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End of the Meal

Lesson 14 from: Manners @ The Table: A Modern Guide to Dining Etiquette

Daniel Post Senning

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Lesson Info

14. End of the Meal

Lesson Info

End of the Meal

When the meal is over, there are still a couple of things to remember. One of the first is what you do with your utensils. The placement of utensils is a really important part of the end of the meal. In fact, it's what tells the other people that you're eating with and the server who's taking care of your table that you're actually finished while you're still eating. When you place your utensils down, you leave them on your plate with handles facing away from each other, particularly reading Continental style that you're eating American style. The knife stays at the top of the plate, and your fork is set down about where you were using it with the handle pointing off the bottom quarter of the plate. At the end of the meal, you're gonna take the handles of your knife in your fork and you're gonna bring them together, both pointing to the bottom right hand quadrant of your plate. So if you were looking down at your plate, if the plate was the face of oclock, it would be about the four po...

sition that the handle of both your knife in your fork would be pointing towards. This makes it easy for your server, who's often clearing from the right to pick that plate up to put their thumb over both handles of those utensils to pick the plate up and take it away from the table. It's also a signal that your host or your server conceive from across the room so that placement of utensils is critically important to indicate to everyone that you're finished eating that you're not gonna pick your utensils up and begin again. So when the meal is finished and the plates have been cleared there, a couple more things that you often have to navigate one is paying the bill. Who pays the bill well. Traditionally, it's the host that pays. How do you know who the host is there, The person that did the inviting and has been playing the role of the host throughout the course of the meal? If there isn't a clear host, you can clearly split a bill. I think it's a good idea to have a discussion about how you're gonna divvy the tab up at the start of the meal so that when the check arrives, have a pretty good idea of how to proceed. Now there's another part of paying the bill that's really important, particularly you're talking about eating out, particularly eating out in America. And that's the tip in America. It's an essential fundamental part of the social contract that you expect a tip. How much will about 15 to 20% 20% and easy amount to remember, because you just have to take that decimal point, move it and then double it and you're gonna have some idea of what a about a 20% tip would be. You can drift up a little, a little above or a little below, depending on the quality of service. From there, you're not expected to tip on tax. You are expected to tip on alcohol. So now it's time to get up and leave the table again. You can watch your host for cues. They're gonna give you some idea about when the meal is finished. Oftentimes, they're gonna do that by taking their napkin out of their lap and placing it down loosely to the left of their plate. If there isn't a clear host, everybody can do this about at the same time, and anyone can initiate that process. Once the bill is been paid and everyone is done eating again, remember that the placement of the napkin is loosely to the left of the plate, whether you're going to return to the table or whether it's the end of the meal. I hope you've enjoyed your time eating. And I hope you've enjoyed your time taking this course and that you perceive with the confidence of knowing that you've got the basics for table manners under your belt and you're ready to go enjoy.

Ratings and Reviews

Michael Friesen

Daniel's course provides an excellent overview of the essentials of dining etiquette. The content is contemporary and reflects the more relaxed atmosphere that prevails in most dining situations today. I would definitely recommend this course to a friend looking to review the basics of dining etiquette.

Leela Biswas

Great, short class! It covers the basic strokes of table manners. I’d have liked to see more coverage of fork usage, especially with tricky foods like feathery salad greens and rice.

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