirty utensil.
Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite. The number one sin of dinner table etiquette!
Do not blow your nose at the dinner table. Excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room. If you cough, cover your mouth with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise. If your cough becomes unmanageable, excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room.
Turn off your cell phone or switch it to silent or vibrate mode before sitting down to eat, and leave it in your pocket or purse. It is impolite to answer a phone during dinner. If you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table and step outside of the restaurant.
Do not use a toothpick or apply makeup at the table.
Say “Excuse me,” or “I’ll be right back,” before leaving the table. Do not say that you are going to the restroom.
Whenever a woman leaves the table or returns to sit, all men seated with her should stand up.
Do not push your dishes away from you or stack them for the waiter when you are finished. Leave plates and glasses where they are.
Once used, your utensils, including the handles, must not touch the table again. Always rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate or in the bowl. When you are finished with a course, place your utensils (silverware) used on your place in the 4:20 position.